security deposit recovery Reda Ciprian Magnone, LLC attorney lawyers in Chicago assisting landlords and tenants
 

Are you a tenant or a landlord with a question about your security deposit? Contact us:

Reda | Ciprian | Magnone, LLC
8501 W. Higgins Suite 440
Chicago, Illinois 60631
773.399.1122
fax 773.399.1144
email us

Useful Links

Comparison Table of Various Security Deposit Laws

Security Deposit Interest Rates

illinois-attorny.com security deposit return services

Attorney General Landlord Tenant Rights Pamphlet
 
Calculating Interest Due on Deposit
Illinois Law:
Two Illinois statutes govern the handling of tenant's security deposits by landlords: the Illinois Security Deposit Return Act (765 ILCS 710) and the Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act (765 ILCS 715). 

Illinois Security Deposit Return Act
the law
The Illinois Security Deposit Return Act is applicable to all landlords of residential real property containing five or more units.  A landlord who holds a security deposit and wants to deduct the cost of property damage from the deposit must personaly deliver or mail to the tenant's last known address within thirty days after the tenant vacates the rental property an itemized statement of alleged damage and an  estimated or actual cost to repair or replace the damaged items.  The landlord must also include receipts or copies of receipts for the the repaired or replaced items.  If the landlord uses his or her own personal labor to make repairs, the landlord may disclose and then deduct the reasonable cost of that labor from the deposit.  If the landlord includes only estimates, the landlord has an additional thirty days from the date of the original itemized statement to furnish actual receipts.  If no itemized statement is delivered to the tenant, the landlord has forty five days from the date the tenant vacates the rental property to return the deposit in full. 

If a court determines that a landlord refuses to send an itemized statement or sends an itemized statement in bad faith, and the landlord has failed or refused to return the deposit in the allotted time limit, the landlord shall be liable for a penalty equal to two times the deposit plus court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.

Upon the sale of residential real estate, the buyer of the residential real estate shall become liable for any security deposit or prepaid rent paid by the tenant to the selling landlord.  Even after the sale, the selling landlord shall remain jointly to the tenant and severally responsible for any security deposit.

Application of the law
Landlords commonly violate the act because they do not follow the letter of the law regarding the Act's timing requirements.  The law requires that the statement of damages be sent within 30 days after the tenant vacates the rental unit and not 30 days after the lease expires.  Similarly, if no itemization is delivered, the deposit must be delivered within 45 days after the tenant vacates.

One area of confusion exists when a landlord lawfully seeks to retain deposit funds for the violation of a lease term, such as the obligation to pay rent.  In fact, the statute only applies in cases where the landlord is seeking to retain deposit funds as a result of damage to the rental property.

Unlike the Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act, the Illinois Security Deposit Return Act does not allow a tenant to aggregate the number of units owned in total or in close proximity by a landlord.  In Hoffman v. Altamore, the Second District Court of Appeals of Illinois determined that a tenant should look to the number of residential units contained on a single parcel of real estate and should not be able to aggregate units, even if the landlord owns multiple properties on the same street.

Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act
the law
The Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act is applicable to all landlords of residential real property containing twenty five or more units in a single building or a complex of contiguous parcels.  A landlord who holds any security deposit for more than six months shall pay the tenant interest from the date of the deposit at a predetermined rate.

A landlord is required to make payment of the interest by way of actual cash or a credit against rent within thirty days after the end of a twelve month rental period.  A landlord is not required to make payment if the tenant is in default under the terms of the lease.

If a court determines that a landlord willfully fails or refuses to pay the required interest shall be liable for a penalty equal to the amount of the tenant's security deposit plus court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.

Application of the law
In the case Wang v. Williams and Royal Rentals, the Fifth District Court of Appeals of Illinois held that a landlord may not enforce a clause in a lease waiving the tenant's right to interest on the security deposit.  

Have an issue?
If you believe your landlord has violated the obligation to make a timely return of your deposit or to pay interest on your deposit, please feel free to telephone us at 773-399-1122 to see if we are a match to represent you. While we do not provide "legal advice" over the telephone, we do handle in-office consultations at a rate of $265 per hour, and we are always glad to spend some time (five to ten minutes) on the telephone to determine if you have a situation where we can help.

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