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What Landlords Need to Know about Security Deposits and Leases

Mar 17, 2023

As a landlord in Illinois, it's essential to understand the laws regarding security deposits and leases to avoid legal issues and protect your property. In this blog post, we will discuss the key points landlords need to know about security deposits and leases in Illinois.

Security Deposits

In Illinois, security deposits are regulated by the Security Deposit Return Act (SDRA). Here are some important things landlords need to know about security deposits in Illinois:

  1. Security deposit limits: In Illinois, landlords can collect a maximum security deposit of one and a half months' rent.

  2. Security deposit interest: Landlords must pay interest on security deposits held for more than six months. The interest rate must be equal to the interest rate paid by savings accounts at the largest commercial bank in Illinois.

  3. Security deposit receipts: Landlords must provide tenants with a receipt for their security deposit within ten days of receiving it.

  4. Security deposit return: Landlords have 30 days after the tenant moves out to return the security deposit, along with an itemized list of any deductions made.

  5. Deductible expenses: Landlords can deduct expenses from the security deposit for unpaid rent, damages, and cleaning fees. However, normal wear and tear cannot be deducted.


Lease agreements are regulated by the Illinois Compiled Statutes, particularly the Illinois Security Deposit Return Act (SDRA) and the Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act (SDIA). Here are some essential things landlords need to know about leases in Illinois:

  1. Required lease terms: A lease agreement in Illinois must include the names of the landlord and tenant, a description of the rental property, the rental amount, the due date for rent, and the lease length.

  2. Prohibited lease terms: Landlords cannot include illegal provisions in a lease agreement. This includes provisions that waive the tenant's right to a security deposit or require the tenant to pay for repairs caused by normal wear and tear.

  3. Security deposit provisions: A lease agreement must include information about the amount of the security deposit, how it will be held, and the conditions for its return.

  4. Rent increase provisions: If the lease agreement allows for a rent increase, it must include the amount of the increase and the date it will take effect.

  5. Lease termination: A lease agreement must include the terms for lease termination, including notice requirements and penalties for breaking the lease.


If a tenant violates the lease agreement, landlords must follow proper eviction procedures outlined in Illinois law. Here are some key things landlords need to know about evictions in Illinois:

  1. Grounds for eviction: Landlords can only evict tenants for specific reasons, such as nonpayment of rent, violating lease terms, and causing damage to the property.

  2. Eviction notice: Before filing for eviction, landlords must provide the tenant with written notice of the violation and an opportunity to correct it.

  3. Eviction lawsuit: If the tenant fails to correct the violation, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in court.

  4. Court hearing: A court hearing will be scheduled, and both the landlord and tenant will be able to present their case.

Eviction order: If the court rules in favor of the landlord, an eviction order will be issued, and the tenant will have a specific amount of time to vacate the property.


In conclusion, understanding the laws surrounding security deposits, leases, and evictions is critical for landlords in Illinois to avoid legal issues and protect their property. It's important to consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance with state and local laws. With proper knowledge and attention to detail, landlords can provide a safe and secure environment for their tenants while protecting their property.

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