|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
Comparison Table of
Various Security Deposit Laws
Security Deposit Interest
Interest Due on Deposit
landlord consulting services
The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO) governs,
among other things, security deposits for most Chicago tenancies.
Landlords who are not exempt from the ordinance must strictly
follow the rules prescribed by the law or suffer stiff penalties for
Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance
The first step in analyzing the rights and
responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the CRLTO is to
determine if the ordinance applies to a particular tenancy.
of the CRLTO indicates that the rules of the ordinance
are applicable to all residential rental property within the City of
Chicago except for certain excluded circumstances. The most
commonly applied exclusion is for dwelling units in owner-occupied
buildings containing six or fewer units or less. There are a
number of other exclusions cited in the act.
Other than the excluded situations cited in the act, all other
tenancies, whether there is a written lease or not, are covered by the
CRLTO. Thus, if a landlord owns one unit in a five unit
condominium building and does not occupy that building, the tenancy is
subject to the CRLTO.
what does it
say about security deposits?
sets forth the procedures landlords must follow
regarding security deposits. The ordinance sets forth five
requirements landlords must follow. Click on each of the
following links for more information related to the specific section of
5-12-080(a) - obligation to deposit security deposit in interest
bearing account and prohibition on commingling security
deposit with landlord's personal assets;
5-12-080(b) - requirements to provide a receipt to a tenant who tenders
a security deposit;
5-12-080(c) - obligation to pay tenant interest on security deposit;
5-12-080(d) - right to set off deposit for damage and requirements
regarding return of deposit;
5-12-080(e) - requirements upon turnover of deposit on landlord's sale
or disposition of rental property.
if the landlord violates the ordinance?
Section 5-12-080(f) requires that a landlord pay damages equal to two
times the amount of the security deposit plus interest to a tenant if
the landlord fails to comply with any portion of Sections
also entitles a tenant to recover reasonable
attorney's fees and court costs in any action to enforce the tenant's
rights under section 5-12-080.
of the law
The seminal case in enforcement of the CRLTO is, without a doubt, Lawrence
v. Regent Realty. This case established that,
unlike the Illinois Security
Deposit Law, the Chicago Ordinance does not require
a tenant to establish that a landlord's violation of the law was
willful or in bad faith. Instead, the court recognized that
"the city council has elected to address this problem by imposing an
absolute duty on landlords". As a result, judges do not have
any discretion in the application of the penalty under 5-12-080(f) and
5-12-180 (or the other provisions of the ordinance for that matter).
v. Hunter Properties, the court clarified its interpretation
of the statute of limitations regarding violations of certain sections
of the CRLTO based upon whether they are punative or remedial in nature.
v. Livaditis, the First District Court of Appeals of Illinois
determined that the ordinance penalty under section 5-12-080(f) may
only be imposed once for multiple violations of Section 5-12-080 in
effect preventing the "stacking" of counts under the ordinance.
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 for a free telephone consultation
(most consultations require approximately ten to fifteen minutes) or email us.
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