What power do I have?

As a renter, you might feel like your landlord has all the power. But did you know that Chicago law protects you?

As long as your landlord doesn’t live in your building, the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) probably covers you. Here are just a few of your rights under the RLTO:

  • Advance Notice When Your Landlord Wants to Enter Your Unit – You should be given 48 hours notice before your landlord enters your unit (except in emergencies). If your landlord doesn’t give you enough notice, you have the right to refuse to allow them to enter.
  • Prompt Return of Security Deposit – If you paid a security deposit when you moved in, you can expect to get it back when you leave. Remember to give your landlord your new address so they know where to send your return. If any of the deposit is used to pay for repairs, you should expect an itemized list of repairs and copies of receipts. A landlord can only apply your deposit for actual damage, not normal wear and tear.
  • Live in Safe Home – Is your landlord refusing to make repairs? You have a right to live in an apartment that is up to code and safe. If you need something fixed, tell your landlord in writing and keep a record of each communication. You can also report the issue to the City by calling 311. If your landlord doesn’t make the repair quickly, you can use Rentervention.com to learn more about your options.