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Chicago Property Management Blog

Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance

As a landlord in Chicago, it is critical to understand your rights and responsibilities under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO). The RLTO establishes the rules around key areas such as security deposits, evictions, repairs, and more. Failure to comply with the RLTO can result in legal trouble, fines, and damage to your business. This blog post will overview some of the most important provisions in the RLTO for landlords.

Security Deposits

According to the RLTO, landlords must return security deposits within 45 days after a tenant moves out, along with an itemized statement of any deductions. Landlords can only deduct for unpaid rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear, and other costs allowed by the lease. It is important for landlords to thoroughly document the condition of the unit before a tenant moves in and after they move out to justify any security deposit deductions.  


The eviction process in Chicago is strictly regulated by the RLTO. Landlords must provide proper notice for evictions, including a 10-day notice to comply for non-payment of rent or a 30-day notice for lease violations or non-renewal. Landlords must also obtain a court order to evict a tenant. Illegal evictions are prohibited and can result in legal consequences for landlords. It is critical for landlords to follow the proper eviction procedures outlined in the RLTO.

Repairs and Maintenance

Landlords are required to maintain properties in compliance with local building codes and keep units in a fit and habitable condition. Landlords must make necessary repairs in a timely manner after receiving reasonable notice from tenants. Failure to make required repairs can result in legal trouble for landlords, as well as tenants withholding rent or making emergency repairs and deducting the cost from rent.  

To learn more about your responsibilities as a landlord under the RLTO and other Chicago ordinances, download our free e-book “What You Must Know About the Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO)” for a comprehensive overview of managing rental property in Chicago. The e-book covers the RTLO in detail, as well as information on leases, property taxes, insurance, and more. Download your free copy today!

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