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Tax Blog

Security Deposits

Across the United States many states have enacted specific acts to protect the rights of tenants and landlords alike. In Illinois, the legislature has enacted the Landlord and Tenant act which sets out the requirements on both sides to protect an even relationship between the two.

For tenants it is important to understand and adhere to the terms set forth in the lease agreement, but what happens if the landlord breaks the contract or doesn’t live up to their end? There are remedies and rights for the tenant to exercise if there are any infringements. One area that is often disputed is the security deposit. Security deposits in Illinois are not required, nor do they have a limit, but they are often the equivalent to one month’s rent. The landlord is required to pay back the deposit if: (1) your building or complex consists of five or more units; (2) you do not owe any back rent; (3) you have no damaged the rental unit; and (4) you cleaned the apartment before you moved.

Furthermore, according to the Illinois Security Deposit Return Act, your landlord must return your deposit within 45 days if the aforementioned stipulations are met. If your landlord refuses to pay back the deposit within 30 days, they are required to furnish you with a receipt for repairs. If a court finds that your landlord violated the act you may be entitled to damages equal to two times your security deposit, court costs and attorney’s fees.

If you have any questions about tenant rights or security deposits, contact us at The Center for Financial, Legal & Tax Services, Inc.

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