In the city of Chicago, Illinois, most people live in rental housing. Sixty percent, to be exact. This 60% of Chicagoans reserve the right to educate themselves on their legal responsibilities as renters and/or property owners.
The Rents Right campaign was formed by the city of Chicago, along with tenant and landlord organizations, to educate on chicago tenant rights. The Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) governs most of the residential rental agreements in the city of Chicago. As a renter, you should know what is expected of you as the tenant, but also know what you can expect from your landlord. Education on rental rights and responsibilities, conflict and problem resolution, referrals to programs and services, and a commitment to the city of Chicago are some things the Rents Right campaign provides.
You may need to move for personal reasons or otherwise, and you would like to terminate your lease. You also do not want to owe any additional rent after moving, you want to get a refund on your security deposit, all while watching your credit score. In some cases, you may need to contact a security deposit lawyer. Your security deposit is money that is taken when you are first renting from a landlord. They are to keep these monies in a separate account, one which bears interest, so they are able to return it to you in the event of you moving. They may only keep this deposit in certain situations, such as you still owing rent after moving, or there is a repair to be made that you caused.
As a Chicago renter, you should be provided with a summary of the RLTO. This should be provided when the lease is renewed as well. Renters in Chicago are consistently forced to sign bad leases, which contain unlawful lease provisions. There are numerous guidelines that a Chicago landlord must comply with in the RLTO. If the landlord does not comply, the tenant may be awarded with damages up to two times the amount of the security deposit.
Searching the Internet will provide you with different options as far as security deposit lawyers. You may even search sites such as “yelp” for many reviews on these lawyers, as well as unions that may serve you. Again, educating yourself is key, and there are many different avenues to help you do just that!