Illinois Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 10.27.2023

Illinois Security Deposit Law: A Comprehensive Guide

Security deposits are standard nationwide rental agreements, and Illinois is no exception. It provides landlords with financial security for potential property damage or unpaid rent. However, Illinois has specific regulations surrounding these deposits to protect tenants and landlords. Understanding the Illinois security deposit law is vital for anyone involved in the rental industry in this state.

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is a sum of money a tenant gives to their landlord in addition to the rent. It is a protective measure, ensuring the landlord can cover unpaid rent or property damage. The deposit is returned at the end of the lease term, assuming the tenant has met all obligations.

Illinois Security Deposit Limit

There is currently no statutory limit on security deposits in Illinois.  

However, landlords must adhere to specific rules and limitations established by local ordinances. For instance, leases governed by the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) in Chicago might have unique stipulations. Landlords and tenants must consult local and state regulations to ensure full compliance.

Returning the Security Deposit in Illinois

Following recent Illinois security deposit law updates through Public Act 103-0224, landlords must return the security deposit within 30 days after the tenant vacates the premises. If any amount is withheld due to damages or unpaid rent, the landlord must furnish the tenant with an itemized statement detailing these deductions. 

If the landlord fails to comply with these requirements, they must return the security deposit in full within 45 days after the tenant has vacated the premises.

Reasons a Landlord Can Keep a Security Deposit in Illinois

There are specific circumstances under which a landlord can legally withhold a portion or all of the security deposit:

  • Unpaid Rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord can deduct the owed amount from the deposit.
  • Property Damage: Damage beyond normal wear and tear can be covered using the deposit.
  • Other Breach of Lease: The deposit can cover associated costs if the tenant violates any other lease terms.

Security Deposit Receipts in Illinois

Per the Illinois security deposit law, if a landlord owns five or more units, they must provide the tenant with a receipt for the security deposit. The receipt must detail the amount, date received, and the name of the person receiving it. Moreover, landlords must pay the tenant interest if the deposit is kept for over six months.

What If There’s a Dispute?

If tenants believe they’ve been wrongfully denied their security deposit, they can take the matter to small claims court.

Recent Updates to the Illinois Security Deposit Law (June 2023):

In a notable shift, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 103-0224 in June, significantly changing the state’s security deposit regulations. Key amendments include:

  • Enhanced receipt requirements for landlords, now mandating including the financial institution’s name and account number where the deposit is held.
  • A reduced deadline for returning deposits post-vacancy is now 30 days instead of 45.
  • A stipulation for landlords to pay annual interest on deposits held over six months, with rates defined by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
  • Stricter penalties for landlords in breach, including potential liability to pay twice the deposit amount, attorney fees, and additional court-determined damages.

In Conclusion

Illinois does not currently require a security deposit alternative to be offered, but many communities do provide these options- renters should always ask! 

Both landlords and tenants in Illinois must be fully aware of the Illinois security deposit law to ensure smooth and lawful rental transactions. While the state provides a framework, always check local ordinances, especially in areas with specific rental laws.


Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.


Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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