Illinois Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Illinois Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Last Updated: April 21, 2023

Illinois legally requires landlords to meet certain “habitability” requirements for all rental properties. This means that they’re responsible for providing a property that meets specific health and safety standards and for fixing issues that violate them.

Illinois Implied Warranty of Habitability

In Illinois, the implied warranty of habitability means that a landlord must provide and maintain a safe and habitable rental property. “Implied” means the requirement applies whether or not the lease agreement specifically says so and even if the lease tries to waive the obligation.

Examples of clear habitability violations include:

  • Exposed electrical wiring.
  • A pipe leaking human waste.
  • A broken front doorknob that won’t lock.

However, the implied warranty of habitability doesn’t guarantee anything at the property will be clean, new or issue-free, so it doesn’t cover things like stained carpet or dents in a wall. It only guarantees basic health and safety. It generally also doesn’t cover damage the renter causes deliberately or negligently.

Landlord Responsibilities in Illinois

Note: Check local city/county laws and ordinances for additional requirements.

Item Has To Provide? Has To Fix / Replace?
Air Conditioning / Heating Only Heating Only Heating
Hot Water Yes Yes
Kitchen Appliances No No
Washer & Dryer No No
Smoke/CO Detectors Yes Yes
Window Coverings No No
Light Fixtures No No
Landscaping No No
Garbage Removal Not Addressed Not Addressed
Garbage Pickup Not Addressed Not Addressed
Mold N/A Yes
Pest Control No N/A
Pest Infestations N/A Yes
Water Leaks N/A Not Usually
Clogs N/A Not Usually

Landlord Responsibilities for Heating & Air Conditioning in Illinois

Illinois landlords do have to provide heating for rental properties. They don’t have to provide air conditioning.

Are Landlords Required to Provide Air Filter Replacements in Illinois?

Illinois landlords don’t have to replace things like air filters, unless heating equipment won’t work otherwise.

Landlord Responsibilities for Plumbing in Illinois

Illinois landlords must keep plumbing in reasonable working condition.

Are Landlords Required To Provide Hot Water in Illinois?

Illinois landlords must provide and maintain running heated water for rental properties.

Are Landlords Responsible for Fixing Clogged Drains & Toilets in Illinois?

Illinois landlords only have to fix clogs that create a habitability issue.

Are Landlords in Illinois Responsible for Fixing Leaks?

Illinois landlords only have to fix leaks that keep the plumbing from providing essential services like running water to the premises.

Landlord Responsibilities for Kitchen Appliances in Illinois

Illinois landlords don’t have to provide or maintain kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, or refrigerator.

Landlord Responsibilities for Electrical Issues in Illinois

Illinois landlords aren’t specifically required to provide electricity, but if there’s electrical service on the premises, it’s illegal for the landlord to deliberately or negligently cause its interruption.

Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Light Bulbs in Illinois?

Illinois landlords are not responsible for replacing light bulbs or particular light fixtures.

Landlord Responsibilities for Garbage Removal in Illinois

Illinois landlords aren’t required to do specific things related to garbage removal. However, since garbage accumulation on rental property quickly begins to threaten health and safety, the landlord must in most cases provide options for the tenant to store and remove garbage.

Landlord Responsibilities for Landscaping in Illinois

Illinois landlords have no specific obligation to provide landscaping or maintain it with actions like cutting grass. They only have to deal with issues like fallen trees if they interfere with the cleanliness of common areas, violate local codes, or create a hazard to health and safety.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Mold in Illinois

Illinois landlords are responsible for most mold issues. While there’s no state requirement for testing, landlords must investigate and fix mold problems since they threaten health and safety.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Pests in Illinois

Illinois landlords are responsible for fixing pest issues the renter didn’t cause, including rats, roaches, mice, bed bugs, and ants. There’s no requirement for regular testing, however.

Landlord Responsibilities for Windows & Window Coverings in Illinois

Illinois landlords have no specific responsibility to provide or maintain particular windows and window coverings, except what’s required by local code or basic considerations of health and safety. The landlord has to repair broken windows the tenant didn’t cause, since this is a health and safety issue.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Safety Devices in Illinois

Illinois landlords are responsible for ensuring smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are installed and operational at the beginning of a tenancy. Afterward, maintenance is the tenant’s job.

Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Batteries of Safety Devices in Illinois?

Illinois landlords do have to replace nonfunctional batteries in safety devices at the beginning of a tenancy. After that, it’s the tenant’s job.

Landlord Responsibilities for Doors & Locks in Illinois

Illinois landlords are responsible for ensuring reasonably secure doors and locks on the property. In Cook County, a non-occupying landlord must rekey the locks before each new tenancy, unless the lease lets the tenant freely rekey.

Landlord Responsibilities for Washers and Dryers in Illinois

Illinois landlords are not required to furnish their rental properties with a working washer and dryer.

Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Illinois

Illinois renters have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. Renters must send repair requests via registered or certified mail, to the landlord’s official or last known address. The landlord gets 14 days after notice for repairs, except in emergencies.

If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter can repair and deduct, or report health and safety violations to local authorities for further action. Renters aren’t allowed to withhold rent payments or break the lease, in most cases.

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