Illinoisdoes not have rent control, there are limitations to when and why your landlord can raise your rent. It mostly depends on whether you’re in a fixed-term (e.g. year-long) or periodic (weekly or monthly) agreement.
Whether you live in
Chicagoor a more rural part of the state, rent increases are universally unpleasant. After receiving a rent increase notification from your landlord, you’re probably wondering how you’ll afford it and whether it’s even legal.
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How much can a landlord raise rent in Illinois?
There is no legal limit to how much your landlord can raise your rent in Illinois.
Illinois has a Rent Control Preemption Act (1997) that prevents cities from controlling rent prices on private property. For tenants, a landlord could theoretically decide to raise your rent by $1,000 once your lease term is up. No legal ordinances stand in their way.
Now, enormous rent increases to the tune of $1,000 or more are certainly possible but they’re also unlikely. Instead, landlords typically raise rent gradually to retain existing tenants and to align with the expectations of the renters’ market.
There’s one more important factor here: the term of your lease.
A landlord may only raise the rent in Illinois at the end of the lease term on a fixed-term lease. If your lease expires in October, you can’t be asked to pay more in August and September. But with a periodic lease (month-to-month or week-to-week), landlords can increase rent with less notice
Note that some cities like Chicago have
specific rulesabout how much notice the landlord must give before a rent increase.
How much notice does a landlord need to give before they raise the rent?
Illinois law requires landlords to give written notice to tenants of any rental increase. This notice should include information such as:
- How much the rent will increase by
- When the increase takes effect
- How tenants can submit rental payments
If you have a fixed-term lease, an Illinois landlord is not legally required to provide any advance notice of a rent hike. However, it’s worth checking your lease documents to see whether they stated a period of notice.
If you have a periodic lease, Illinois landlords must provide notice within the time frame of the lease term.
- For month-to-month leases, the law requires notice of a rent increase 30 days in advance
- For week-to-week leases, the law requires notice of a rent increase 7 days in advance
Be aware that Illinois landlords can terminate your lease without providing a reason. However, they must provide proper notice if they decide to terminate your lease. Month-to-month tenants must be given 30 days’ notice and year-to-year tenants must be given 60 days’ notice.
When is it illegal to raise rent in Illinois?
In most situations, landlords can raise the rent in Illinois by any amount if they have provided the correct amount of notice. But there are some situations where a rent increase is illegal:
- As retaliation for tenants exercising their rights (e.g., forming a tenants’ union, reporting health and safety issues) as protected by theRetaliatory Eviction Act Illinois
- Discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or religion is protected by theFederal Fair Housing Act
You can file charges if you feel that your landlord has raised the rent in an attempt to drive you off the property based on retaliation or discrimination. If you need support for a tenant rights situation in Illinois, check out
How to respond to a rent increase
You have several options when it comes to responding to a rent increase notification. If you want to stay in the unit and you believe there has been proper notice, simply accept the higher rent and increase your payment once the lease renews.
Otherwise, here’s how to respond to a rent increase:
- If you believe your landlord raised the rent as a form of retaliation or discrimination, find a lawyer and take legal action against them
- If you think your landlord violated the lease terms by not giving sufficient notice, file a lawsuit against the landlord.
- If you cannot pay the higher rent but wish to stay in the apartment, attempt to negotiate a lower rent
- If the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your ability to pay a higher rate, check withyour local emergency rental assistance program (ERAP)for resources.
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