What are Things that my Landlord Can’t Do?

What are Things that my Landlord Can’t Do?





In Chicago and the Chicagoland area, renting can seem like the Wild Wild West.  We’ve heard horror stories about conditions.  In one case, a client came to us to check if they had a claim.

“My floor is dirt,” he said in a matter-of-fact way.

“What do you mean, it’s dirty?”

“No,” he corrected me, “it’s dirt.  As in there’s no floor.  Can I sue?”

In Chicago, some renters may not even raise an eyebrow to that anecdote.  Here are some other things that landlord just can’t do.

A Landlord Cannot Self-Help

Renters may fall behind on rent, they may throw loud parties that disturb the neighbors and these are both actionable offenses.  And most certainly, a landlord is within his or her right to pursue the proper filings to evict or punish the tenant.  A landlord cannot, however, padlock doors and keep the tenant from access to the apartment.  Another common way of “self-help” is to turn off the essential utilities.  If the power’s out, no more loud music, right?  Other common examples of landlords “going commando” include:

  • Shutting off the water and refusing to fix the toilets and sinks;
  • Moving furniture into the streets;
  • Impersonating official documents and posting eviction notices;

These fact of the matter is that the landlord has no reason to take the law into their own hands and the act of “self-help” is illegal.  If these illegal acts are done to you, the burden to file an affirmative claim is now on you.  It is advisable to contact an attorney to assist in the matter.

A Landlord Cannot Be a Frequent Uninvited Guest

Despite the old sitcom trope, it’s highly illegal for the landlord or even an agent of the landlord to “pop in” with frequency to a leased dwelling.  In Illinois, the landlord must give 48 hours notice. In addition, the landlord must stop by during reasonable hours, generally between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. While the hours are negotiable, notice is not.   We’ve had clients who forget the line between a transactional relationship and a friendship.  In these situations, while awkward, we’ve helped coax this uncomfortable situation into normalcy.  If unwanted, don’t let your landlord become a constant nuisance.  If he or she is becoming a frequent uninvited guest, consult an attorney to handle that delicate situation.

Landlord Problems?  Consult with the Shimotake Law Firm at (312) 934-5886

The landlord/tenant relationship is seemingly simple; however, can be quickly complicated by rash decisions by landlords.  Often, the landlord’s actions result in grave consequences for the tenant.  If you or someone you know is experiencing the pains of a landlord’s actions, call us at the Shimotake Law Firm for a free consultation.  We’re Here to Help!