Representing Businesses and Individuals in Chicago and Northern Illinois

When to withhold rent

The relationship between tenants and their landlords can be incredibly tricky to navigate if things happen to go wrong. Many questions tend to come up, such as, if the tenant has a desperate need for a repair in the premise and if he or she has notified the landlord and yet the repair has still not been made, what can the tenant do? In many states, the tenant has withheld rent but, how does this apply to the state of Illinois?

Withholding rent:

In many states throughout the country, it is perfectly acceptable for the tenant to stop paying rent to the landlord until the problem within the living space has been addressed. The problem could vary; in some cases, there is a need for a repair, like when the stove or the refrigerator or the AC stops working, or maybe when there is no hot water running in the shower or the toilet is not flushing properly. Whatever the problem is, it must be addressed to the landlord first.

Withholding rent can seem like a very extreme measure to take and the tenant might fear getting evicted, but it is perfectly legal in some state. However, that is not the case in Illinois. To take a measure such as this one, there are certain requirements that must be met.

Illinois law:

There is no law in the state of Illinois that properly allows for the tenant to stop paying rent to the landlord when a problem in the premise has arisen. However, in Chicago, there seems to be more definition on the matter given that, as of 2019, the city is the third most populated in the country and the city has a higher standard of living.

In Chicago, a tenant can stop paying rent when there is no hot water, rodents or bugs are infesting in the area, failure to dispose the garbage or waste and to maintain the floors and stairs. There are more elements that can make up this list, such as a faulty doorknob, but overall, these are enough for a tenant to stop paying the rent to the landlord and only in these scenarios can a tenant have a case dismissed for eviction in a court of law.