Ban on Electronic Funds Transfers as Exclusive Method of Payment (765 ILCS 705/4)

The recent amendment to the Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act, section 765 ILCS 705/4, addresses the concern of tenants being required to use electronic funds transfers as the sole method of rent payment. This change is designed to address the potential issues and limitations that tenants might face under such a requirement.

  • Tenant Protection: The primary aim of this section is to safeguard tenants from financial difficulties that may arise if they do not have access to electronic payment methods, such as bank accounts or credit cards.
  • Alternative Payment Methods: Landlords must now offer multiple payment options, including cash, check, or money order, and cannot reject these forms of payment.
  • No Additional Fees: Landlords are prohibited from imposing extra fees or penalties on tenants who choose to use alternative payment methods.
  • Privacy Protection: This provision ensures that tenants maintain their privacy when selecting their preferred form of payment, as they are not obliged to provide sensitive financial information.
  • Electronic Transfers Still an Option: While landlords can continue to offer electronic funds transfers as a payment option, they can no longer mandate it as the only accepted method.
  • Promoting Financial Inclusion: This amendment promotes financial inclusivity and accessibility, catering to tenants of varying socioeconomic backgrounds and levels of technological access.
  • Complaint Process: Tenants who believe their landlord is violating this provision can file complaints with the appropriate authorities for investigation and potential penalties.
  • Creating a Fair System: Overall, this update to the Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act fosters a more equitable system by ensuring both landlords and tenants have access to a variety of payment options.

Landlords are reminded to stay current with any legal changes regarding payment methods to protect their tenants and avoid potential legal complications. This amendment is a significant stride toward establishing a balanced and inclusive landlord-tenant relationship in Illinois.
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Chicago RLTO (residential landlord-tenant ordinance)

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) delineates the legal framework governing the interactions between landlords and tenants within the city. It applies to the majority of residential properties, excluding those where the landlord resides within a building of six or fewer units. Importantly, rights under Illinois state law remain in effect for units not covered by the RLTO.

Key provisions outlined in the Chicago RLTO include, but are not limited to:

  • Tenants are empowered to request necessary repairs through written communication;
  • Landlords are obligated to furnish tenants with their complete contact information;
  • The imposition of late fees is subject to a cap of $10 for the initial $500 of rent, followed by a 5% fee on the subsequent amount;
  • The ordinance explicitly prohibits restrictions on subleasing, permitting tenants to sublease given that the prospective sublessee satisfies the standard tenant qualifications;
  • It upholds the tenant’s irrevocable right to opt for a jury trial in relevant disputes, a stipulation that cannot be negated by any lease agreement;
  • Notification requirements are stipulated for landlords intending to conclude or alter a month-to-month tenancy, non-renew a lease, or adjust rent levels, with the requisite notice period contingent upon the duration of the tenancy.

Additionally, Chicago landlords are mandated to provide tenants with a written overview of the RLTO, a resource readily accessible on the City of Chicago’s official website. Non-compliance with this requirement grants tenants the authority to unilaterally terminate their lease after issuing notice.

If you have questions or need assistance seek the help of a Real Estate Lawyer.


Chicago voters will decide the fate of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal to raise the real estate transfer tax on million-dollar properties. The Chicago City Council approved the referendum 32-17, and voters will have the final say in March.

Currently, all Chicago real estate sales are taxed at 0.75%. The proposal would create a tiered structure based on the value of the property being sold.

Here is the link to read more about this tax:

What to Do if You Have a Squatter in Your Home or Rental Home in Illinois?

Squatting is when someone unlawfully occupies and uses another person’s property without their permission. Unfortunately, this is a common issue faced by homeowners and landlords in the state of Illinois. As a legal matter, squatters have certain rights that may pose challenges for property owners and landlords. In this document, we will discuss what actions you can take if you have a squatter in your home or rental property.

Understanding Squatters’ Rights in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, squatters are considered to be tenants-at-will. This means that they do not have a written lease agreement with the property owner but are occupying the property with their consent. As such, squatters have certain rights under Illinois law, including the right to receive notice before they can be evicted. This notice period is typically 30 days for residential properties and 10 days for commercial properties.

What Can You Do if You Have a Squatter in Your Home?

If you discover that there is a squatter in your home, the first step is to try and peacefully resolve the situation. You can do this by talking to the squatter and politely asking them to leave. If they refuse or are uncooperative, you can then proceed with legal action.

File an Eviction Lawsuit

Under Illinois law, property owners have the right to file an eviction lawsuit against a squatter. This involves going to court and obtaining an eviction order, also known as a “forcible entry and detainer” (FED) order. Once the FED order is issued, a sheriff will serve it to the squatter, giving them a certain amount of time (typically 5 days) to leave the property.

Seek Assistance from Law Enforcement

In some cases, squatters may become hostile or refuse to leave even after receiving an eviction notice. This is when you can seek the help of law enforcement. In Illinois, it is a criminal offense for a squatter to remain on a property after being served with an eviction notice. You can report the situation to the local police and request that they remove the squatter from your property.

What Can You Do if You Have a Squatter in Your Rental Home?

If you are a landlord and have a squatter in your rental property, the steps to take may be slightly different. As mentioned earlier, squatters have certain rights under Illinois law, including receiving notice before they can be evicted. This means that you cannot simply remove the squatter without following proper legal procedures.

Review the Lease Agreement

As a landlord, your first step should be to review the lease agreement signed by your tenant. If the squatter is not listed as an authorized occupant on the lease, you have the right to evict them. However, if they are listed as an authorized occupant or subtenant, you may need to pursue legal action against your tenant.

Consult with a Real Estate Attorney

Dealing with squatters can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is recommended to seek assistance from a real estate attorney who is familiar with Illinois laws and eviction procedures. They can advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation and ensure that all legal requirements are met.


In conclusion, having a squatter in your home or rental property in Illinois can be frustrating and challenging. It is important to understand the squatters’ rights and follow proper legal procedures when dealing with this issue. Remember, seeking assistance from a real estate attorney can help you navigate the process smoothly and effectively. So, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It can make all the difference in successfully removing a squatter from your property. However, remember to always approach the situation calmly and peacefully before taking any legal action. This will not only ensure a smoother process but also avoid any potential conflicts or complications along the way. By being aware of your rights as a property owner and following proper procedures, you can effectively handle the issue of squatters in your home or rental property. So, don’t let a squatter take over your property – take action and protect your rights as a homeowner or landlord in Illinois.

Partner with a Real Estate Attorney for Investing in Chicago.

For anyone investing in real estate in Chicago, it’s important to have a good understanding of Illinois real estate laws, regulations, and requirements. To make sure that your transactions comply with local laws and to navigate the complex legal landscape of real estate investing, it’s highly advisable to seek the help of an experienced Illinois Real Estate Attorney.

Real estate attorneys have specialized knowledge that can provide investors with many advantages when acquiring or selling property. For example, they will review all pertinent documents associated with a transaction such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title insurance policies, loan documents, and more to make sure everything is in order. They will also advise you on any potential liability issues related to the property such as zoning restrictions or environmental hazards that could affect your investment.

A real estate attorney can offer guidance not only on legal matters but also on financing, leases, tax laws, and other crucial aspects of investing. They can also assist in protecting your interests during negotiations and ensure all parties involved comply with the terms of any agreement.

To comply with local laws and regulations and maximize profits, Chicago real estate investors should consider hiring an experienced Illinois Real Estate Attorney. Their specialized knowledge can help you make informed decisions and minimize risks throughout your investment journey.

By enlisting the assistance of an Illinois Real Estate Attorney, Chicago Real Estate investors can gain the confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing that all aspects of their transaction are being taken care of properly.

Chicago Real Estate Attorney for Landlords

For Chicago landlords, having a reliable Chicago, Illinois real estate attorney is essential in understanding and navigating the complex legal landscape of Illinois rental law. An experienced real estate lawyer can provide comprehensive guidance and representation to help ensure that your interests are protected in any legal issue related to renting out properties.

A Chicago, Illinois real estate attorney can help landlords with a wide range of issues, such as:

– Drafting or reviewing leases and other rental documents.

– Negotiating tenant disputes and resolving conflicts.

– Representing you in court if needed.

– Advising on tenant rights and landlord obligations under state laws.

– Assisting with evictions, notices to vacate, and other legal forms.

A skilled Chicago, Illinois real estate attorney can help landlords protect their rights and interests by providing knowledgeable advice and representation in any situation involving a tenant or rental property. By working with an experienced lawyer familiar with the intricacies of Illinois rental law, landlords can ensure that their rights are respected and upheld.

For Chicago landlords, having a reliable Chicago, Illinois real estate attorney is the best way to ensure that you always have the information and support you need to make informed decisions and protect your interests in any legal situation related to rental properties. With an experienced lawyer on your side, you can be confident in knowing that you have a knowledgeable advocate who is prepared to safeguard your rights and interests.

When it comes to navigating the complex legal landscape of Illinois rental law, having a Chicago, Illinois real estate attorney you can rely on is essential. With an experienced lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that you always have the information and support you need to protect your rights as a landlord.

2023 New Illinois Real Estate Laws

Illinois Real estate law is transforming with the introduction of six new laws taking effect on January 1, 2023, and two more in 2024.

SB 1495 modifies real estate licensing requirements on January 1, 2024, while AB 2503 requires updating terminology used in real estate contracts by December 31st of that same year.

SB 1005 clarifies the probate code while SB 1017 provides tenant protections against domestic violence to safeguard individuals as they navigate their legal rights within the industry.

AB 1410 mandates that homeowner’s associations (HOAs) permit their members to talk about their common interest development on social media as well as letting them rent out a portion of owner-occupied space. During emergency scenarios, HOAs may not pursue enforcement for violations if it would be potentially hazardous to repair the issue.

AB 1837 and AB 2170 both modify existing laws regarding eligible bidders for foreclosed properties, making it easier for tenants, owner-occupants, nonprofits, and governmental organizations to win a bid.

AB 2559 has outlined a reusable tenant screening report, which landlords can opt to use and must provide tenants with costless access if they do so.

AB 2745, states experience applicable to the real estate broker exam must have been obtained within the last five years.

AB 2960 stipulates that the disclosure requirements of a contract remain in effect, regardless if such requirements are altered after its initial agreement.

Warranty Deed vs. Quitclaim Deed

Warranty Deed vs. Quitclaim Deed

When you’re in the process of selling (or purchasing) a house, you will most likely, encounter several kinds of documents: all with different names and with different uses and functions. Two of the most misunderstood documents are the warranty deed vs. quitclaim deed. Many think that these two forms are alike, but they are not.

A warranty deed is a document which the seller presents to you and is used in the majority of all sales transactions. The warranty deed simply states that the seller owns the property being sold and that it is free from any sort of liens. By presenting a warranty deed, the buyer is assured that the holder of the title has the legal right to transfer ownership of the unit and is assured that no one (financial institution or other creditors) would come after him to make a claim on the property. In the eventuality that someone does lay claim to the property that has just been purchased (or that the claims stated in the warranty are erroneous), the buyer is further protected by law and would be entitled to receive a form of compensation. Warranty deeds seldom stand alone as these documents are usually backed up by a title insurance policy.

A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, is presented to a buyer by someone who does not necessarily own the property being sold but holds responsibility for it. This occurs due to several reasons such as when the owner dies and bequeaths the property to one of his heirs, or when there is a marriage and the owner wants to include the name of his/her spouse to the title (among others). A quitclaim deed offers a lower level of protection to buyers. This kind of document is used primarily when the property in question will just stay within a family.

Incidentally, there are times when both a warranty deed and a quitclaim deed are presented to a potential buyer. An example is when the property lies on the border of rivers and or lakes; where ownership of the underwater land on which his property stands on remains unclear.

If you are unsure which kind of deed works best for your property, consult a real estate agent or a real estate lawyer.

Understanding Title Insurance

Understanding Title Insurance

Title to a property is a record detailing the owners of the property and rights associated with the ownership. Title typically shows a progression of ownership from the first owner to the current one. Title is a fairly simple concept, but when it goes wrong it is a nightmare. That is where title insurance comes in, and why it’s important to understanding title insurance.

Title Insurance

Title insurance guarantees that the title on a property is marketable when you purchase the home, condo, land, etc. You should always pay for title insurance. It typically costs a few hundred dollars and will save you a bundle if problems arise.

When you buy title insurance, a title insurance company researches the title for the property. The insurance company will look to see if the title is clear. Clear simply means that the seller is truly transferring title to you and no other person can claim ownership. While this sounds fairly simple, rest assured that title problems arise all of the time.

Title Problems

You might be wondering how you could possibly have title problems. Here are a few examples:

  1. Divorcing Couples Divorce is unpleasant and sometime very ugly. In particularly nasty situations, one spouse may attempt to sell a home without telling the other. To gain clear title, you need both spouses to sign off on the sale. If you dont, you are going to become a party of the divorce proceedings. Now, wouldnt that be fun?
  2. Estate Sales If you are purchasing a house as part of an estate sale, there can be real problems. The heirs may not be getting along and in an effort to get whats mine, may try to sell the residence without including all the heirs in the transaction. If you buy this home, you could end up involved in a lawsuit filed by an heir left out of the transaction.
  3. Ingress and Egress Issues Title to a property can have technical issues related to egress and ingress. Occasionally, one finds title to a property that is so messed up that the owner doesnt have the right to enter or leave the land because to do so would require crossing another persons property. In short, the property is landlocked and something must be worked out with the neighbors. Typically, a solution comes in the form of hard, cold cashlots of it.

These are just a few issues that can arise with title. With real estate, unique issues can arise all the time.

If you buy title insurance, you dont have to worry about problems with title. If a problem arises, you calmly pick up the phone and call the title insurance company. The insurance company will come up with a solution, even if it means paying you for bad title.