from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Landlord's (new) Duty to Re-Key Locks

Declining property values over the past several years have caused many property owners into reluctant landlords.

The difficult lending climate has turned many would-be home buyers into  temporary tenants.

Whichever side of the Landlord-Tenant relationship a person finds himself on, at least some familiarity with local landlord-tenant statutes is worth while.

City of Chicago landlords and prospective tenants ought to take note of a newly enacted provision of the State of  Illinois Landlord Tenant Statute.

Effective New Years Day, 2012, many landlords in Chicago will be obligated to change or re-key locks for incoming tenants.

The law APPLIES to:

  • City of Chicago Landlords
  • Who rent residential dwelling units
  • In buildings with 4 or more residential units, OR fewer, if the Landlord does not live in the building. 


  • Owner-occupied buildings with 4 or fewer apartments
  • Written leases that obligate the tenant to change or re-key the locks
  • Rentals of a singe room within a private home. 
Landlords are liable to their tenants where a theft occurs in an apartment because the landlord failed to re-key.

The new law can be read in full here:  765 ILCS 705/15