Paul Bernstein, Attorney at Law
Landlord/Tenant Information
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Paul Bernstein, Attorney at Law
Landlord/Tenant Information Navigational LinksTenants in Chicago have very powerful remedies against landlords who do not comply with the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO). As a lawyer concentrating on representing tenants in Landlord and Tenant disputes, I may be able to help you deal with your landlord. For more information feel free to contact my offices.

Be sure to read the online book feature "On Chicago Tenants' Rights" and familiarize yourself with the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO).

Below are some scenarios in which I may be of assistance:


Often, the eviction process can be slowed or reversed, and a tenant's situation can be negotiated with the landlord. Often, Landlords do not completely comply with the law when evicting, and this can be used to obtain more time to find a new apartment.

Failure to pay interest on security deposit funds

In Chicago, the RLTO requires that the Landlord pay interest annually on any security deposit monies held for 16 or more months. If you were present in your apartment for over 12 months, and you didn't in some way receive your interest, your Landlord may not have complied with the law.

Failure to Return Security Deposits

The Chicago RLTO requires that landlords return security deposits on a timely basis, within 45 days of your leaving the apartment. If a landlord finds it necessary to keep a part of your security deposit, the landlord must document the need in a very clear fashion and make you aware of the charges. It is very rare that a landlord is legally entitled to keep a tenant's entire security deposit.

The following sites also offer information pertaining to your rights as a tenant in Chicago:

West Town Tenants Union
Chicago, Illinois

Metropolitan Tenants Organization
Chicago, Illinois

For a free evaluation of your situation please fill out and submit a Tenant Interview Questionnaire