Can My Landlord Enter My Apartment without My Permission?

Can My Landlord Enter My Apartment without My Permission?

Last updated: June 2009

When Can a Landlord Enter my Apartment?

A landlord can access an apartment at reasonable times or at any time during an emergency. The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance states that a landlord’s entry into an apartment between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. is reasonable.

Generally, the landlord must provide you written or oral notice 2 days prior to entry. The landlord may enter the apartment without prior notice in the case of an emergency. In addition, the landlord is not required to give prior notice if the landlord unexpectedly requires access to your apartment while engaging in repairs elsewhere in the building. However, if the landlord enters without prior notice, the landlord must give you notice within 2 days after the entry.

A landlord may also have access to show the apartment to prospective renters, but not before 60 days prior to expiration of your lease.

Can I Move Out?

If a landlord makes:

  • an unlawful entry
  • a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or,
  • repeated unreasonable demands for entry, that you feel harass you

Then, you may give notice to terminate the rental agreement.

You should keep a record showing the time, date and circumstances of each of the landlord’s entries into your apartment. A written notice of termination must be given to the landlord and the notice must specify what acts constitute the basis for termination. The notice must also state that the rental agreement will terminate in 14 days after the landlord’s receipt of the notice, unless the landlord ceases such conduct. If the landlord continues to engage in such conduct within the time period specified, you should send another written notice terminating the rental agreement. However, if the landlord does not engage in such conduct within that time, you do not have the right to terminate the lease. You must move out 30 days after the expiration of the time specified in the original notice. Send the notice and letter by certified mail with return receipt. You should consult an attorney if you want to terminate your lease, since you could be responsible for rent due under the lease if you do not follow the correct procedures.

What if I Don’t Want to Move Out?

You may seek an injunction to order the landlord from improperly entering your apartment as well as damages equal to the greater of one month’s rent or twice the amount of actual damages. You must show that the landlord has made an unlawful entry. You should hire a private attorney if you want to bring a lawsuit to request an injunction.

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