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 has the right of access to an apartment at reasonable times or at any time in case of 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 presumed reasonable.

Generally, the landlord must provide the tenant written or oral notice of no less than two 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 the client’s apartment while engaging in repairs elsewhere in the building. However, if the landlord enters without prior notice, the landlord must give the tenant notice of such entry within two days after the entry.

A landlord may also have access to show the apartment to prospective tenants, but no sooner than sixty days prior to expiration of the current tenant’s 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 otherwise lawful, but which have the effect of harassing the tenant.

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

The tenant should a keep a record showing the time, date and circumstances of each of the landlord’s entries into the apartment. A written notice of termination must be given to the landlord and the notice must specify the acts constituting the basis for termination. The notice must also state that the rental agreement will terminate on a date not less than 14 days after the landlord’s receipt of the notice, unless the landlord ceases such conduct within the time period stated in the notice. If the landlord continues to engage in such conduct within the time period specified, you should send another written notice stating that you are terminating the rental agreement. However, if the landlord does not continue to engage in such conduct within the time period specified, you would not have the right to terminate the rental agreement. You must move within thirty days after the expiration of the time specified in the original notice. It is recommended that you 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?

A tenant may seek an injunction to order the landlord to refrain from improperly entering the dwelling unit as well as damages equal to the greater of one month’s rent or twice the amount of actual damages. The tenant 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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