Under the laws of Illinois, provided a tenant has paid all the owed rent, without leaving any substantial damages on the property beyond regular wear and tear, they are entitled to get back their security deposit within 30 days after the lease termination. In case there are substantial damages on the property, the landlord must send an itemized list of deductions and the remaining balance within 45 days from the time the tenant ended their tenancy.
The Illinois state laws allow landlords to make deductions on unsettled rent, damages on the property beyond normal wear and tear, cleaning costs if the tenant leaves the premise dirtier than when they moved in and if there are costs associated with breach of lease. Costs from inevitable damages that are as a result of daily routines such as paint peeling off and carpet wearing out due to regular foot traffic cannot be deducted from the tenant's security deposit. Substantial damages like broken furniture, broken taps, and other critical damages are instances where the landlord can make deductions on the security deposit.
Should you feel that the landlord has failed to repay your rightful security deposit in good faith, there are some options for you to get back the withheld amount. The first thing that you need to do is to write a letter to the landlord acknowledging your receipt of the itemized list of deductions and address your disputes on the deducted amount with reasons for disagreeing with the charges. Although you can discuss the matter verbally or over the phone, it is crucial to document everything to have proof in case the matter ends up in court.
This Damages Claim Dispute Letter is written with the Illinois landlord-tenant laws in mind and is intended to address your concerns over the unnecessary deductions on the security deposit while also act as a warning if the landlord fails to meet their legal obligation by repaying the owed amount. Always remember to keep a copy of the letter and send it through certified mail.