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Legal Information: Illinois

Statutes: Illinois

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Updated: 
June 26, 2020

750/20. Change of locks

(a)(1) Written leases. Upon written notice from all tenants who have signed as lessees under a written lease, the tenants may request that a landlord change the locks of the dwelling unit in which they live if one or more of the tenants reasonably believes that one of the tenants or a member of tenant’s household is under a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence at the premises. If the threat of violence is from a person who is not a lessee under the written lease, notice to the landlord requesting a change of locks shall be accompanied by at least one form of the following types of evidence to support a claim of domestic or sexual violence: medical, court or police evidence of domestic or sexual violence; or a statement from an employee of a victim services, domestic violence, or rape crisis organization from which the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household sought services. If the threat of violence is from a person who is a lessee under a written lease, notice to the landlord requesting a change of locks shall be accompanied by a plenary order of protection pursuant to Section 219 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 or Section 112A-19 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, or a plenary civil no contact order pursuant to Section 215 of the Civil No Contact Order Act, granting the tenant exclusive possession of the premises. The tenant requesting a change of locks shall not be required to obtain written notice from the person posing a threat who is a lessee under the written lease, provided that the notice is accompanied by a plenary order of protection or a plenary civil no contact order granting the tenant exclusive possession of the premises.

(2) Oral leases. Upon written notice from all tenants who are lessees under an oral lease, the tenants may request that a landlord change the locks of the dwelling unit in which they live if one or more of the tenants reasonably believes that one of the tenants or a member of tenant’s household is under a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence at the premises. Notice to the landlord requesting a change of locks shall be accompanied by a plenary order of protection pursuant to Section 219 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 or Section 112A-19 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, or a plenary civil no contact order pursuant to Section 215 of the Civil No Contact Order Act, granting the tenant exclusive possession of the premises. The tenant requesting a change of locks shall not be required to obtain written notice from the person posing a threat who is a lessee under the oral lease, provided that the notice is accompanied by a plenary order of protection or a plenary civil no contact order granting the tenant exclusive possession of the premises.

(b) Once a landlord has received notice of a request for change of locks and has received one form of evidence referred to in Section (a) above, the landlord shall, within 48 hours, change the locks or give the tenant the permission to change the locks. If the landlord changes the locks, the landlord shall make a good faith effort to give a key to the new locks to the tenant as soon as possible or not more than 48 hours of the locks being changed.

(1) The landlord may charge a fee for the expense of changing the locks. That fee must not exceed the reasonable price customarily charged for changing a lock.

(2) If a landlord fails to change the locks within 48 hours after being provided with the notice and evidence referred to in (a) above, the tenant may change the locks without the landlord’s permission. If the tenant changes the locks, the tenant shall make a good faith effort to give a key to the new locks to the landlord within 48 hours of the locks being changed. In the case where a tenant changes the locks without the landlord’s permission, the tenant shall do so in a workmanlike manner with locks of similar or better quality than the original lock.

(c) The landlord who changes locks or allows the change of locks under this Act shall not be liable to any third party for damages resulting from a person being unable to access the dwelling.