Skip to main content

Move in fees are they legal in Chicago. Landlord does not want a security deposit but requires a non refundable fee.

Chicago, IL |

Is it legal to collect a fee as such?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


Yes, it is legal and a widespread practice. Some landlords seek a move-in fee AND a security deposit. Other landlords have a move-in fee and a move-out fee. Ostensibly, this represents the cost incurred as wear-and-tear to common areas by the tenants moving. It is good to read all the fine print of a lease before signing. If the unit is covered by the RLTO (Chicago landlord tenant ordinance) a summary MUST be attached to the lease or handed to a tenant with an oral lease.

The information provided here should not be construed to be formal legal advice. The provision of this general advice does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Persons with legal questions are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.


As you know if you have a legal question about your specific lease or terms there in it is best to seek an attorney to review the entire documents. However, the broader question of can a landlord charge a move in fee in Chicago, that is YES. Landlords may charge a move in fee instead of Security Deposit, with a security deposit, or just a security deposit. All are allowed. In the City of Chicago there are strict rule as well as generally in the State of Illinois that control and place rules on how certain landlords must handle security deposits, so many landlords have decided to just charge a move in fee (and no security deposit). The Move In Fee is a one time fee and that is non-refundable.

Disclaimer I am providing the content solely for the reader's general information. This blog contains my personal commentary on general issues and is not advise. These views are solely mine and are not the views of any law firm with which I am in any way associated or any other member of any such law firm. These comments are not intended to be a solicitation or the provision of legal advice, THESE COMMENTS DO NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WHATSOEVER IN ANY CAPACITY. YOU SHOULD SEEK PROFESSIONAL COUNSEL AUTHORIZED TO PRATICE LAW IN YOUR JURISDICTION BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THIS COMMENT. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind or nature with respect to any act or omission based wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained on this comment. I am not authorized to render advice except in the states of Illinois, and I do not offer legal services to the residents of any jurisdiction where it would be prohibited for me to do so. Communication You may not form an attorney-client relationship with me or any law firm with which I am associated by the use of this comment and blog, leaving comments to any post, or sending me an e-mail. An attorney-client relationship with me or any such law firm can be established only by entering into a written engagement agreement signed by me or another authorized representative of such law firm. If you do not have an existing attorney-client relationship with me or such law firm, do not send confidential information to me by e-mail. Such communication will not be subject to attorney-client privilege. If you have an attorney-client relationship with me or such law firm, information that you send to me within the scope of that relationship will be handled in accordance with the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct. However, please be aware that if you send to me any such information by e-mail that is not encrypted, you accept the risk of interception, loss, corruption or lack of confidentiality. I am not obligated to respond to any e-mail sent to me through this website or to any comment left on this website and I disclaim any liability for failing to respond to any e-mail or comment generated by this website or any other.



Is it legal to charge a move-in fee when the landlord and tenant agree to break the lease? The tenant never moved in. Cn the landlord keep the fee?

Cortne Elyce Anway

Cortne Elyce Anway


It is possible... It depends on your lease, please have an attorney review your lease. Often the Move-in fee is paid to hold the apartment and is non-refundable, again thought ever situation is different and an attorney should review all documents involved to give you a direct answer for your circumstance.

Landlord-tenant topics

Recommended articles about Landlord-tenant

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer