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How long can my landlord hold my security deposit.

Zion, IL |

I moved out of a unit on March 1 , 2013 I left the unit clean , the landlord and I did a walk through and at the end when I turned in my keys she tells me that I have to wait 60 days to get my deposit back . but in the lease that I signed with her in 2012 it states that all security deposits will be refunded 30 days after you vacate the unit . So with that being said does she have the right to hold my deposit for 60 days when in the lease it clearly states 30 days after I vacate the unit I would receive my deposit back

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Attorney answers 3


I would need to see your Lease to answer this definitively. However, if it does state in the lease that security deposits will be returned 30 days after you vacate, she needs to return it in 30 days. The Lease governs as it is a contract.

This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


Dear Former Tenant : Illinois has a secuity deposit act which governs this situation as well as your Lease. I suggest that you make a copy of the Lease for your former landlord and politely remind them that you expect the return of the security deposit within 30 days. It is best to send the letter by certified mail or hand delivery. Make sure to provide your current address. Confirm in the letter that there was no damage to the apartment so you expect the full amount returned.

Keep a copy of the letter and proof of delivery.

Hope this helps. Good luck

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in IL. Please visit for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to vote it up. Thank you.

John Edward Brennock

John Edward Brennock


I agree, to the extent that the Security Deposit Act applies. See Mr. Ross's answer for more.


Illinois law and terms of your lease will determine the answer to your question.

Under Illinois law, if the building in which you live has five or more units, your landlord has 30 days from the day you move out to return your security deposit or give you a letter explaining why she is keeping it (i.e. damage, etc). If there are 4 or less units in your building, then there is no set time. She must simply return your security deposit or provide you with the explanation within a "reasonable" amount of time.

However, you stated that your lease contains a clause that requires her to return the deposit within 30 days. Your lease is a contract between you and your landlord, and you both must honor the terms of it. If she signed the lease, she is obligated to honor that provision.

Your best course of action is to remind her of the 30-day provision in the lease - hopefully that is all that is needed.

Attorney Brendan Ross is a real estate lawyer in downtown Chicago. Any answer provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice or a complete discussion of the legal issues. This answer does not form an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's situation is different, and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state.

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