New Requirement for Illinois Landlords

Landlords in Illinois will be required next year to change or “rekey” the locks before a new tenant moves in. Here is link to the new lock changing law.
There are only limited exceptions to this law including rooming houses and buildings with four or fewer units where the owner lives in one of the units.  

If the landlord does not comply with this new law and there is a theft that is attributable to failing to change the locks, then the landlord will be responsible for the tenant’s losses.  

I foresee a potential for possible fraud and abuse caused by the law’s requirement that the “theft that is attributable to failing to change the locks.”  Some examples are that the new tenant forgets to lock the apartment door and a burglar walks in the unlocked door.  Alternatively, the new tenant files a fraudulent police report about an alleged burglary and then claims that the door was locked.  If the tenant then sues the landlord for damages and claims that the tenant locked the door before the burglary how will the landlord effectively be able to disapprove that story.

So Illinois landlords to protect themselves from claims by tenants for stolen merchandise will need to change the locks each time they get a new tenant.  

For landlords the current rental market should make it easier to pass this new expense along to tenants.

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