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. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/97/PDF/097-0470.pdf
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.
Disclaimer This is a passive blog and the materials contained herein are provided for informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this blog should be interpreted as a solicitation of business and none of the information contained herein constitutes legal advice. The law is subject to change without notice, and the local laws of your residence may be different from the general information displayed on this blog. You should not rely on the information provided on this blog without first consulting an attorney. Contacting this website does not establish and attorney/client relationship between you and its publisher Christopher W. Matern. An attorney/client relationship can only be established with Christopher Matern by engaging in direct person-to-person contact with Christopher Matern. Christopher Matern does not intend to practice law in any jurisdiction in which he is not licensed.