I just finished a rather bitter case involving a security deposit. The rules on security deposits are as follows:
1. If the property is in a complex of 5 or more units (this does not mean that the landlord has to own all 5 units, but that the complex has 5 or more units); then,
2. The landlord has 30 days to give the tenant an itemized list of damages;and,
3. The landlord must return the security deposit within 45 days of the tenant moving out.
If the landlord does not do #2 and #3 above, the tenant can file a court case for two times the amount of the deposit plus costs and attorneys fees.
If the property is a single-family house or in a complex of 5 or fewer units the above rules do not apply; you will have to look in your lease for the rules on returning your deposit.
The City of Chicago (click here for a pamphlet on the Chicago rules or here for a good summary of the Chicago ordinance)and some other suburbs including Evanston have their own very specific rules on this topic.
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