House keys rentingTo help tenants who rent small properties like houses and duplex homes, State Senator Steve Stadelman passed legislation on Thursday to provide greater transparency for renters.

“Currently, there are no security deposit protections for renters of small properties with five or fewer units,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford). “This legislation would expand the current ways renters are protected to include those renting smaller properties with five or fewer units.”

Under the current law, landlords can withhold security deposits for tenants in buildings with five units or more as long as they provide an itemized statement of damages within 30 days after a tenant moves out. For those living in a building with five or fewer units, a withheld security deposit does not require a statement explaining why and listing the damages incurred.

Senate Bill 1741 would remove this limitation and require all landlords to provide an itemized statement of damages before withholding a security deposit from any tenant, regardless of the number of units in the property.

This legislation would also require landlords to send the itemized receipt of property damage within 30 days of the date a tenant moves out or within 30 days of the date the lessee’s possession ends.

“If renters don't get their security deposits back, they should have a right to know why. Living in a smaller property should not mean someone has fewer protections,” Stadelman said. “Landlords can potentially abuse the current law to withhold security deposits without tenants ever knowing why. In these instances, legislation like Senate Bill 1741 will help provide greater transparency for renters around this process.”

Senate Bill 1741 passed the Senate on Thursday and heads to the House for further action.