Security Deposit, Check Not Cashed

5 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Ordinance is very strict as it relates to security deposits for non-owner occupied properties.   Many, request move-in fees instead.

What happens when a check used for the deposit is not cashed? Is that a violation of the ordinance or a trick to avoid getting in trouble with the law. 

@Frank S. I think most people would tell you to talk to an attorney due to the complexity involved in the Chicago laws. I would also recommend that you take a move in fee in lieu of a deposit. It seems to be the way most smart people are moving these days in Chicago. Now if you are in Cook County but not Chicago, I would still recommend doing a security deposit. 

@Frank S. , that's a difficult question to answer on a thread. As an attorney, I would not respond via a thread because the question would require me or any attorney to review the lease and compare versus the requirements of Chicago's Ordinance. 

The second part of the question, I don't think can even be answered as it requires knowledge of the landlord's intent. As a landlord, I would not take a security deposit check just to sit on it. My need to mitigate any future liability from RLTO is not that great that I would leave myself exposed without any type of move in fee or security deposit just to have a potential defense, which to be honest, doesn't even sound like much of a defense. 

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Originally posted by @Frank S. :

The Chicago Ordinance is very strict as it relates to security deposits for non-owner occupied properties.   Many, request move-in fees instead.

What happens when a check used for the deposit is not cashed? Is that a violation of the ordinance or a trick to avoid getting in trouble with the law. 

You're violating the law.  The security deposit must be placed in an interest bearing account and the interest paid out to the tenant. A smart tenant (and most of them are smart) will file a complaint.  The cost for non-compliance will cost you more than just depositing the check and complying with the law.

All, Thanks for the feedback.  I paid the security deposit for a place I'm renting temporarily.   After checking my records,  I realized it was cashed.

I wasn't given a W2, however.  I was simply curious if this was an allowed bypass to the CRTLO.


I don't take security deposits,  I charge a processing fee equal to 1/2 month's rent. 

Curry