Premises Liability: Landlord Must Change Locks

Your Chicago and Berwyn Premises Liability Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe want clients and the general public to know about the new Illinois law mandating when a Landlord Must Change Locks.

A new Illinois Public Act (97-470) requires a landlord to “change or re-key” locks of their rental property after a renter moves out if the new renter has a written lease agreement. If the landlord does not change or re-key the locks the landlord will be liable for any damages for theft that occur. It exempts the following situations: 1) apartment buildings with four units or less if  the owner occupies one of the units or 2) a rented room in a private home also occupied by the owner.

In an August article, we discussed a recent verdict holding a landlord responsible for the assault and resulting damages to a renter/plaintiff where the landlord neglected to properly secure a building. (myaccidentlaw.com 8/1/11). The jury found that the landlord could have “reasonably foreseen” the criminal activity resulting from his neglect to provide a secure environment.

This new Illinois Public Act should provide additional ammunition in the protection of tenants and advocacy of their rights.

The Chicago and Oak Lawn Premises Liability Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have successfully advocated premises liability cases in for over 25 years. We welcome the intent of this new act and will watch for any court rulings establishing its scope in the personal injury and premises liability context. Please watch for John Grazian on WCIU, You and Me in the Morning where he fields questions from viewers on personal injury and workers’ injury topics. John also loves to talk law and does so on Twitter at GrazianTalksLaw.

Grazian & Volpe, Part of the Lloyd Miller Law Group