I'm living in an apartment complex in Chicago suburbs. I was paying rent continuously throughout the course of the lease. But it has been 2 months that I'm surrounded with huge number of pests, mostly roaches and ants. I raised it to them now and pest control people come by once in a while and do some treatments. I have all my stuff bundled in a corner, and kitchen is empty. I have hard time sleeping at nights as I'm scared of the roaches coming over my body.

I don't want to pay the rent for this last month as the living condition is defined as "unhabitable". I'm not familiar with the specifics of the law, but can I NOT pay the rent? And what is the exact reference to the law?

  • 1
    Pragmatically, start looking for a new place. Land lords that let it get this bad will always do as little as possible.
    – user608
    Jul 18, 2019 at 1:59
  • @yes I already bought a house!
    – Tina J
    Jul 18, 2019 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Many states require an escrow of rent for habitability issues, simply not paying rent can be grounds for eviction proceedings.

Illinois has a statute for deducting a repair from rent (765 ILCS 742/5). If it’s less than half the monthly rent and less than $500, a tenant can inform the landlord of the repair required. If the landlord has not provided a repair within 14 days, the tenant can have the repair completed in a workman like manner by someone having the appropriate licenses. In this case, if you’ve notified the landlord and they’ve done nothing, you can have an licensed exterminator come and treat the property.

BUT... your lease may override this statute. Many leases include terms that the tenant is responsible for pest control - since often it’s the tenant’s lack of cleanliness that draws pests (not in all cases of course). So definitely review your lease and discuss with someone who is more familiar with IL law.

Note that Chicago has its own interesting laws that may add to or contradict IL laws.

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