Illinois – My landlord unlocked the door and came in my apartment? Is this legal?

Early today my roommate and I were asleep when we both were awakened by a god awful pounding on the door. Then I heard my roommate scream from the other room, but I just figured it was one of our friends who always pounds on our door that way because I didn’t hear any further yelling. She came in my room a minute later and said “A guy just opened my door in the back and started yelling at me he wants to know who rents the apartment and he knows we have a cat.” She said she literally pushed the guy out of the apartment and locked the door asking him who he was. He replied “I’m the f-ing landlord.”
As she is telling me this, we hear another knock on a door. Not sure which one it is coming from we wait a second to hear another knock and then head to the front door. Now mind you I don’t live in a very big place and it takes me less than 12 steps from my bedroom to the front door. By the time I was to the front door, there was the landlord that we had met, and the guy that barged in my roommates door.
We’ll call the older gentleman (the landlord I signed the lease with) Rob, and the younger one Bob.

Bob immediately starts spouting off about how he knows we have a cat in the apartment. He heard the cat it was loud as hell. Rob told Bob to just hang on a minute. Then Rob starts telling me about how we aren’t suppose to have pets and what was the arrangment with my old landlord (that he knows) I told him “Keith” allowed pets. He said they absolutely do not and they were giving me a week to get rid of it.
And then Bob pulls his shoulders back and puffs his chest out and acts like he’s trying to fight me and says “And we will be back to check!” Where I reply “Okay but you think you’re just going to walk into my apartment?” To which he replies, with a puffed out chest “We have every right to come in, and we have the right to remove the cat right now if we wanted to!”
Rob then says “You have a week to get rid of the cat, no pets allowed.”

Okay so here is my dilemma –
I read on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s site something about Illinois not have a LAW against landlords entering the home, but as a general rule they need to give 24 hour notice.

Yes I know, I wasn’t supposed to have the cat, but when you have a pet for 7 years, its part of the family, and just like a child you would do anything to ensure they have shelter. (Don’t fight me on this one, I know I wasn’t supposed to have the cat.. case closed)

My sister has agreed to keep my cats until the end of my lease, so that problem is solved.
But now what happens when the two “landlords” waltz into my apartment unannounced.
I’m not sure just HOW much it matters but my roommate is 17 years old, and we are both females.

And if he thinks he can just come unannounced, what happens when my 52″ television or my 2 XBOXs start disappearing?

I’m not sure what steps to take from seeing the Attorney General’s site. But I know that I no longer feel safe or that I have any privacy.
Well, I already stated I had the cat and knew I wasn’t. But with the cat gone, he has no right to enter my apartment. Take your attitude somewhere else.
What if I wasn’t the one with the pet and it was my neighbor!? Then he still had the right to barge in, I THINK NOT.
They didn’t see a pet, they thought they heard one.
I guess I should have mentioned I’m not looking to file any legal charges against him/them. I just do not wish to be in my apartment doing god knows what and have them walk in. What goes on in my apartment is my business, not theirs. They said I have a week to get rid of cat, which isn’t a problem as there were already plans to move the cat anyway.
But where is the right to threaten? “Bob” was puffing out his chest and pulling back his shoulder.. literally lunging towards me like he wanted to fight to me or something..
Anyway.. I feel that after the cat issue is no longer just that.. where are my rights to privacy? What if I never had a pet in the first place? I’m looking for an answer that doesn’t revolve around the cat..
Rereading I realized I forgot to mention, with the second knock after “Bob” had walked in the back door into my roommates bedroom (and they know damn well its a bedroom too) The knocking on the front door was a knock, and then they were unlocking my door and walking in.. I didn’t even have the chance to answer the door. So they KNEW someone was here because “Bob” was just standing in my roommates bedroom scaring the hell out of her.

Posted in Landlord Tenant Law.


  1. the only time a landlord can enter your apt with out pemission is if there is a fire or other dire emergency, a cat does not count, they must give you 24 hour notice,

  2. Let’s stop to think here. You KNOWINGLY violated your rental agreement by harboring a disallowed animal, and now you want to whine about your landlord barging in ? Good grief. This is about as stupid as I’ve seen in this forum.

    My advice to you (if you want to continue living there) is to shut your yap TIGHTLY, get rid of that cat(s) and hope that you don’t find yourself evicted.

  3. He will get away with it.

    He has this apartment, he hears an animal inside it, he knows damn well there are no pets in there, so it must be a wild animal. He knocks on the door, loudly, so there is no chance you did not hear it. No one is home. There is a wild animal inside his property. This is legally “an emergency” and he has every legal right to enter.

    If I were him and you even thought about dragging me into court, which I would win with no problem I would also being sue you for new flooring, window treatments, as much as I could list to get to my $10,000 your state will allow him to sue you for. Bringing an animal into a non-animal unit is a serious violation of his property rights and a serious threat to the health and safety of the next tenant, he is going to have to remodel and you get to pay for it.

  4. Your landlord absolutely CANNOT enter the premises without giving you notice (yes, usually 24 hours). He does not need your permission, but he does need to give you notice. The only case where this is not true is if there was an emergency, and suspecting a pet in the house is NOT an emergency.

    “Landlord:” The landlords obviously knew there was a pet in the house, not a wild animal. Even if they had suspected a wild animal had somehow broken into the house, they had no right to act the way they did.

    In the future, if they barge their way into the house without giving you notice, acting so aggressively, call the police. Right now, I would consider sending them a letter, certified and with return receipt, stating that, even though you had a pet, they had no right to burst in without giving you proper written notice. I would tell them that, if it happens again, you will be forced to call the police. This will at least document the occasion in case something happens in the future and you will have proof of what happened (be sure to keep a copy for yourself).

    Good luck, sorry for all the rotten answers you got.

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