Off-Campus Community Living University of Illinois Off-Campus Community Living Student Affairs

Privacy and Landlord's Access

While all tenants have a right to privacy within their rented homes, most lease contracts in Champaign-Urbana include language allowing the landlord "free access" to the premises. If you have signed a lease with a free access clause, your landlord will probably enter your home without giving you notice first.

If you live in the City of Urbana, city code requires your landlord to give notice before entering the rental unit, with certain exceptions. Go to the section on Urbana Landlord-Tenant Ordinance for further explanation. Urbana city code provides that any clause in the lease waiving your right to notice is unenforceable.

If you do not live in Urbana, your best protection would be to include a clause in your lease that requires the landlord to give you notice before entering your home. For example:>

Except in the case of an emergency, Lessor may not enter the leased premises without first giving Lessee 24 hours notice of the entry.

Be sure to have the landlord place his or her initials after the word "entry" to show the landlord agreed to add this clause to the lease.

Without this clause added to the lease, in most cases your landlord will have the right to enter your home without notice for almost any reason.


The Tenant Union does not provide legal services of any kind. All information provided in this publication is intended to help the average person prevent problems and deal with common concerns of renting. When legal help is needed, always consult with an attorney at law.