Category: Survivor Housing
- When you feel unsafe in your apartment because you reasonably believe that you will be hurt by domestic or sexual violence (the law calls this a “credible imminent threat”), the Illinois Safe Homes Act allows you to terminate your lease 3 days before or after you leave your apartment. To terminate your lease, you can write a letter to your housing provider, explain that you are under a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence, and state that you are terminating your lease.
- If you need to terminate your lease due to sexual violence, there are additional protections that allow you to terminate your lease if the sexual violence happened at your apartment or building even if you are NOT under a credible threat of violence. To terminate your lease, you can write a letter to your housing provider within 60 days of the sexual violence (or as soon as possible), and include a statement from a victim service provider or court, police, or medical documents.
- If you have a housing subsidy, your housing should be covered by the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), which protects your right to emergency transfer your subsidy to another subsidized unit. You should explore your option to emergency transfer your subsidy prior to considering a lease termination.
- You should return your keys as soon as possible and keep a copy of your letter for your records. If you need a safe place to go or need support safety planning, you can call the Hotline at 1-877-TO END DV.