Tenant Tips - DHS 4812

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Tenant Tips

moving on made possible by the
Williams Consent Decree

Everyone is entitled to live in a place where they feel safe and comfortable. Here are a few tips to help you in your new role as a tenant and neighbor.

The three goals to remember when living in an apartment that is subsidized by the Division of Mental Health Bridge subsidy model are:

  1. Actively work on your personal recovery and engage in support services.
  2. Be a good tenant - pay your portion of the rent on time, keep your apartment clean and orderly; appropriately resolve any housing related issues with the landlord or property management firm.
  3. Be a good neighbor - both you and your visitors should be mindful not to cause disturbances that may interfere with the peace of your neighbors.

Being a Good Tenant

Obtaining a good reference from your landlord when you move out is easy if you know and follow these quick tips on being a good tenant. You can avoid undue stress, conflicts with your landlord, and even legal trouble and eviction. Please review the terms of your lease with your care manager or transition coordinator who will help explain the details regarding lease responsibilities and specific lease violations.

Pay rent - You must pay your rent portion on time. Not paying rent is the number one cause of eviction in Illinois. That being said, some landlords understand that situations may occur with tenants, from time to time. If you're going to be late on your payment, you must give the property manager/landlord as much advanced notice as possible. It is important to be honest about the situation and try to give the landlord a reasonable time line when you will have your rent payment. Avoiding your landlord or lying about the issue will damage your credibility. Making the landlord chase after you is never a good idea, and will only make the situation worse.

Good state of repair - Strive to keep your apartment in a good state of repair. Do not cause or let visitors cause deliberate damage. Of course, accidental damage may occur, but remember it is important to immediately report it to your landlord. Never try to fix accidental damage on your own as you may make the problem worse, seriously injure yourself and/or get yourself into legal trouble.

Clean - Keep your apartment and surrounding property (common areas) clean. Make sure that you properly handle and dispose of garbage. A clean apartment shows that you have pride in the place where you live, and property managers/landlords will be less likely to worry about or anticipate damage to the apartment where you reside. If you reside in a "No Smoking" residence and you have been provided with the rules as it relates to 'No Smoking', you will always need to adhere to those rules so as to not be in violation of your lease. Always keep food properly stored to avoid attracting insects and rodents, and don't let your trash sit in the apartment for more than a few days.

Attempt to dispose of garbage on a daily basis. As a courtesy, don't leave your trash bags outside for your neighbors to see.

Being a Good Neighbor

Maintaining good relations with your neighbors can be very beneficial. Neighbors make our lives more pleasant and give us a sense of who we are, both as an individual and as a member of the community. Build relationships by showing respect for their feelings, concern for their property, and giving a helping hand when it's needed.

Respect your neighbors - Your neighbor may be from a different culture or background but this does not mean they should not be respected just as you would want to be respected. Introduce yourself and greet them if you pass them in the hall. Should a disagreement arise between you and your neighbor never try to solve the problem by retaliating. Instead contact your care manager or transition coordinator to collaborate on a strategy to resolve the issue. Neighbors really can become friends - look out for your neighbor and they will hopefully do the same for you.

Keeping the communal area clean - Nobody likes to live in an area with trash everywhere so think of others and dispose of your trash in a garbage container.

Pets - If a pet is allowed per your lease, it is important that you care and handle your pet in a manner that is respectful to others. It is your responsibility to use a leash and address situations such as excessive barking and litter disposal so your neighbors are not made to feel uncomfortable or complain to the landlord.

Keep music and other loud noise

to a minimum - Respect the fact that your neighbor may have different work hours and sleep schedules than you. They may get migraines, have a baby sleeping, or may just not have the same taste in music, so save the blaring tunes for your headphones. If you sit outside in the evening while on the phone or with your friends, keep the noise level down. Noise complaints are one of the most common and most frustrating complaints for a landlord. Even if you feel you aren't that disruptive, complaints are considered a hassle for your landlord.

Visitors - You as lease holder and tenant of your apartment are responsible for all that goes on in your apartment, including your visitors. Your visitors or friends may be wonderful. Unfortunately, your neighbors do not know them. You should always encourage your visitors to keep the noise level down to a minimum when in your apartment and ensure that friends are not hanging around outside too long or too late. If your visitors are smoking outside ask that they pick-up cigarette butts after themselves. Even if they are not being noisy some neighbors, especially the elderly, may be slightly intimidated by the presence of strangers in close proximity to their homes.

Issues gone too far

If you are experiencing persistent issues with your landlord or neighbor immediately speak with your care manager or transition coordinator as they will be able to help with the situation. If a life threatening situation arises, such as a fire or fear for your life, always call 911.

Case Manager Name  

Telephone Number 


1-312-814-5050 (TTY)

For answers to your questions,

you may also write:

Williams Consent Decree

Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health
160 N. Lasalle Street S-1000
Chicago, Illinois 60601

or email us at:


In Cooperation With:

Illinois Department of Human Services

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Illinois Department of Public Health


Illinois Housing Development Authority

The State of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and practices

affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4812 (N-04-11) moving on - Tenant Tips
Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.  1,500 copies P.O.# 12-1086