How to use the Safe Homes Act to Change Your Locks

How to use the Safe Homes Act to Change Your Locks

Tenants who are victims of domestic or sexual violence can also obtain emergency lock changes. The right to a lock change differs depending on the type of lease and if the abuser is named on the lease. For tenants with a written lease where the abuser is not named on the lease, the tenant must provide a written notice from all tenants who signed the lease, requesting a lock change due to a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence on the premises. 


If the abuser is not a signer on the lease, the notice must be backed up by at least one of the following types of evidence:


A police report,

Medical records,

Court records, or

A statement from a victim service organization or rape crisis organization from which the victim sought services.


For tenants with a written lease where the abuser is named and for tenants with an oral lease, regardless of where the abuser lives, the tenant must provide written notice from all tenants who are on the written or oral lease (except the abuser) requesting a lock change due to a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence on the premises.


The notice must be accompanied by a copy of a Plenary Order Of Protection or Civil No Contact Order providing exclusive possession to one of the tenants in the household.

    • Related Articles

    • What is the Safe Homes Act of Illinois?

      What is it? The Safe Homes Act is an Illinois law that allows victims of domestic or sexual violence to end their rental lease early and leave their home to protect their physical safety and emotional well being. It does not matter if the lease is ...
    • What is classified as Abuse under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act?

      The IDVA defines abuse, and further defines many of the terms that are used to define abuse. Abuse includes: Physical abuse Knowing or reckless use of physical force, confinement or restraint Knowing, repeated and unnecessary sleep deprivation ...
    • What is the Adult Protective Services Act?

      The Adult Protective Services Act assures local agencies funded by the Illinois Department on Aging offer help to persons age 60 and older who may be abused, neglected, abandoned, or exploited by family, household members, or caregivers. Any person ...
    • Security Plan for Victims of Violence/Abuse

      Domestic violence can be more than just physical abuse. Domestic violence occurs when one partner controls the other using physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, gender or economic abuse. Take this Domestic Violence Quiz if you feel that you may be a ...
    • What is VESSA?

      Illinois state law allows victims and relatives to take unpaid time off from work to deal with domestic or sexual violence issues. Domestic abuse is physical abuse, harassment, or intimidation inflicted by a household member. Domestic abuse victims ...