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Illinois Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Illinois, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Illinois landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of an Illinois lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Illinois lease template for download!
An Illinois lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Illinois’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Illinois lease agreement.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In Illinois, there are no state-wide rent control laws. However, since rent control laws are not banned in Illinois, individual municipalities in this state may have their own rent control laws that apply to those specific localities. Be sure you are aware of any rent control laws that apply in your region and that the rent listed in the lease complies with them.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In Illinois, there are no statutory limits on late fees or mandatory grace periods for residential tenancies. However, keep in mind that Illinois courts are unlikely to uphold unreasonable late fees that charge more than the landlord’s actual damages. Whatever late fee you decide on, be sure it is clearly stated in the lease so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late on rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
In Illinois, there is no maximum or limit for security deposits. However, Illinois does have laws on the location of deposits, interest paid on them, and return periods. For Illinois landlords properties that have 25 units or more or tenancies longer than six months, security deposits must be kept separate from other funds and stored in an interest-bearing account. Deposits should earn interest at a rate equal to the rate of the largest commercial bank in the state (765 ILCS § 715/1). When the lease ends, the security deposit must be returned within 30 days.
The security deposit amount, policies, and return period should be carefully described in every Illinois lease agreement.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in Illinois, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. In Illinois, the required disclosures are:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Radon – Illinois landlords must disclose radon hazards to all tenants who live below the third story above ground level.
- Shared utilities – If utility costs are shared among tenants, Illinois landlords must disclose the formula by which they allocate the payments among tenants.
- Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors – Illinois landlords must disclose information about smoke and carbon monoxide detector testing and maintenance to at least one tenant per unit.
- Rent concessions – If an Illinois landlord offers a rent concession, they must provide a notice stating the amount, extent, and nature of each concession, as regulated by the Rent Concession Act.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Illinois, there are no specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. However, most landlords give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering a property for a non-emergency reason. Be sure to describe the landlord’s right to entry in your Illinois lease agreement and include the conditions under which you might enter (e.g., showings, inspections, etc.)
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Illinois residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
An Illinois residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Illinois, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A five-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a ten-day quit notice for lease violations, or a five-day quit notice for criminal activities. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include an Illinois sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units. An Illinois sublease agreement is an addendum to the lease that explains how and under what circumstances a tenant can rent out their unit to a subtenant, who is responsible for paying the rent and abiding by the lease.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Illinois Rental Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Illinois rental lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Illinois state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of an Illinois residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of an Illinois lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Illinois residential lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.