To best protect your financial and legal rights, and to create a comprehensive Lease Agreement for your residential property, you should familiarize yourself with Illinois-specific laws and distinctions.
Other related Illinois real estate documents include:
- Sublease Agreement – A written contract a tenant uses to rent all or part of the rental property to a new tenant (subtenant) for a given lease term
- Eviction Notice – A legal document a landlord uses to start the eviction process with a current tenant for violation of one or more lease terms (e.g., failure to pay rent).
- Rental Application – A form a landlord uses to gather information to screen a potential tenant (i.e., can they pay rent promptly and what is their credit score)
What is a Lease Agreement?
A lease agreement is a legally binding document a landlord and tenant sign to contract under specific rental terms.
Federal and state laws require rental/lease agreements to contain certain information.
In Illinois, lease/rental agreements should include:
- The names and current addresses of both the tenant and landlord
- The address and a description of the property being rented
- Any pet restrictions or allowances
- Disclosures regarding any known health and safety hazards or risks
- The amount of the rent and security deposit and when and how to pay
- Any late fees, grace periods, and non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks (810 ILCS 5/3-806)
- The length of the lease (term)
Not all states have the same requirements for residential lease agreements and may differ on important points, such as any grace period for a rental payment.
Illinois Landlord-Tenant Laws
Illinois state law imposes specific and distinct requirements on landlords and tenants when entering a lease contract, so landlords and property managers must be aware of pertinent rental laws.
For example, the Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act (765 Illinois Compiled Statutes 705/)provides the following:
- There is no limit on how much a landlord may request from the tenant as a security deposit. (No statute)
For properties with five (5) or more units, the landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 45 days after the tenant leaves the premises.
If the landlord deducts any amount from the security deposit for repairs of tenant damage, the landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days after the tenant leaves the premises and include an itemized statement of the repair and damage. (765 ILCS 710/1)
Landlord Right of Entry:
The landlord is not required to give prior notice to the tenant before entering the property. However, giving at least twenty-four (24) hours’ notice is highly recommended. (No statute)
Landlords and property managers may need to provide certain documents along with Illinois lease agreements, such as the following disclosures:
- Smoke and carbon monoxide disclosure – confirms there are smoke detectors (Smoke Detector Act) and carbon monoxide detectors (Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector Act) in the rental property when the tenant moves in
- Radon disclosure (Radon Awareness Act) – discloses the possible presence of radon in a rental unit
- Utility cost disclosure (Tenant Utility Payment Disclosure Act) – states the formula for calculating split utility costs and notes that utilities are separate from rent
- Rent concessions disclosure (Rent Concession Act) – required disclosure of any rent concessions in the lease, such as free first or last month’s rent
- Lead-based paint disclosure – notes the possible presence of lead-based paint hazards in rental units built before 1978
Illinois Residential Lease Agreement Example
The Illinois Residential Lease Agreement Template below defines all necessary lease agreement terms.
How to Write a Lease/Rental Agreement
Follow the steps below to write a residential lease agreement in Illinois.
Step 1 – Fill Out Date of Agreement
Write the date of the lease agreement.
Step 2 – Enter Parties’ Information
Provide the name and address of the parties signing the agreement. First is the landlord or management company and their current address. Then write in all tenants and their current addresses.
Step 3 – Describe Property
Describe the type of rental property such as an apartment or house and provide the full street address.
Step 4 – Enter Term of Lease
Write the term (length) of the lease in months and enter the beginning and end dates of the lease. If the lease is month-to-month, provide the start date of the lease.
Step 5 – Enter Rent Details
Provide the monthly rental amount, the date the rent is due each month, and the acceptable payment method(s). Any late fees or grace periods for late payment of rent can be added.
Step 6 – Enter Security Deposit Amount
Write the amount of the security deposit the landlord will collect from the tenant, typically done at the beginning of the lease.
Step 7 – Additional Provisions
Provide additional and optional provisions such as the use of a guarantor, payment of utilities, maintenance and repairs, alterations, or allowance or prohibition of pets, smoking, or sublease.
Step 8 – Signatures
The landlord and tenant(s) will sign and date the lease agreement.
Illinois Rental Agreement Sample
Below is an example of what a typical Illinois rental agreement looks like.