An Illinois sublease agreement allows a current tenant to rent out (or sublet) their leased property to another tenant (or “subtenant”). A sublease can cover just one room of a rented property, or the entire property. Some instances of when a tenant may want to sublease their rental include if they want to move before their lease is up, or plan on being out of town for an extended period of time.
Although the subtenant is subject to the same terms and conditions of the original lease agreement, the original tenant is still responsible for property damage or breaches to the lease agreement by the subtenant.
To save time and ensure everything is filled out correctly, we recommend using our free Illinois sublease agreement builder or reading our steps on how to write an Illinois sublease agreement below.
How to Write an Illinois Sublease Agreement
- List the type of property you’re subleasing — This is generally either a house, an apartment, or a condo. Even if you’re only subleasing part of the rented property, the sublease must list the category the original rented property falls into.
- List the names of all current tenants — This should include you and anyone else named in the lease, as well as individuals who reside in the property but are not listed in the lease.
- List the address of the subleased property — Record the physical address of the sublet along with the relevant floor or apartment number.
- List the address you’d like rent payments and notices sent to — This will be the address of the subleased property if you plan to reside there with the subtenant. However, if you live elsewhere, make sure you note the correct address so you can collect rent payments.
- List the names of any and all subtenants — Write down the names of everyone who will be subletting the property.
- List the name of the landlord included in the original lease, and attach a copy of this lease — Because the subtenant is responsible for following all the terms of the original lease, it’s important to provide a copy (not the original) to make expectations clear to them.
- List any additional information about what is included and not included in the sublease — If you’re subletting an entire property, state it. If you’re subletting just part of a property, let the subtenant know what access this provides (one or more bedrooms, the kitchen, laundry room, basement, or storage), along with which furnishings they do or don’t have access to.
- List the beginning and end dates of the sublease term — A sublease can’t stretch beyond the end date of the original lease. Other than that rule, the sublease can be whatever length the tenant prefers.
- List the amount of rent to be paid — This should include the amount of rent owed by the original tenant and the amount owed by the subtenant, along with due dates and any associated late fees. If the subtenant is responsible for a portion of utilities (or a contribution toward the total utility bill), it should be specified.
- List any property restrictions, even those included in the original lease — Although you’ve already provided the subtenant with a copy of the original lease, you should still highlight your preferred restrictions on pets, smoking, or occupancy limits. Making expectations clear in the sublease is an important step toward avoiding future issues with a subtenant.
Illinois Sublease Laws
You should check your original lease agreement to see if you’re allowed to sublet your apartment. It’s recommended that a tenant receive written permission from their landlord before subletting in Illinois. Once you’ve filled out an Illinois sublease agreement, you will be responsible for your subtenant and liable for any violations of the original lease.
A sublessor must honor the terms of the sublease agreement (as well as the original lease) and follow all Illinois laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
Illinois Landlord-Tenant Laws: 765 ILCS 705/ (Landlord and Tenant Act)
In Illinois, a sublessor must:
- Give a subtenant five days (5) written notice to pay rent or leave
- Return the security deposit within forty-five days (45) of the end of the sublease
- Provide the following days written notice of your intent to not renew the sublease and/or original lease depending on how often rent is paid:
- Seven days (7) for a tenancy where rent is paid weekly
- Thirty days (30) for a tenancy where rent is paid monthly or quarterly
- Sixty days (60) for a tenancy where rent is paid yearly
Illinois Sublease FAQs
Is subletting illegal in Illinois?
Illinois doesn’t have any laws that specifically allow or prohibit subletting —it all depends on the lease. If a lease doesn’t mention subletting or specifically permits it, the tenant is free to enter a sublease agreement without any further permission from their landlord.
On the other hand, if the lease states that landlord permission is required (or expressly bans subletting), the tenant will be in breach of their original lease if they enter a sublease agreement without the landlord’s consent.
What happens if a landlord refuses to approve a sublease agreement?
If your lease agreement requires landlord approval to sublease, the landlord cannot withhold this approval “unreasonably.”
One common reason considered legally acceptable for rejecting a potential subletter is having objective financial concerns about them. For instance, if they have poor credit or a foreclosure on their record, a landlord could reasonably disqualify them from becoming a subtenant.
The landlord can only reject a subtenant for the same reasons they would reject a regular tenant from renting their property.
How can tenants get out of an Illinois sublease agreement?
Under Illinois law, a tenant is required to follow the same process to evict a subtenant that the landlord would need to follow to evict the original tenant.
Who is responsible for making rent payments to the landlord?
Ultimately, the tenant (and anyone else included on the original lease) is fully responsible for making payments to the landlord. While the tenant has the right to sue or evict the subtenant if they fail to pay rent as agreed upon in the sublease agreement, if the tenant fails to make the full rent payment to the landlord, it’s the tenant who is subject to eviction.