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What Is an Illinois Lease Agreement?

An Illinois lease agreement is a legal contract between the landlord or property management company and the tenant(s) interested in renting a specifically mentioned rental property. After it is signed and dated by the parties, the tenant may then take legal possession of the property. An Illinois lease agreement can be used for residential or commercial property.

Most Commonly Used Illinois Lease Agreement

The most commonly used Illinois lease agreements are commercial lease agreements and residential lease agreements.  An Illinois residential lease agreement can further be categorized as a standard residential agreement, month-to-month agreement, roommate agreement, or sublease agreement.

Although the majority of the most commonly used Illinois lease agreements share many of the same elements, they do have their own features. For example:

  • A roommate agreement is a type of residential lease agreement. It contains the same provisions while also explaining which areas of the rental are for the sole use of the roommate and which areas of the rental are communal and may be used by all occupants.
  • A standard residential lease agreement is generally for one year. It might renew as a month-to-month or it might renew for another year. Regardless of how it is set to renew, it likely contains a provision requiring a party who wishes to end the tenancy at the end of the term and not renew it to provide the other party with a written notice of 30 days.

How to Write an Illinois Lease Agreement

Illinois lease agreements must comply with Illinois landlord-tenant law. If they don’t, they cannot be enforced. There are other laws that must also be considered. You’ll learn more about those under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits.

Before you sign an Illinois lease agreement, you should read the terms or have it reviewed by an attorney. Remember that it is a legally binding contract.

An Illinois lease agreement should include:

  • Names of the Parties - This is the landlord's full name or the property management company's legal business name and the full legal name of the tenant(s).
  • Property Address - This is the full address for the rental property, including the zip code, city, and lot or unit number, if applicable.
  • Term Information - This is the type of lease agreement the parties agree to enter into. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed-term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will hold possession of the space for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that the lease will end.
  • Rental Amount - This includes the date that the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
  • Late Fee - This is the fee that is due if the rent is not paid by a certain date.
  • Security Deposit - This is the amount of deposit that must be paid in advance of the tenant taking control of the property. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
  • Initial Payment - This is the total amount of money that the tenant must pay to move into the property. This area should include the amount of the first month's rent, the security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
  • Occupants - Here, the full name of each tenant must be listed even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease for some reason. This part of an Illinois residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
  • Utilities - This section notes which utilities or services a tenant does not pay.
  • Parking - This section informs the tenant if they will receive a parking space. If a parking space is reserved and there is a designated spot, the spot should be listed in this section.
  • Furnishings - This section tells tenants what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section.
  • Notices - This section lists the names of both the landlord or the property manager and tenant along with their mailing address. This contact information should be used if the parties need to send out a notice to the other party for some reason.
  • Eviction - This section explains how eviction proceedings would be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
  • Additional Terms -This section lists any other obligations that the parties agreed to that haven't been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
  • Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.

Which Disclosures Belong in an Illinois Lease Agreement?

In the State of Illinois, landlords must disclose if the property has been tested for radon and shown a radon hazard.  Landlords must also disclose if the landlord plans to divide among tenants a utility bill that is in the landlord's name or if a tenant's utility bill includes usage in common areas.

Illinois landlords of real estate property built before 1978 are also required to provide tenants with information about lead paint hazards.

What You Need to Know About Illinois Lease Agreement Deposits

Under Illinois landlord-tenant laws, a security deposit must be returned within 30 and 45 days of the tenant vacating the property, depending upon whether the tenant disputes the deductions the landlord is taking.

Some cities, such as Chicago, also have their own applicable rules, such as the requirement that landlords pay tenants a set amount of interest-based upon the average interest rate of specific types of accounts at Chase Bank, which is the commercial bank with the most branches in the city of Chicago.

Download a PDF or Word Template

Illinois Lease Agreement

Illinois Month to Month

Illinois Sub-Lease

Illinois Rental Application