Illinois Tenant Landlord Laws provide provisions for tenants to sublease their units unless their lease clearly prohibits it. If a tenant’s lease doesn’t prohibit subletting, the tenant has the right to do so without notifying the landlord (a legal precedent set by Cole v. Ignatius)
A sublease is an agreement between the original tenant (sublessor or sublandlord) under a lease agreement for a rental unit and a new individual (sublessee or subtenant) who does not have a direct connection with the original lease agreement. The sublease agreement is tied to and incorporates the original (master) lease. According to court decisions/case law in Illinois, a tenant has the right to enter into a sublease if the original lease does not forbid it, includes language that allows it, or contains no language regarding subletting. Under local law in Chicago, "reasonable" subletting is allowed irrespective of the language in the original lease. Yet, if the original lease does not contain language giving the tenant permission to enter into a sublease, the original tenant (sublessor) should obtain written permission from the landlord to do so as it would help ensure that they cover all of their bases and prevent any potential problems. The original tenant (sublessor) is still bound by all the requirements/obligations under the original (master) lease agreement.
An Illinois sublease agreement should include the following sections: