An Illinois lease agreement is the main type of contract for transferring the rights related to the usage of real estate property. The main contractual parties are the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee).
Before drafting the lease agreement, the potential tenant will first see the property and file an application with the landlord if it seems suitable. The application will have the credit and background details of the tenant.
After reviewing the tenant's application, if there are no issues with it, the landlord will invite the tenant to negotiate the tenancy terms.
They will determine the duration of the tenancy, rent amount, and rent due date, negotiate any necessary property adaptations, and enter all these details in the lease agreement.
Illinois Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
If you are a landlord or a tenant involved in a rental property transaction within the state of Illinois, you need to make sure that the lease agreement you sign includes the following mandatory disclosures:
Lead-based paint disclosure. Any leased property built before 1978 will have to include a disclosure about the presence of any lead-based paint at the property in the lease agreement.
Carbon monoxide disclosure. The landlord must inform the tenant about the maintenance and testing procedures for the carbon monoxide installed at the leased property. (430 ILCS § 135/10(c))
Rent concession disclosure. A rent concession is a reduction in rent given to attract new tenants or keep existing ones. If such a concession is approved, the landlord must enter such a provision in the lease agreement, followed by the words “Concession Granted.” (765 ILCS § 730)
Radon hazard disclosure. For any leased unit located below the third (3rd) floor, the landlord will have to inform the tenant about the existence of radon hazards in writing and include it in the lease agreement. (420 ILCS § 46/25)
Smoke detector disclosure. The landlord shall give the tenant guidelines on maintaining and testing the smoke detectors at the leased unit and include such guidelines in the lease agreement. (425 ILCS § 60/3(d))
Shared utility meter disclosure. In cases where there is a shared utility meter at the leased property, the landlord must provide the tenant with the formula for how the utility cost is shared between multiple users. (765 ILCS § 740)
Illinois Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Although not mandatory, by including these disclosures in their lease agreement, the landlord and tenant can ensure extra protection for their rights:
Bed bug infestation disclosure. The landlord shall inform the tenant if there is a history of bed bug infestation at the property and provide them with instructions in case of a bed bug infestation.
Non-refundable fee disclosure. The landlord should disclose to the tenant if any fees are non-refundable before the lease agreement is signed. If such disclosure is not made, the tenant may request a full refund of such fees after the lease is over.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
For violating the mandatory requirements about the lead-based paint disclosure, the landlord can pay up to $19,507 in fines, according to federal law.
If the landlord fails to properly disclose any rent concessions, they might be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. (765 ILCS § 730)
Illinois Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
The state of Illinois doesn’t set a cap on the security deposit amount.
The landlord and the tenant should negotiate whether the tenant should pay a security deposit and the amount. A security deposit is usually set at no more than two months' rent.
Security Deposit Return
If there are no deductions, the landlord must return the deposit within 30 days of the lease termination.
In case there are any deductions made from the security deposit, the landlord has 30 days to send a list of made deductions to the tenant. The landlord then has an additional 15 days to send the remaining deposit (a total of 45 days). (765 ILCS § 710/1(a))
When is Rent Due in Illinois? (Grace Period)
The rent is due on the date stipulated in the lease agreement.
There is a 5-day grace period for the rent payment in Illinois. If a late fee is specified in the lease agreement, the landlord may charge it beginning on day six.
The landlord can also issue a 5-day eviction notice to the tenant after the grace period is over.
Illinois Rent Late Fees
The State of Illinois determined a reasonable late fee to be $20 or 20% of the monthly rent amount, whichever is greater.
The late fee has to be specified in the lease agreement and cannot be charged within 5 days of the rent due date. (770 ILCS 95/7.10(b))
Illinois NSF Checks
If the tenant used a bad check to pay for the rent, they would have to compensate the landlord within 30 days of receiving the notice for reimbursement. (810 ILCS 5/3-806)
The compensation shall include:
Compensation for NSF Checks
The value of the check
Additional expenses of $25
Any other bank processing fee (if applicable)
Illinois Landlord’s Right to Enter
The State of Illinois does not specify how far ahead of time the landlord must notify the tenant before entering the leased property.
It is advised that the landlord should give at least 48 hours’ notice before visiting the property and that they should visit the property only at reasonable times. In most cases, a reasonable time is considered to be the time between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Illinois Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, the lease agreement is a legally binding contract in Illinois.
If signed by both the landlord and the tenant, the lease agreement is legally binding for both of them.
In the event that some of the clauses in the lease agreement are deemed to be forbidden by federal or state law, in most cases, that will not affect the validity of the lease agreement as a whole.
The lease agreement for the property in Illinois should follow the outline below:
Details about the landlord and the tenant
Information about the rental property
Duration of the lease and the occupancy limit
Rent amount, due date, and methods of payment
Mandatory disclosures required by federal and state law
Optional disclosures if the parties wish to include them
Other rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant
You can simply download one of the many lease agreement templates drafted according to all the federal and Illinois state laws and regulations.
Depending on the duration of your lease and lease type, you can choose between the:
Short-term rental agreement or long-term lease agreement
Residential or commercial lease agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
Room rental agreement
After creating your lease agreement, make sure you do the property inspection and check for any damages that need repair before moving in.
After all the damages are resolved, the landlord and the tenant should sign the move-in form. This will make the moving-out process much quicker and easier for both parties.