The Illinois residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a written contract for the exchange of the temporary use of a residential property for regular, periodic payments (“rent”). The agreement becomes effective only after it has been signed by both parties.
Illinois Lease Agreement Disclosures
The below disclosures are required for all residential lease agreements in Illinois.
Radon Hazard Disclosure
Applicable to any rental unit located below the third floor and also with known radon levels that are considered dangerous.
Radon testing is the only way to determine the levels of radon in your rental unit, while radon testing is not required to be completed by landlords, the hazardous conditions must be disclosed in the rental agreement. It is recommended that rental units below the third floor get tested; however, if there are high levels of radon, it can travel through the elevators or air shafts above the third floor and all floors should be tested. The radon hazard disclosure is not required in cases where remediation is completed to achieve safe radon levels, or in cases where radon levels do not pose a hazard.
Below is an example of radon hazard disclosure:
RADON HAZARD. This property was found to contain potentially hazardous levels of radon gas that may pose a health threat to occupants. Additional information about the health risks posed by radon gas can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health or the Environmental Protection Agency website(s).
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Applicable to all rental units.
According to the Carbon Monoxide Detector Act, Illinois landlords must provide written information regarding the carbon monoxide alarm testing and maintenance.
Applicable to all rental units.
In Illinois, the Smoke Detector Act requires landlords to provide a written disclosure of information regarding the smoke detector testing and maintenance. The tenant must maintain the smoke detector in their dwelling unit and inform the landlord in writing if there are any defects that the tenant cannot fix themselves.
Shared Utility Arrangements
Applicable to any rental unit where a meter is shared between tenants or common areas.
The Tenant Utility Payment Disclosure Act applies when a property does not have individual meters for each rental unit or a submetering system in place. The landlord must provide a disclosure in the rental agreement which includes the following:
- Any buildings, units, or common areas that the tenant’s utility meter is shared with.
- A breakdown of how shared utilities are going to be proportioned to tenants.
- Copies of the utility bill for the unit for the past 12 months.
- Any rent reductions offered to compensate for shared utility usage.
The amount charged to shared units must not exceed the total utility charges accrued for the entire building, and the tenant must also provide a copy of the utility bill for any payment made by the tenant upon request:
SHARED UTILITIES. This dwelling unit shares a utility meter with the following parties:
[ ] Common Area(s):________________
[ ] Unit(s):__________________
[ ] Other:____________________
This lease uses the following method for calculating utility charges between Tenant(s):
[ ] Home Square Footage
[ ] Number of Tenants
[ ] Even Split Between Tenants
[ ] Other:_______________________________
A rent reduction of $______ will be enforced in accordance with this shared utility arrangement. Copies of utility bills for the rental unit for the past 12 months are available upon request.
Applicable to any rental unit where a concession is granted.
If there is a concession for rent that is granted by the landlord, it must be written in the lease agreement. A rent concession is made if the landlord before or at the time of the lease directly or indirectly gives or agrees to, or promises to give the tenant the following: (765 ILCS 730/2)
- Any credit upon the rent reserved by the lease between the parties, or rebate of such rent or any part thereof after payment thereof by the tenant.
- The right, privilege or license to occupy the leased premises for a period other than the term created by the lease, rent free or for a rent less than the average rent fixed by the lease for the entire term.
- Any other valuable thing, right or privilege.
It is important to note that, repairing and decorating the premises by the landlord is not considered a rent concession. Additionally, if a landlord waives any of the terms or conditions of the lease other than those relating to the payment of rent shall not be considered a rent concession.
If a rent concession is made, the landlord at the time or immediately after the lease is made, must include the phrase “Concession Granted.” This phrase must be at least one-half inch in height and additionally it must state the amount or extent and nature of each such concession. (765 ILCS 730/3)
If a landlord does not provide this information to the tenant, and a concession is granted, the landlord can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Illinois to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Illinois law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos.||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs.||If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Landlord’s Name & Address.||Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.|
|Late/Returned Check Fees.||Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Illinois there are no restrictions on late fees and a $30 limit on bounced checks.|
|Medical Marijuana Use.||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure.||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Move-in Checklist.||A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.|
|Non-Refundable Fees.||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Smoking.||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Landlords should also check each city’s mandatory disclosures. For example, landlords in Chicago must give tenants a written summary of Chicago’s housing law. The summary must be attached to every lease or a tenant can terminate the lease.
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord does not provide rent concession information to the tenant, and a concession is granted, the landlord can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. (765 ILCS 730/6)
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.