Renting or leasing property in Chicago is often long-term and legally complex. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, a comprehensive and well-thought-out rental contract is a must, especially when it comes to running a business. From Herskowics v. Cities Service Oil Co. (1944): a rental contract represents more complex interests and a greater variety of rights and duties than any other type of contract. It's a legal and economic agreement between two parties that requires thoughtful consideration of your goals, expectations, and budget.

If you’re looking for legal counsel that understands local regulations and can guide you through the nuances of rental agreements in the Chicago area, UpCounsel is an excellent resource. With UpCounsel, you get access to experienced business attorneys with an average of 14 years of experience. UpCounsel can help you navigate the complexities of rental contracts and leasing laws so that you can make strategic decisions that align with your interests. Here are some of the most common questions that UpCounsel fields about rental contracts in Chicago.

What is a rental contract?

A rental contract is a legally binding agreement between the landlord and the tenant. It outlines the terms of the rental, including the type of property being rented, the rights and responsibilities of each party, the duration of the agreement, the amount of monthly rent, and any provisions for renewal or termination of the agreement. A rental contract is an important document because it ensures that both parties are aware of their obligations and their respective rights in the arrangement.

What should be included in a rental contract in Chicago?

Depending on the property type and the tenant’s goals, a rental contract in Chicago can include a number of provisions. At the minimum, it should include the names of both parties, the address of the rental property, the date of the lease, rent terms and fees, details about the tenant’s responsibilities for the maintenance, details about the owner’s responsibilities, provisions for security deposits or application fees, rules about guests, pet ownership, and access to amenities like parking and laundry, any renewal and termination provisions, and any other relevant details.

What are the landlord's rights in Chicago?

In Chicago, landlords have the right to collect rent in accordance with the terms of the lease agreement. They also have the right to reasonable access to the property, to inspect the premises, to perform any necessary repairs, to pursue legal action in the event of a violation of the lease agreement, and to receive just compensation for damages to the property. Landlords also have the right to evict a tenant in certain situations, such as failure to pay rent or an egregious violation of the lease agreement.

What are the tenant's rights in Chicago?

In Chicago, tenants have the right to rent a living unit free of serious health and safety violations. Tenants also have the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises, meaning that the landlord cannot make unreasonable demands or disturbances that interfere with the tenant’s enjoyment of the property. Tenants have the right to be notified of any changes to the agreement, and they have the right to pursue legal action should the landlord fail to live up to the terms outlined in the lease.

Are rental contracts legally binding in Chicago?

Yes, rental contracts are legally binding in Chicago. A legally binding rental contract is a document that is enforceable by both the landlord and the tenant in the event of a dispute or violation. To ensure that the contract is legally enforceable, both parties should apply their signatures in the presence of a notary public or sign the agreement in the presence of witnesses.

Do I need a lawyer for a rental contract in Chicago?

Although a lawyer is not required for a rental contract in Chicago, it’s a good idea to consult one for legal advice, particularly if you are renting a commercial property. A lawyer can help you understand the nuances of the rental agreements in your area and can help you create a comprehensive, legally binding contract that protects your interests.


Rent Agreement,

Tenant Rights,

Landlord-Tenant Law