Here at M&A Law Firm, we are experienced in providing sound legal counsel to both landlords and tenants regarding residential leases. We take into account all aspects of the landlord and tenant relationship and work to help ensure the relationship remains a positive one. Establishing a detailed and legally viable residential lease agreement can be the foundation of this relationship. M&A Law Firm will work with you during the negotiating, drafting, and review period of this important document.
What Needs to Be Included in a Residential Lease Agreement?
There are several levels of laws that address what needs to be included in a residential lease agreement. Local laws may create specific obligations for landlords that need to be disclosed in the agreement. Additionally, some local laws may work to void provisions that you try to include in the lease agreement. At the state level, Illinois requires landlords to make specific disclosures regarding insurance information. Federal law requires landlords to provide tenants with a lead pain disclosure and pamphlet. All of these levels of the law must be taken into consideration when drafting a lease agreement to help ensure the agreement will be valid and function as both parties intend it to.
It is also important to be aware of the fact that Illinois has not adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act (URLTA). Essentially, this means that the rights of tenants and the responsibilities of landlords can vary based on what is or is not included in the lease agreement. For instance, it is generally required for landlords to comply with local building and housing codes. Landlords are also usually expected to make necessary and repairs in a timely manner and keep the premises habitable, which includes running water and electricity. These types of landlord duties should still be included in a lease agreement and anything else you wish for your landlord to specifically address should be included as well.
On the other side of things, tenants are usually required to maintain the premises in a safe and clean way. Garbage and other waste must be responsibly disposed of and the premises should not be damaged or destroyed. A residential lease should address these duties as well as any other duty the parties entering into the agreement wish to address. For example, some leases impose a restriction on tenants to prevent them from disrupting their neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
Above and beyond what has already been discussed, a residential lease agreement should address:
- How long the lease will run (the term of the lease);
- Cost of rental;
- Consequences for late payment of rent;
- Conditions for any security deposit;
- Limits on number of occupants;
- Conditions for subletting;
- Pet policies;
- How to terminate the lease; and
- Consequences for breaking the lease.
Experienced Legal Counsel for Those Entering into A Landlord-Tenant Relationship
A well-drafted residential lease agreement can prevent serious problems from arising in the future. It can provide much-needed guidance for the duration of the relationship between landlord and tenant. Make sure you are entering into a lease agreement that meets your needs. Contact M&A Law Firm, P.C. today. We proudly serve Cook County and Skokie, Illinois.