Illinois Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

An Illinois month-to-month lease agreement outlines the legal duties between landlords and tenants when the lease term has no fixed end date. Rather than terminating on a predetermined date, month-to-month leases in Illinois renew automatically every month. However, this lease can be terminated if proper notice is given by either the landlord or tenant indicating intent to end the lease.

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Illinois Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

Month-to-month leases occupy a gray zone legally in Illinois. The state allows temporary rental agreements between tenants and landlords. However, the informal nature means certain contractual rights are forfeited versus an annual lease. Understanding the legal implications is key before entering a 30-day rolling arrangement. 

Lease Termination & Renewal

  • An Illinois month-to-month lease agreement automatically renews as long as the landlord accepts rent payments. 
  • According to state law, landlords in Illinois must provide tenants on month-to-month leases with at least 30 days written notice to vacate the rental unit. Otherwise, the tenant is guaranteed another 60 days on the premises. Note that this applies for tenancies of less than six months. 
  • If the tenancy has lasted between six months and three years, the landlord must give 60 days’ notice, and the tenant can stay for 60 days.
  • In tenancies that have lasted more than three years, the landlord must give 120 days, and the tenant can stay for 120 days.  
  • Tenants must also provide at least 30 days’ notice before moving out of a property under a monthly lease agreement.

Rent Increases

  • Before raising the rent, landlords in Illinois must give a 30-day written notice before the next rental due date. 
  • There’s no limit in Illinois for how much a landlord can raise the rent. However, it should be a fair and reasonable amount.

Security Deposit 

  • Local laws in Illinois may require landlords to hold security deposits in separate bank accounts. The aim is to prevent them from spending it. 
  • Suppose the lease doesn’t explain the purpose of the security deposit. In that case, it can cover unpaid rent, clean the apartment after you vacate, or settle repair costs on damages. 
  • The security deposit amount in Illinois is generally equivalent to one or two month’s rent. However, in Suburban Cook County and Oak Park, landlords can’t charge more than one and a half month’s rent as the security deposit. 
  • In most of Chicago, the landlord must return the security deposit within 45 days of the tenant moving out. In a fire, the landlord must return the security deposit within seven days. This doesn’t apply to properties with six units or less. 
  • In buildings with four or more units in Evanston, the landlord must return the security deposit within 21 days; for Oak Park, it’s 30 days, as well as Suburban Cook County. 

Tenant Rights

  • Protection from retaliatory eviction – Landlords can’t terminate or raise rent because the tenant reported code violations or joined a tenant union. This prevents punitive actions.  
  • Repair and deduct – Tenants can remedy defective conditions at the landlord’s expense if fixes aren’t completed promptly.
  • Access notice – Landlords must give tenants at least 24 hours advance notice before entering rental units, except for emergencies.

Required Disclosures

Landlords issuing an Illinois month-to-month lease agreement must make certain disclosures ahead of occupancy:

  • Potential radon contamination in the unit. 
  • Maintenance and testing of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. 
  • Payment of utility costs. 
  • Rent concessions where applicable. 
  • Lead paint disclosure for properties built before 1978.