When it comes to finding a residential rental agreement or lease in Chicago, there are many factors to consider. As a potential tenant, it is important to know your rights and obligations under the lease, as well as the landlord`s responsibilities. In this article, we will explore the basics of a Chicago residential rental agreement or lease and provide some tips for finding the perfect rental property.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between a rental agreement and a lease. A rental agreement is a more informal contract that is typically used for short-term rentals of less than a year. On the other hand, a lease is a more formal agreement that outlines the terms of a rental for a specific period, typically one year. In Chicago, most landlords prefer to use leases for their rental properties.
One of the most important things to consider when looking for a rental property in Chicago is the security deposit. In Illinois, landlords are allowed to charge tenants a security deposit equal to one month`s rent. However, they must return the deposit within 45 days of the tenant moving out, minus any damages or unpaid rent. It is also worth noting that landlords in Chicago are required by law to provide tenants with a move-in checklist that outlines the condition of the property at the time of move-in.
Another important aspect of a Chicago residential rental agreement or lease is the rent payment terms. In Illinois, landlords are required to provide tenants with a written receipt for any rent payments made in cash. In addition, landlords are not allowed to charge late fees until the rent is at least five days overdue.
As a tenant, you also have certain rights under the lease. For example, landlords are required to maintain the property in a habitable condition, which includes providing working heat, hot water, and electricity. If the landlord fails to make necessary repairs, you may be able to withhold rent or terminate the lease.
When searching for a rental property in Chicago, it is important to do your due diligence. This includes researching the landlord, reading reviews from previous tenants, and thoroughly inspecting the property before signing the lease. You should also be aware of any additional fees or charges, such as application fees or pet deposits.
In conclusion, a Chicago residential rental agreement or lease can be complex, but understanding your rights and obligations as a tenant is essential. By doing your research and carefully reviewing the terms of the lease, you can find the perfect rental property in the Windy City.