A. When a landlord and a tenant enter into a rental agreement, that rental agreement shall comply with the requirements of this Article regardless of the duration of the tenancy. A landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement any terms and conditions that are not prohibited by this Article and other rules of law, including rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.
B. Any written rental agreement subject to this Article shall contain the full names of all known occupants of the dwelling unit leased or to be leased under the rental agreement. The individual occupancy of the dwelling unit shall in no case exceed the maximum occupancy permitted elsewhere in applicable building codes for that size unit.
C. Rent is to be payable at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable at the dwelling unit at the beginning of any term of one (1) month or less and, otherwise, in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. Unless otherwise agreed, rent shall be uniformly apportionable from day to day.
D. Unless otherwise agreed, when a tenant pays weekly, the tenancy shall be week to week and, in all other cases, month-to-month.
E. Effect of an Unsigned or Undelivered Written Rental Agreement.
1. If the landlord and tenant have agreed to a written rental agreement, and the landlord fails to sign or deliver the written agreement to the tenant, the landlord’s acceptance of rent, without reservation by the landlord, gives the rental agreement the same effect as if the landlord had signed and delivered the written rental agreement to the tenant.
2. If the landlord and tenant have agreed to a written rental agreement, and the tenant fails to sign or deliver the written agreement to the landlord, the tenant’s acceptance of possession and payment of rent, without reservation, gives the rental agreement the same effect as if the tenant had signed and delivered the written rental agreement to the landlord.
3. A written rental agreement given effect by the operation of this section shall have a term of one (1) year.
F. Prohibited Provisions. A rental agreement shall not provide that the tenant or the landlord:
1. Agrees to waive or to forego rights or remedies under this Article, Illinois state law, or federal law;
2. Authorizes a confession of judgment, or any entry of a judgment by a court without written notice or a trial, for any claim, including but not limited to debts, liabilities, damages, and obligations, arising out of the rental agreement;
3. Agrees to a waiver of: any written termination of tenancy notice or manner of service thereof provided under state law or this Article, summons, copy of complaint, petition, right to notice, motion, entry of appearance, or other documents from the court as established through judicial process in the manner provided by the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/2-201, et seq., or any action, regardless of good cause or cost;
4. Agrees to a non-disparagement clause that limits any written or oral statements, remarks, or other communications, public or private, directly or indirectly, made by tenants regarding the landlord, property, management, staff, officers, directors, representatives, investors, shareholders, administrators, affiliates, employees, affiliated corporations, divisions, or subsidiaries;
5. Agrees to the limitation of any liability of the tenant or landlord arising under law or to indemnify the tenant or landlord for that liability or the costs connected therewith;
6. Agrees to waive the right of any party to a trial by jury;
7. Agrees that in the event of a lawsuit arising out of the tenancy the tenant will pay the landlord’s attorney’s fees except as provided for by court rules, statute or Ordinance. This paragraph shall also apply to a mobile home owner who, as a tenant, rents a manufactured home lot in a mobile home park as the terms “tenant”, “manufactured home” or “mobile home,” “lot,” and “mobile home park,” are defined or used in the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act, 765 ILCS 745 et seq.;
8. Agrees that either party may cancel or terminate a rental agreement at a different time or within a shorter time period than the other party, unless such provision is disclosed in a separate written notice;
9. Agrees that a tenant shall pay a charge, fee or penalty in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $1,000.00 in monthly rent plus five (5) percent per month for any amount in excess of $1,000.00 in monthly rent for the late payment of rent. This paragraph shall also apply to a mobile homeowner who, as a tenant, rents a manufactured home lot in a mobile home park as the terms, “tenant”, “manufactured home” or “mobile home,” “lot,” and “mobile home park,” are defined or used in the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act, 765 ILCS 745 et seq.;
10. Agrees that a tenant shall receive a discount in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $1,000.00 in monthly rent plus five (5) percent per month for any amount in excess of $1,000.00 in monthly rent if the tenant pays rent before a specified date or within a specified time period in the month;
11. Agrees that a landlord may apply rent payments to a charge other than rent, including but not limited to utilities, fines, late fees or other charges;
12. Agrees that the landlord shall not impose a fee in excess of the reasonable cost of that expense, including, but not limited to, credit-check fees and move-in fees. A landlord shall not rename a fee or charge to avoid application of this prohibition.
G. A landlord shall not enforce a provision prohibited by section Sec. 42-804. If a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing any provision known by the landlord to be prohibited, the tenant may recover actual damages or two (2) months’ rent, whichever is greater.
H. The provisions, provided in Sec. 42- 804(F), apply to new rental agreements starting on or after June 1, 2021.
Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(7) prohibits leases from requiring tenants to pay their landlord’s attorney fees in case of a lawsuit arising from the tenancy.
Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(8) prohibits the landlord from being allowed to terminate the lease earlier than the tenant.
Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(9) imposes a limit on “late fees or penalties.” This limit is actually less than the Chicago RLTO thus giving tenants more rights.
Pursuant to Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(11), utilities under a lease can not be applied to rent payments.
Pursuant to Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(G), the landlord is not liable for attempting to enforce a prohibited provision, but only for deliberately using a lease they “know” has prohibited provisions in it. This is much weaker than Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-140 and favors Cook County Landlords.