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Unlawful Lease Provisions

Tenant lawyer in chicago

Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-140 “Rental Agreement”

The Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-030(h) defines rental agreement as “all written or oral agreements embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit by a tenant.”

Pursuant to Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-140, “Except as otherwise specifically provided by this chapter, no rental agreement may provide that the landlord or tenant:

(a) Agrees to waive or forego rights, remedies or obligations provided under this chapter;

(b) Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;

(c) Agrees to the limitation of any liability of the landlord or tenant arising under law;

(d) Agrees to waive any written termination of tenancy notice or manner of service thereof provided under state law or this chapter;

(e) Agrees to waive the right of any party to a trial by jury;

(f) 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;

(g) 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;

(h) Agrees that a tenant shall pay a charge, fee or penalty in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $500.00 in monthly rent plus five percent per month for any amount in excess of $500.00 in monthly rent for the late payment of rent;

(i) Agrees that, if a tenant pays rent before a specified date or within a specified time period in the month, the tenant shall receive a discount or reduction in the rental amount in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $500.00 in monthly rent plus five percent per month for any amount in excess of $500.00 in monthly rent.

  1. A provision prohibited by this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. The tenant may recover actual damages sustained by the tenant because of the enforcement of a prohibited provision. If the landlord attempts to enforce a provision in a rental agreement prohibited by this section the tenant may recover two months’ rent.”

Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(F) “Prohibited Provisions”

The Cook County RTLO Section 42-803(10) defines “Rental Agreement or Lease” as “a written or oral agreement, and any valid rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection 808(C), embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”

Effective June 1, 2021, pursuant to Cook County RLTO Section 42-804(F) “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.”

Pursuant to Cook County RTLO Section 42-804(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.”

Affidavit

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