If you are a landlord in the city of Chicago, then you probably know how crucial a strong lease agreement is to your success. This is the second of a two-part article series intended to provide an overview of necessary lease addendums; and highlight those that are required by the infamous Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO). Passed into law in 1986, the CLRTO establishes the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants alike, as well as penalties if either party fails to fulfill the Ordinance’s specific obligations.

In The Chicago Landlord’s Checklist for a Proper Lease, Part One, we discussed basic lease provisions and policies related to rent payment, tenant access/use of premises, and landlord access/maintenance of premises.

Due to the expansive range of items that a lease agreement can cover and the various amenities specific to each property, this article is should not be considered exhaustive.   We strongly recommend that you seek professional legal counsel when crafting your lease agreement.

  1. Attach the following required documents:


  1. Attach the following documents, if applicable:
  • A security deposit receipt, if the landlord accepts a security deposit.
    • The CLRTO [5-12-080] requires that, if the landlord accepts a security deposit, the tenant must receive a receipt listing: the amount of the deposit; the name of the person receiving the deposit(if not the landlord, also list the name of the landlord);, the date the deposit was received; a description of the dwelling unit; and a signature of the person receiving the deposit. We also recommend that you obtain the tenant’s signature on the receipt as well.
  • Lead based paint disclosure, if property was built before 1978.
    • The Lead Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program (Section 1018 of Title X) requires that “potential buyers and renters of housing built prior to 1978 receive certain information about lead and lead hazards in the residence prior to becoming obligated to buy or rent”, including “any known information concerning the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home or building.”
  • A radon disclosure, if the latest test for radon indicated a hazard and the unit is on the 3rd floor or lower.
    • The Illinois Radon Awareness Act requires that “if a lessor conducts a radon test in a dwelling unit and the radon test indicates that a radon hazard exists in the dwelling unit, the lessor shall disclose in writing to the current lessee, and any individual seeking to enter into a lease of that dwelling unit, the existence of a radon hazard in the dwelling unit.”
  • A heating cost disclosure, if tenant is responsible for paying the cost of heating.
    • The Chicago Utility Cost Disclosure Ordinance requires that, if the tenant is responsible to pay the cost of heating, the landlord provide “the annual cost of service from the utility providing the primary source of heat based on energy consumption during the previous twelve months”.
  • A recycling disclosure, if the property has 5 or more units.
    • The Chicago Recycling Ordinance, in effect for multi-family buildings as of January 1, 2017, requires that each tenant receive an educational flyer (developed by the landlord), outlining, at a minimum: the types of materials that can and cannot be recycled; instructions on how to properly prepare materials for recycling; the location of all recycling containers; and the name, contact information, and collection schedule of the hauler.
  • A list of code violations on the property, if any occurred during the past 12 months, including common area.
    • The CRLTO [5-12-100] requires that a landlord must disclose any conditions affecting habitability to the tenant prior to entering or renewing a lease agreement.
  • The association’s rules & regulations, if the unit is in a condominium, townhome or homeowner’s association.


  1. Secure the following acknowledgements:
  • Initials of tenant next to each section of the lease, or at minimum on each page.
  • Initials of tenant acknowledging receipt of the applicable documents listed above.
  • Signature of each adult tenant with date of signature.
  • Signature of landlord(s) with date of signature.

Note: Don’t be concerned if your complete lease agreement is hefty. A comprehensive lease agreement is critical to ensure that landlords have properly protected their interests.

Have questions or concerns about your lease agreement?  Our experienced attorneys are here to help. Call KSN toll-free at 855-537-0500 or visit www.ksnlaw.com to get started today.

Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collectionslandlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We represent thousands of clients and community associations throughout the US with offices in several states including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

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