Chicago Residential Lease Contract

12 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

Hey Chicago,

I am wondering what residential leases you all use. I purchased my first property within the city and have a vacancy in one unit. I am showing the property this weekend to potential tenants and wanted to make sure I use the best lease I can. Any other tips for a first time landlord in Chicago would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Hey @Filip Petrevski ! I use the Chicago Residential lease issued by the Chicago Association of Realtors. It has all of the required documents that must be given to the tenant and is updated every year with any additional documents that must be given. I add additional rules and addendum's to it and everything was worked out well so far. @Brie Schmidt uploaded it to the File Place, you should be able to locate it there.

@Filip Petrevski I would not take a security deposit in the city. Take a move in fee instead. If you read up on the new laws for how security deposits are supposed to be handled, you will not ever want one in the city limits again. 

You are doing the right thing getting a Chicago specific lease too. I do a lot of business in the near southwest suburbs, and our laws are significantly less strict than the Chicago ones. The CAR lease is a good one, and @Brie Schmidt can send it to you. 

I wasn't aware of the CAR lease when I first got my property. I ended up purchasing the bigger pockets documents. I looked through both and very similar content. The only downside is it doesn't have all the supporting information.

I think I'll just eat the cost and use the CAR lease. I am an owner occupant so technically I don't have to "follow it" but I still do out of practice. 

I'll echo the earlier point. Doing a move in fee was the best advice I ever got. My friends who live in luxury apartments have commented they all have move in fees as well. You won't be "weird" for a fee at all. Just make sure your move in fee is not half the first month rent. That way it can't be viewed as bypassing the security deposit language. 

Originally posted by @John Warren :

@Filip Petrevski I would not take a security deposit in the city. Take a move in fee instead. If you read up on the new laws for how security deposits are supposed to be handled, you will not ever want one in the city limits again. 

You are doing the right thing getting a Chicago specific lease too. I do a lot of business in the near southwest suburbs, and our laws are significantly less strict than the Chicago ones. The CAR lease is a good one, and @Brie Schmidt can send it to you. 

John,

Thanks for your reply. I looked more into the security deposit laws in Chicago, and you are right. I will look at going to a move in fee going forward.

@Brie Schmidt  - can you send me a message w/ the link or doc? TIA.... i looked on CAR's site and the link is broken via Google ... still going to keep looking in the meantime! TIA again!

@Maria Bocanegra and @Jon Mulholland I'm not a broker, but I can Google, and these forms are available directly from CAR.  However, I'd advise you develop relationships with some brokers who you regularly work with and you can ensure this is the most updated version of this form.  It appears the form hasn't been updated since the beginning of 2018 [You will want to verify this is true].

Chicago Residential Lease_2018_V5.1 - Chicago Association of ...https://chicagorealtor.com/wp-content/.../Chicago-Residential-Lease_2018_V5.1.pdf

@Peter Halliday thx! for some reason the link to CAR yesterday was not working but i did double check the File Place under "Tools" and sure enough @Brie Schmidt 's 2019 version was up there! 

Thanks Brie!

it was easy to use and fill in and i later went and used a trial of DocuSign to upload the lease and send to the new tenants! I also ended up using BP's recommended site TransUnion SmartMove to handle the application, credit, criminal, eviction, etc. background check! All info gathered from here on BP! Thx everyone! 

Originally posted by @Peter Halliday :

@Maria Bocanegra and @Jon Mulholland I'm not a broker, but I can Google, and these forms are available directly from CAR.  However, I'd advise you develop relationships with some brokers who you regularly work with and you can ensure this is the most updated version of this form.  It appears the form hasn't been updated since the beginning of 2018 [You will want to verify this is true].

Chicago Residential Lease_2018_V5.1 - Chicago Association of ...https://chicagorealtor.com/wp-content/.../Chicago-Residential-Lease_2018_V5.1.pdf

I would not use last year's lease

I upload it to the file place every year - you can search it on there

@Jon Mulholland - i will say so far so good!

i use Venmo for rent collection and its super easy

so far - the TransUnion is pretty comprehensive - shows diff pricing options to collect info ranging from $20 to $40 per applicant. Results show reported income (you should verify though using paystubs or what you prefer), credit score, all revolving accounts and statuses, fraud history, if any, criminal background, eviction history and TU gives a recommendation of either accept or decline. You also have the option to pass along the cost of this to the tenant, if you want. 

DocuSign's free trial allowed me to upload my PDF of the chicago lease and add places for signatures and initials, including my own.