DuPage County real estate lawyerEnding your residential lease early can be complicated in Illinois. While the law does allow tenants to break a lease under certain conditions, you must follow proper protocols. Tenants who terminate illegally risk financial penalties and eviction. A lawyer can help you, but it is important you also follow the proper legal steps. Here is what you should do for a lawful process for early lease termination in Illinois.

Review Your Lease Agreement Carefully

The first step is to thoroughly read your entire lease agreement, paying close attention to any provisions about early termination. Many leases outline specific notice periods, fees, or conditions required for legal early move out. Failing to comply means defaulting.

Proper Notice to Your Landlord is Key

In most standard Illinois residential leases, tenants are required to provide 30 days’ written notice to legally terminate early. The notice period commences at the start of the next rental period after notice is given. Inform your landlord in writing as soon as possible once you decide to leave.

You Remain Responsible for Rent Through the Notice Period

When you provide notice to break the lease, you are still responsible for paying rent through the entire 30 day notice period until the termination date. You also must leave the property in clean condition with no damages beyond normal wear-and-tear.

Pay Any Early Termination Fees in Your Lease

If your Illinois lease agreement contains a specified early termination fee, you’ll need to pay that penalty by the date you vacate. Standard fees equal 1-2 month’s rent. Read the lease closely so there are no surprises.

Your Landlord Must Make Reasonable Efforts to Re-rent

Under Illinois law, your landlord has a duty to take reasonable steps to re-rent your unit quickly once you provide termination notice. This helps mitigate your damages. If they do rent it to someone else, you may be off the hook for additional rent beyond when the new tenant moves in.

Subletting Depends on Your Lease Terms

Some leases prohibit subletting altogether. Others only allow it with the landlord’s consent. Read your lease carefully before subletting. Pay rent until a replacement tenant is found or the end of your notice period.

Domestic Violence Victims Have Added Protections

Illinois law allows domestic violence victims to terminate a lease early by providing documentation of abuse and giving notice to the landlord within three days of vacating. The tenant cannot be liable for the remaining rent or penalties.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

Consult an Illinois real estate attorney if your landlord refuses to release you from the lease improperly. Most cases can be settled, but litigation may be needed if the landlord sues for back rent after you move out.

Breaking an Illinois home lease early does not have to be an overwhelming process if done properly. But you must strictly adhere to lease terms and state law to avoid negative consequences. The guidance of a local attorney can prove invaluable. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to start with a free consultation and see what the next steps you should take for your specific case.

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