Landlords, you should absolutely give your tenants a copy of the signed apartment lease agreement. For starters, the law requires you to provide the tenant with many pieces of information that will be found in the lease, such as contact information for the landlord or their agent, various disclosures about bed bugs, recycling, radon and lead, and, if applicable, a summary of the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance, among many others. 

Why Do Tenants Need a Signed Copy of the Apartment Lease?

Landlords want tenants to know their responsibilities under the lease, and they are more likely to be familiar with those responsibilities if they have a copy of the apartment lease agreement on hand. It is also helpful if the tenant knows where the landlord’s responsibilities end. Imagine any one of the following scenarios: the tenant’s pet bites another tenant, the tenant’s bike is stolen from the apartment, the tenant wants you to terminate the lease early because they're moving to another city.... 

When the tenant calls you to discuss, the conversation should quickly turn to the terms of the lease agreement. If you used the 2018 Domu Apartment Lease, you’ll quickly find that the liability for any of those issues was decided on the day the lease was signed by both parties.

The general information that Domu provides about Chicago landlord tenant law is not intended as legal advice. Domu endeavors to provide accurate information, but the law is subject to change, and Domu is not a law firm or provider of legal services. Questions about your particular leasing situation should be directed to a lawyer.