A month to month lease is an agreement between the landlord and tenant that continues on a potentially indefinite basis until either party provides 30 days’ notice. This form of lease agreement is commonly used as a way to extend the apartment lease. Although some apartment lease agreements are designed to be monthly from the start.

Is a Month to Month Lease Legal in Chicago?

Yes, but landlords are wise to note that just because the month to month lease agreement is more flexible than a longer term lease, the standards and regulations of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO) may still apply to the apartment. Find out which types of apartments fall under the guidelines of the CRLTO here. Illinois law definitely still applies to any type of dwelling regardless of the month to month lease term.

What Are the Benefits of a Month to Month Lease?

The primary benefit of having a month to month lease is flexibility. If a tenant lives in an apartment on a month to month lease and they need to move for whatever reason, say they find a job in a different city or state, or they simply find an apartment that they like better, that tenant can conveniently move out without having to find a sublessor to cover the remainder of the lease term. The rent can often be higher on a monthly lease agreement because this kind of flexibility is a premium that will be highly desirable for the right type of renter.

What are the Risks of a Month to Month Lease?

The inverse side of the above scenario. What if your tenant decides they want to move out? Then the landlord is responsible for finding another renter. While this is not so challenging if landlords are savvy enough to use a local apartment site like Domu, it will require some preparation to clean the unit, take awesome photos of the apartment, post the listing, schedule showings and follow up on qualified inquiries. 

Should I Require a 30 Day Notice on a Month to Month Lease?

Yes. Preparing an apartment to list and show is no small task, and as such it would benefit landlords to have a 30-day notice in a month to month lease agreement. But the 30-day notice also empowers landlords to end the lease whenever they want. If landlords want to renovate then all it takes is a simple 30-day notice to make the apartment vacant so construction can begin.