If you are a landlord in Illinois considering the termination of the lease agreement, you have come to the right place. There are specific laws that you need to be aware of and one of these has to do with the need to issue an Illinois lease termination letter to your tenant.

When the landlord/tenant decides to end a tenancy, the situation is not always an amicable one. In case there are any legal issues down the line, it pays to make sure that you have conducted the lease termination strictly by the book.

This article will focus on the important requirements of an Illinois lease termination letter, the notice period required by Illinois law, and where landlords can get help if they need it.

Lease Termination Letter

An Illinois lease termination letter is a legal document required by law to be issued by the landlord to the tenant to initiate the process of ending an Illinois lease contract.

It marks the start of the lease termination notice period, during which the tenant is expected to vacate the premises or face eviction.

Each state has its own laws regarding how to lawfully end a tenancy period and Illinois lease termination is no different.

Proper Notice

Yes, a landlord is required by law to give a tenant notice of their intention to terminate the lease. Failure to do so may result in serious consequences and penalties.

One of the things that Illinois law exempts you from is the need to provide a reason for the lease termination. As long as you are not evicting the tenant on illegal grounds, such as retaliation or discrimination, the notice is sufficient.

Notice Period

The specific notice required for lease termination varies according to various factors, chief among them being the details of the lease contract. The following factors will determine how much notice you are required to give your tenants:

  • At least 30 days notice is required for a month-to-month lease
  • If the tenancy is for a year-to-year lease and the tenant has been renting the premises for over a year, you will have to issue them a 60-day notice
  • Tenancies over three years require at least a 120- day notice of lease termination
  • If there are extenuating circumstances, such as illegal activities being conducted on the premises, endangerment of other tenants, or chronic defaulting on rent payments, you could have grounds to provide a five-day notice

State Laws

Lease termination can be a delicate issue if handled the wrong way, which is why you need to be up to date with all the Illinois lease termination laws. The following are the key issues you need to consider:

Penalties for Not Giving Your Tenant Notice

Failure to give proper notice to your tenant can result in you being barred from getting new tenants until the issue is resolved, which will be a blow to your rental income.

If the issue becomes a legal one, you will have to put up with court appearances, legal fees, and penalties.

One frustrating thing is that the court may decide to alter the end date of the lease in favor of the tenant, which means they will be allowed to stay in your building for much longer than you would have liked.

Termination of Tenancy Without Specific Term

When the tenancy period is not specified you are not required to give an Illinois lease termination notice to your tenant, nor must you provide any reasons.

The simplest way is to not renew the contract once the lease ends, meaning the tenant will vacate the property on the last day of the current lease.

However, certain circumstances do not allow you forcibly initiate an Illinois lease termination. An example is when your motives may be judged to be discriminatory or retaliatory.

Termination of Tenancy With Specific Term

When there is a specific term of tenancy that was agreed upon, such as a month-to-month lease, you have no choice but to issue the required notice period according to the length of the lease.

If you feel that the notice is too long because the tenant is breaking laws on your premises, or they have failed to pay rent after being issued a notice to pay rent, you can give them a five-day notice to vacate the property.

You will need to make sure you have sufficient evidence to justify giving your tenant five days' notice, such as a reliable witness to any illegal activities.

How To Write One

Writing an Illinois lease termination letter is all about making sure that you provide all the important details that are necessary for both parties to be in agreement and to comply with the law.

Make sure that the following details are included before both parties sign:

  • Full names, contact details, and residential addresses of both parties
  • The address of the property, which can be a unit or building number
  • Reasons for terminating the lease if there are extenuating circumstances requiring you to do so
  • Details regarding if and when the tenant will be getting their security deposit back
  • The date on which the document was drafted and given to the tenant
  • A space at the bottom of the document for both the landlord and tenant to sign

Build Your Own

If you find that drafting a lease termination letter is too difficult, we have some good news for you. At DoorLoop, we have some easy-to-use templates that are designed for use in your specific state of residence.

Visit our website and download any of the following templates to help you build your lease termination letter:


If you are terminating your lease and need the tenant to sign, or you want to sign a new lease with a new tenant, you want to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.

With DoorLoop, you can get your agreements eSigned in a few seconds. You can also get to the eSignature step much faster by creating reusable templates that are autofilled with tenants' information.

DoorLoop also makes it so simple to find the best tenants in the first place by syndicating your listings on popular websites Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads,, and more. You can also make sure you're bringing in the best tenants by screening your prospects in seconds through DoorLoop.

For more information about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.

Final Thought

Don't fall on the very first hurdle by failing to write a proper Illinois lease termination letter. At DoorLoop, we are here to provide you with all the help you need to stay on the right side of the law. Download one of our great templates and be amazed at how simple it is to draft a lease termination letter.


Can a Landlord/Tenant Change the Terms of a Lease Agreement?

As soon s both parties agree on the terms of the lease and sign, no changes can be made to the document without both the landlord and tenants signing again.

How Much of a Lease Termination Notice Period Is Required for a Month-to-Month Lease?

Unless other circumstances warrant a quick eviction of the tenant, such as any illegal activity that the landlord can prove, a month-to-month lease will require at least 30 days notice period.

Does a Landlord Need To Provide Reasons for the Non-renewal of a Lease Agreement?

No, as long as the reasons for not renewing the lease have nothing to do with discrimination or retaliation for complaints made by the tenants, Illinois law does not require the landlord to provide any reasons for refusing to renew the contract when the lease ends.

Can I customize my own form or agreement?

Yes, you always can, however if you want to be 100% sure you are protected, you should consult an attorney in your local area.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!