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Your Rights as a Commercial Tenant In Illinois

Your Rights as a Commercial Tenant In Illinois

Holding a Business Graph Globe, Business Transaction

When entering into a commercial lease in Illinois, understanding the terms of the lease agreement is essential to protect tenant rights. As a business transaction lawyer knows, a commercial landlord must uphold the contractual duties outlined in the lease, but landlord liabilities are not always clearly outlined.

According to Illinois laws, basic tenant rights in a commercial lease differ from those in a residential lease. The most basic statutory landlord duties are not automatically included as a staple clause. When signing a commercial lease, a business transaction lawyer can navigate through complex issues to ensure that basic tenant rights are included in the lease.

Important Lease Terms to Protect Tenant Rights

  • Possession – A possession clause transfers exclusive possession of the premises to the tenant for the full term of the lease, assuming that neither landlord or tenant will breach the terms of the lease. A possession clause prevents the landlord from disturbing the tenant’s possession and use of the premises during the lease duration.
  • Quiet Enjoyment – As part of a possession clause, the covenant of quiet enjoyment is implied in all commercial lease agreements. Quiet enjoyment means that the tenant has the right to use the premises for reasons stated in the lease agreement without interference from the landlord. If quiet enjoyment is breached by the landlord, a business transaction lawyer can determine if the breach was accidental or intentional.
  • Repairs and Maintenance – In Illinois, a commercial landlord is obligated to make a premises habitable for a tenant based on the intended use as agreed to in the lease agreement. However, the landlord is not obligated to make repairs or maintain the premises unless it is clearly stated as the landlord’s responsibility in the terms of the lease.
  • Property Damage – Most commercial leases spell out landlord and tenant duties and responsibilities, but don’t always address what happens if the property is rendered temporarily or permanently uninhabitable. To protect tenant rights, a commercial lease should clearly indicate intended resolution for normal wear and tear, fire, flood, mold, and other building damages that may render the premises uninhabitable.

The terms of a commercial lease define the relationship between a landlord and tenant during a stipulated lease term. In Illinois, strict compliance with contractual provisions, including landlord and tenant obligations, are typically enforced in Illinois courts when conflicts arise.

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