When concessions are provided renters may not realize the real net rent that will be paid by them, which therefore changes the value proposition of a rental deal.
The Illinois Landlord Tenant law includes a Rent Concession Act. The purpose of the Act is to regulate the practice of offering concessions on rent amount, rental terms, or other significant features of a potential rental agreement that can be misleading to a renter. When concessions are provided renters may not realize the real net rent that will be paid by them, which therefore changes the value proposition of a rental deal.
Rent Concessions, Defined
The Rent Concession Act defines the meaning of a rent concession. In the case of a written lease, a concession is when the landlord directly or indirectly gives or promises to give the renter any of the following, without the promised concession being written into the lease agreement:
- any credit or rebate of rent
- the right, privilege or license to occupy the leased premises for a period other than the term created by the lease, either rent free or for a rent less than the average rent fixed by the lease for the entire term
- any other valuable thing, right or privilege
The Act goes on to stipulate that repairing and decorating the leased premises by the landlord is not a rent concession, nor is an agreement by a landlord to waive any of the terms or conditions of the lease other than those relating to the payment of rent.
How To Lawfully Grant a Concession
The law does not state that a concession cannot be granted, simply that it must be disclosed in the lease agreement. When a rent concession is made the landlord must visibly display the words “Concession Granted” as a legend across the face of the rental agreement, and in such text that is plainly legible and in letters not less than one-half inch in height. In addition, a memorandum on the margin or across the face of the lease must state the amount or extent and nature of each concession. Failure of the landlord to display the legend and describe the concession in the lease is unlawful and a violation of the Rent Concession Act. Landlords in Illinois are encouraged to review the exact wording of the Act, which can be found at 765 ILCS 730.