University of Illinois System

Leasing Policies for Leasing Privately-Owned Property

The University of Illinois leases considerable space to further its broad mission. There is leased space in most every county throughout Illinois, but the bulk of the leased space is in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign. As a public entity, leasing third-party space by the University can be complex and requires adherence to many policies. The staff at Real Estate Services is available to make sure that leases are in compliance. An overview of key leasing policies is as follows:

  • The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois shall be the Tenant on every lease.
  • Every lease must be executed by the Comptroller or Comptroller Delegate for real estate.
  • Every lease must include a completed Certifications and Conflicts form and a Real Estate Lease Disclosure Statement. A conflict-of-interest review shall be undertaken for any potential conflict of interest disclosed.
  • Leases may not exceed a term of ten years, inclusive of renewal options and must have the right to be terminated by the University after five years. In circumstances where more than $100,000 of tenant improvements are invested into a leased space, the term may be between ten and thirty years with Board of Trustees approval and approval of the Procurement Policy Board.
  • All leases in excess of $100,000 per fiscal year, inclusive of space improvement expenses, OR in excess of 10,000 square feet must be procured through a formal RFI process. The RFI must be published on the State of Illinois Higher Education Bulletin and must be advertised in the local newspaper for the designated area. The RFI process generally takes about six months to complete. RFI responses are required to include a completed Financial Disclosure and Conflict of Interest Form in addition to the other certification and disclosure forms required with all payable leases.
  • All leases must include a Real Estate CARF (“RE-CARF”) with signature approvals from the appropriate individuals for approval levels designated for real estate lease contracts based upon the total amount of the contract for the entire lease term.
    • Leases that include expenses of $250,000 or more in any fiscal year of the lease term require approval from Chief Legal Counsel and the President of the University.
    • All leases with expenses of $200,000 or more in any fiscal year of the lease term require approval from the Board of Trustees.
  • Certain statutory provisions must be included in every lease.