University of Illinois System

Leasing Procedures

With the exceptions of farming operations, short-term leases, residential leases and most small storage unit leases, all commercial real estate leases are negotiated, drafted and executed by the University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services ("RES").

  • Requests for leases may come from UIUC, UIS, UIC, System Offices or Illinois Extension. Users should first check to make sure space isn’t available within a University-owned building prior to pursuing leased space from a private landlord.
  • Requests for leases may be for office, classroom, lab, storage or other space.
  • Requestors will be expected to provide a CFOAP to cover lease expenses.
  • Using units will need to decide what length of lease term is needed. Often, renewal options can be included.
  • Using units will need to provide Real Estate Services with a scope of the space needed.

RES staff will determine if a formal RFI procurement process is needed. If so:

  • A Request for Information (which includes a request for proposals) must be published on the Higher Education Procurement Bulletin for at least 30 days and advertised in the local newspaper.
  • All proposed sites must be visited by the RFI committee, which shall include user stakeholders.
  • RES will negotiate the lease and any needed improvements and draft the lease working with the landlord, University Counsel and Risk Management on the final lease draft.
  • Board of Trustees Approval is needed if any fiscal year lease expenses exceed $200,000.
  • An award packet must be submitted to the State Purchasing Officer for review.
  • The finalized award packet must be posted to the Higher Education Procurement Bulletin for 30 days, during which time the Procurement Policy Board may require attendance by RES staff and user stakeholders at their monthly meeting for questions regarding the proposed lease.
  • Once all questions are addressed and there is no objection, then the lease may be executed.

If no RFI is required, RES staff will provide information regarding potential available spaces to fulfill the request and arrange site visits upon user request. Once an appropriate space is determined, RES staff will negotiate, draft and execute the lease. Leases will be reviewed by University Legal Counsel and Risk Management when required.

  • Leased spaces may have tenant improvements to the space that may be minimal or could be major buildouts. Such improvements are typically written into the lease.
    • Tenant improvements are USUALLY contracted by the building owner/landlord.
    • Tenants must sign an acceptance of contracted tenant improvements for the RES lease file.
  • Real Estate Services staff will address the appropriate procedures for rent and utility payments at the time of the lease. The procedure varies between UIUC, UIS, UIC, System Offices and Extension.
  • Real estate leases are entered into Contracts+ by Real Estate Services Staff, and copies of executed leases are distributed to all stakeholders.
  • RES enters the leases into a lease database and tracks the leases through the full term for rent increases, renewal options, options to terminate and expiration and provides appropriate notices to using units.