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Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
Is this for your personal lease for your apartment, or a lease for son's apartment?
If this is for your apartment, why was son an original signer on it?
Are they refusing to renew the lease unless your son signs as a co-signer?
Ok, then this is purely the landlord's rule as there is no law in IL that says that everyone over 18 living in a dwelling has to be on the lease. They might require them to be listed as an occupant if they are living there, but that doesn't require a signature unless they want to make everyone liable for the rent in the event of a default.
The landlord likely just wanted everyone on the hook for the rent in case you moved out and left son living there himself.
But with that said, this is entirely up to the landlord as to whether they will agree to renew the lease with only you and husband being the legal tenants on the lease. I find it kind of unusual that the landlord would require son to actually co-sign on the lease if he was living elsewhere during the school year unless your and husband's credit is not very high or you have previous evictions on your civil record..
So I would simply tell the landlord that son was living elsewhere and wasn't going to be a co-signer on the lease and see if they will agree to forego having him co-sign.
As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...