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Emma Lee Scott

Emma Scott’s Answers

453 total


  • Who is the owner of property I am renting

    I move in on June 1 2014 and then a notice from fannie mae was left on door on june 15 2014 saying this is a fannie mae own property now. I contact them and was told that they own the place now and is the owner and to not pay rent to the landlord ...

    Emma’s Answer

    The answer to this question depends on what stage the foreclosure case against your landlord is in. In general, a property owner remains as the legal owner until the bank gets judgment, the property is sold at a judicial sale, and the sale is approved by the court. If the case is ongoing, the landlord is still your landlord. If the property has sold, then Fannie Mae is your new landlord. I strongly recommend meeting with a foreclosure attorney who can review the details of your case and make a recommendation.

    The other big issue here, is the landlord had a legal obligation to disclose the ongoing foreclosure when he leased the property to you. So, he may have some liability for this too, depending on the timing.

    See an attorney as soon as possible.

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  • Can you start a business that could act as an alternative to a security deposits that are typically due at move in?

    An example, charge $20/month as an alternative to a $1,600 deposit.

    Emma’s Answer

    Assuming your property is in Chicago, you are looking for a way to avoid the strict requirements of the CRLTO and the Illinois Security Deposit Act. An easier way to do this might be to charge a non-refundable move in fee. This is typically much less than a security deposit, but you won't be in violation of any local ordinances if the fee is reasonable. You will want to be careful if you charge a monthly fee though, because lease provisions in conflict with or less protective than the protections of the CRLTO are generally prohibited. Review your situation with a local landlord tenant attorney before executing this plan.

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  • It has been 45 days since my lease ended, and I haven't received my deposit. What steps should I take?

    I left the house in great condition, took before and after pictures, paid rent on time every month, and kept up on all utilities. I am aware that I will get my full deposit back because my landlord has not given me an itemized deduction within ...

    Emma’s Answer

    If your building has more than 5 units and the 45 days has passed, you are entitled to recover twice the amount of your deposit. Having met those requirements, as stated above, you must then file suit under the Illinois Security Deposit Return Act to get the money back.

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  • I recently got into an argument with my leasing office. Later that day i received a 30 day eviction notice. Is that legal?

    we are month to month lease after we did not sign after one year. My fiancée came home on Tuesday and discovered furniture was rearranged and things were missing. she contacted the management company and filed a police report. Two days later the m...

    Emma’s Answer

    Month to month leases in Illinois may be terminated by either party with 30 days notice for any reason. If they have given you a 30 day notice and you don't vacate by the end of the 30 days, the landlord has the right to file an eviction suit against you. Leaving at or before the end of 30 days will keep an eviction suit off your record. I agree with the above comment that you are probably better off moving to a place where you get along with the landlord, and that is properly managed.

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  • My nephew rented an apartment he signecontract and now the owner of the apartment wants to cancel the contract he gave depos

    My nephew rented a apartment in Chicago he signed a contract for one year also gave a deposit and also gave that monthly rent he has his keys and now the landlord is stating that he wants the apartment back and that he's going to change the locks ...

    Emma’s Answer

    The landlord can't unilaterally cancel a contract, and he can't lockout a tenant to regain possession. This is called self help and it's illegal in Illinois. Your nephew needs to seek legal counsel immediately.

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  • I need to evict a roommate . How do I go about doing so ?

    He is not on the lease. He has a verbal agreement with my self and my former roommate who is still technically on the lease. He claims his agreement is with the land lord and not with me. He clams his contract is separate from my lease ...

    Emma’s Answer

    If he truly has no written agreement with anyone, he is a month to month tenant and can be evicted for any reason with 30 days written notice. If you handed a notice to him personally, the 30 days have passed, and he refuses to leave, you will have to file an eviction suit (Forcible Entry & Detainer) against him. If you are successful, the lawsuit will give you an order for possession that can be executed by the Sheriff to remove him.

    This process can be done pro se but it is very technical, and therefore not recommended. At the very least, you should seek legal advice to make sure your 30 day notice was proper and discuss next steps. If the notice was not done correctly you'll have to start over. Ideally, in sticky situations such as this, it's a really good idea to be represented by an attorney.

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  • Breaking a lease

    I am currently living with my boyfriend of about 2 years, when we moved in together he became very unstable and strange, for example I have a 9 year old son from a previous relationship that he constantly harasses and threatens and bullies on almo...

    Emma’s Answer

    Actually, under the Illinois Safe Homes Act, you MAY be able to leave and terminate your lease if you believe there is a "credible imminent threat of harm on the premises." To terminate using this law, you must give your landlord written notice 3 days before or after leaving the premises. If you truly believe you are in physical danger of harm, you should leave immediately and give your landlord notice under this act.

    For more information on how the law works, see the following link:

    http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=5554

    If you are going to terminate under this act, I highly recommend having an attorney help you so you don't make a mistake and have to start over. Once you leave, you should also get an order of protection for your personal safety.

    As another poster mentioned, you can also get an order of protection and have the sheriff remove him, but this might take longer and cause more complications. Sometimes leaving is just easier.

    Good luck and stay safe.

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  • My husband lost his job and we had to break a lease . The owners are now asking for 2 months rent. What can I do?

    I had to break a lease because my husband lost his job. The owners are asking for 2 months rent. My husband is still looking for a full time job. Is there anything I can do to resolve this.

    Emma’s Answer

    That's actually a very reasonable request. Illinois law requires landlords to mitigate their damages when a tenant terminates early. 1-2 months is a pretty standard settlement I see in these situations. If you agree to pay the 2 months as settlement, get a written release from future liability. A landlord tenant attorney can help you with a settlement agreement if you're unsure how to proceed.

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  • Does a chicago landlord need to give two days notice to enter to troubleshoot other apartment's internet connection?

    Landlord called this afternoon to inform me that tomorrow morning the an internet service provider will be entering to inspect phone lines to assist in hooking-up internet on the floor above me. Is this the type of problem where maintenance is un...

    Emma’s Answer

    City ordinance and most leases require 48 hours written notice of entry unless consent is given, and except in the case of an emergency.

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  • Can I move out any time (after paying rent for two months) if I do not have a valid signed lease for the current lease year?

    I am living at a rental property for the past two years. This year, over email, I expressed my intent to renew the lease to my landlord. He mailed be the lease, which I have not yet signed and returned back. It has already been two months into t...

    Emma’s Answer

    Since your lease has expired but you've continued to pay rent and the landlord has accepted it, you are now legally a month to month tenant. As a month to month tenant, you may terminate your tenancy with 30 days written notice for any reason. Give written notice today (August 1) and pay rent, then you will be free to move at the end of the month.

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