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Broke lease and landlord threatening to garnish my wages

Chicago, IL |

I had problems with landlord from the beginning. She would shut off the heat(this was between Jan and Feb!) amongst other things. I wanted to leave but decided to stick it out. Well, I found out that her condo association forbids renters! Met her condo board prez by accident doing laundry and she was surprised I was renting the apt! Condo board prez even had condo association lawyer send a cease and desist to stop renting. Long story short, I told landlord I would be moving and she agreed verbally. 1 month later I get a letter from her saying she'd be garnishing my wages. . So confused and scared. Am I still liable to pay rent for an apartment I was never allowed to live in from the beginning? I can't afford to pay my current rent and my old apt rent.

Attorney Answers 3


Based on what you wrote, I would not worry about this too much. It sounds like your old landlord might have issues with the condo association, and potentially violated the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance, which would entitle you to a counter claim. I don’t think you will be hearing from your landlord, but you can always check the circuit clerk’s website or call 312-603-5030 to find out if a case has been open against you. Good Luck.

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Your landlord cannot simply garnish your wages. She has to go to court and get a money judgment against you. You would be notified of this proceeding and given a chance to defend yourself. Try to relax. Nothing can happen behind your back. You should consult an attorney so you are better prepared to deal with this problem,

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Agreed I wouldn't worry to much about this. The landlord can't just start garnishing your wages without filing a lawsuit and winning the suit. You have a valid defense for breaching the lease as it was prohibited by the condo association and the landlord shouldn't have been renting in the first place. If you do get sued by chance, hire a lawyer to defend against the suit or defend against it. My guess would be that the landlord won't sue because of this defense. In addition, the landlord breached the lease by turning off the heat and you could sue for damages for that if the property was in Chicago. You can get damages. Hope this helps....

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the receiver of such question should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.

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