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Joan Marie Fenstermaker

Landlord or tenant Attorney at Chicago, IL

4.9   122 reviews
  • Licensed for 29 years
    State IL
    Acquired 1994
    Status
    Active and Authorized to Practice Law No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Joan

Learn Joan’s areas of practice.

The law office of Joan M. Fenstermaker, P.C. only represents tenants related to rental property located within the City of Chicago. At this time, we are not handling eviction cases.

Photos and videos

Location

Joan M Fenstermaker, PC
105 W. Madison St.
Ste. 600
Chicago, IL, 60602

Landlord & Tenant lawyers nearby

Reviews

4.9 / 5.0
  122 customer reviews
Posted by Sean | May 11, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Tenancy Dispute Representation
Exceptional legal counsel from start to finish. Joan was incredibly responsive, providing clear and informative guidance throughout our tenancy dispute case. Her detailed knowledge of the RLTO put us at ease, giving us full confidence that we had a strong case. Joan's swift communication and decisive actions allowed us to successfully break our lease and recover all of our money from an uncooperative landlord. We were impressed by her professionalism and advocacy on our behalf. If you need a tenacious attorney to protect your rights as a tenant, Joan is the one to hire. Can't recommend her enough!
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Posted by Henry | March 13, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Landlord
Joan did an excellent job for us in a years long case involving a very obstinate and obnoxious landlord. Facilitated a fair settlement for us & more than earned her fee.
Posted by Andrew | February 8, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Joan and Nick are great!
Joan and Nick helped me get back my security deposit, plus a good amount of damages, from my nasty former landlord. (As a bonus, he also got stuck with a large attorney’s fee bill, so he paid for the great representation I got from Joan and Nick!) They really know how to use Chicago’s tenant ordinance to get results for their clients. Another nice thing: I never once had to go to court or do anything other than send some docs and review/sign some stuff; they took care of everything with no hassle for me.
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Posted by anonymous | February 8, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
So thankful
Had a dispute with our former landlords over our security deposit. The situation was very stressful. So glad we found Joan, she is knowledgeable and prompt. She made everything much less stressful and we were able to reach an agreement.
Posted by Elisa | February 6, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Deposit issue
Joan helped me get my deposit back +reach a settlement with both my previous landlords. Long story short my landlord sold the building and new landlords did not want to give me my deposit back. Joan was able to settle With both set of landlords for violating the rlto. I am very pleased with the outcome in both these matters. She is very knowledgeable, works fast and keeps you in the loop every step of the way! I highly recommend her.
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Posted by Brendan | October 23, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great tenants’ rights work
We worked with Joan on a dispute with our former landlord over prorated rent and withholding of our security deposit. Joan did a great job of advising us on the process, keeping us informed of developments, and working with a difficult attorney on the landlord’s side. We were very happy with the recovery Joan was able to secure for us.
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Posted by Kevin | August 9, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Expert Tenant Representation
I retained Joan to assist with a dispute with a former landlord who would not return the security deposit. Her representation was superb and resulted in a recovery which was several times the amount in dispute. The value that Joan brings as a specialist in this area is immense. Any attorney can claim to practice landlord/tenant law, but few have the experience that comes with handling the sheer number of security deposit claims that Joan has handled. Joan was able to knowledgeably evaluate the merits of my case and provide sound guidance at every stage. I was able to confidently direct settlement negotiations because Joan has an unmatched knowledge of what these cases look like when they actually get litigated in court. Experience like that is invaluable. We ended up reaching a settlement I was very happy with. I recommend Joan without reservation.
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Posted by Sergei | June 19, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceptional Legal Support
I can't recommend Joan highly enough. In dealing with a dispute with my former landlord, Joan provided exceptional legal representation. Her knowledge of the law, combined with her professional, methodical approach, resulted in a favorable outcome for me. Throughout the entire process, Joan was always available to answer my questions and kept me well-informed about the case's progress. If you are looking for an attorney who will tirelessly advocate for your rights and provide top-notch legal advice, look no further than Joan Fenstermaker. I am truly grateful for her support and would not hesitate to seek her services again in the future.
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Posted by Jake | April 29, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Simply the best
She was able to handle a complicated landlord tenant security deposit situation that required multiple lawyers. Not only did she instill confidence at the initial consultation she went out of her way to take a case on contingency. She deserved a glowing review (win or lose) ... but in my experience she doesn't lose.
Posted by anonymous | April 24, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Landlord /Tenant Issue: Security Deposit
Joan, executed her agreed upon tasks with professionality and dispatch. Her knowledge of the matter in dispute was excellent. We avoided going to court and she negotiated a settlement which was satisfactory to us. We would without hesitation engage her again in Chicago Tenant Landlord disputes.
Posted by Chloe | March 11, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing!
Joan was incredibly helpful, responsive, and capable. The situation my roommate and I were in was stressful but Joan made the process as easy as possible. We really appreciate how she handled it and would recommend her to anyone.
Posted by Scott | October 11, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Experience
Joan was fantastic in settling a dispute over my security deposit with a former landlord. She answered all my questions and took care of all communication for me. Once we settled I was paid promptly. I'd definitely recommend her.
Posted by Nick | September 2, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Defense Against Predatory Subrogation Claim
Joan represented me when my landlord's insurance company tried to come after me for a subrogation claim that was ultimately trying to leverage an entire bathroom renovation to increase the market value of the unit after I moved out. She kindly and thoroughly walked me through Illinois tenant law and presented the insurance company with an excellent letter that dismissed their claims. They have not tried to contact me since! I would go to Joan again in a heartbeat - she is patient, kind, and strong representation.
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Posted by James | August 29, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Attorney
Working with Joan was my first experience hiring a lawyer and I couldn't be happier with the result. I was so impressed with her knowledge, professionalism, and her genuine passion for tenant advocacy. Joan was direct and reassuring in our conversations and worked quickly to secure a fair resolution. I would strongly recommend Joan and her team to anyone in Chicago experiencing issues with their landlord.
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Posted by Paul | August 23, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
If You're in the Market for a Tenant Lawyer, You've Found Her!
Joan Fenstermaker is an absolute God-send! My fiance and I needed to relocate from Chicago in a short period of time, and we reached out to Joan in the hopes of reaching an agreement to break our lease. The property management company we were renting from was going through some transitions - unbeknownst to us, but Joan navigated our entire relationship with the company to help us reach a favorable solution. She was extremely accommodating with her time, made the effort to make sure we understood every angle of the situation, and made a point of providing us all we needed to make informed decisions throughout the process of reaching agreement. Joan knows her stuff and knows how to get stuff done... and, she's just a calming presence in a hectic scenario. I can't adamantly enough express how appreciative we are for her, but - if you're in the market for a tenant lawyer - look no further; you've found her.
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Posted by anonymous | June 7, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hire Joan!
Joan was amazing in breaking my newly signed lease, was able to recover rent as well. She was very good at checking in and giving us updates. Highly recommend.
Posted by Susan | June 3, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Joan is awesome!
I can't recommend Joan highly enough. She was wonderful to work with, and got us the result she was confident she could. She was responsive to our needs and questions, timely in her correspondences, and very friendly which put us at ease given we had never been engaged in a situation like this before. She rocks!
Posted by Elizabeth | April 15, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Experienced, zealous advocate
I am an attorney myself, and a colleague of mine recommended Joan. She came highly recommended, and she did not disappoint. She was able to get us a a great result in the dispute we had with our landlord. Joan is experienced, knowledgeable, and zealous in her representation. I would recommend her to anyone seeking a lawyer to deal with landlord/tenancy issues!
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Posted by anonymous | April 1, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing Attorney for Tenants
Joan was fantastic from the first email all the way through to the conclusion for my issue with my prior landlord. She was knowledgeable, approachable, great communicator (provide updates regularly), and easy to get ahold of. I would not have been able to get to the result without Joan and her team's assistance.
Posted by Alexandra | April 1, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wonderful
We got everything we needed. Joan patiently and brilliantly guided us through the process of winning. Our landlord was quite problematic, but with Joan's care, we were able to regain peace of mind.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 300-425 per hour
  • Contingency 30%-50%
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 7.3 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Joan M. Fenstermaker, PC
  • 2019 - Present
  • Partner
  • Kendle, Mikuta & Fenstermaker
  • 2001 - 2019
  • Associate Attorney
  • Fischer, Kendle & Wahlers
  • 1994 - 2000

Education

  • DePaul University College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1994
  • Indiana University
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1991

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Landlord falsely claim property was owner-occupied
  • Ruling in favor of the tenant for return of the deposit plus 2 x security deposit and attorney's fees

Associations

  • Metropolitan Tenants Organization
  • Board Member
  • 2018 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Metropolitan Tenants Organization
  • 2015

Speaking Engagements

  • Un-Common Law on 4/28/13
  • Tenants' rights
  • 2013
  • Hotline Volunteer Training 9/28/13
  • Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance
  • 2013
  • Hotline Volunteer Training 6/8/13
  • Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance
  • 2013
  • Hotline Volunteer Training 11/23/13
  • Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance
  • 2013
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (4)
Endorse Joan
Family Attorney | Aug 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse Mrs. Fenstermaker. Very experienced and caring attorney who gets great results in representing clients. Keep up a great work!"
Landlord or tenant Attorney | Aug 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Knowledgeable, empathic and committed to the passionate representation of tenants."
Landlord or tenant Attorney | Feb 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Joan knows the law and how to apply it to her case. When working opposite her on cases she remains professional in her dealings."
Real estate Attorney | Jan 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. She is extremely thorough and prepared. She has a good relationship with her clients. She wants to help people. Melinda Power"
Personal injury
Bankruptcy and debt
Landlord or tenant
Divorce and separation