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Joan Marie Fenstermaker

Landlord or tenant Attorney at Chicago, IL

4.9   111 reviews

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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

Licensed for 28 years
State IL
Status Active And Authorized To Practice Law
Acquired 1994
Updated 01/06/2023

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

Contact Joan

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

Reviews

4.9 / 5.0
  111 customer reviews
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.
Posted by ivon | March 28, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing Lawyer
She is the best, After a few phone calls and some emails, her consultation made me feel very confident in her actions. I was able to get out of my lease and move into a new apartment very fast. I highly recommend her.. she knows her job and she was honest with me.
Posted by anonymous | March 8, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent work
Joan helped out in a big way. She was quick, concise, and effective. If I ever have a similar issue in the future, she'll be the first person I reach out to.
Posted by anonymous | March 5, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
great experience - security deposit recovered
I would highly recommend Joan. She is very knowledgeable, communicative, and decisive. She helped me recover the portion of my security deposit that was unlawfully withheld plus additional amounts for other violations I wouldn't have thought about. She clearly has a lot of experience representing tenants and answered all of my questions along the way. She was always responsive when I reached out and really listened to my thoughts and questions. She made a very stressful situation as positive and smooth as it could be. Again, I highly recommend her!
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Posted by Marie | March 2, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing lawyer
Working with Joan was as good an experience as one can have while going through something as stressful and awful as a lawsuit. She kept me informed and explained anything I was confused about, equally willing to talk on the phone or email. She had incredible patience considering my landlord dragged every single thing that needed to be done out for as long as possible. Cannot recommend her enough.
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Posted by anonymous | February 7, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent tenant attorney and advocate
Joan was great to work with during a long drawn out process of breaking my lease early and getting my security deposit back. When I got a new job in a different city, she was an excellent resource and consulted with me on my options for breaking my lease. Later I returned to her after my landlord did not return my security deposit, and Joan did a great job of advocating to help me reach a settlement. I would absolutely recommend her to any tenant wanting to understand their options in dealing with a difficult landlord!
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Posted by Kaya | January 21, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Security Deposit Safely Secured!!!
Joan is an amazing tenant lawyer, and I'm so grateful to have found and worked with her. She holds great expertise and knowledge, is highly professional, and extremely communicative throughout the whole process. I'll be recommending her services for sure!
Posted by Tyler | December 22, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Know your rights. Call Joan.
Joan and her team helped us navigate a sticky situation with our new landlords after our building was sold. She answered all of our questions in a clear and concise, no nonsense manner. Her reviews ring true and we could not have asked for better representation. Landlords are not entitled to your money. Know your rights, call Joan.
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Posted by Jorge | December 17, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Joan is your best advocate
Working with Joan was great. She was professional and exceptionally competent. She was honest and straight to the point. She helped us through a very unpleasant and difficult situation with our landlord. She was always available, very clearly explained to us the law, broke down our case into words and timetables that were easy to understand, and ultimately won our case handedly. I trust her advice and was reassured to have her on our side throughout the process. We could not have fought back the injustice our landlord was committing against us without her.
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Posted by Madeline | December 14, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Experience
Joan had a great understanding of tenant law and was able to help me get my security deposit back after my landlord was trying to withhold it. She always explained the process clearly to me, which was very much appreciated. Don't hesitate to work with Joan!
Posted by anonymous | December 11, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Efficient expert & positive experience
Joan was our first experience hiring a lawyer and a very positive experience at that. Joan is direct, efficient and was very helpful with finding a solution with our landlord problems. Joan helped us terminate our lease and get money owed to us from our landlord. And this was all done remotely with no in person meeting needed, covid safe and less time consuming. We're really grateful for her help and highly recommend her if you are dealing with a landlord who is not acting in accordance to the law.
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Posted by Michelle | November 22, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very helpful, definitely recommend!
Joan was very helpful with a frustrating landlord situation. I contacted her through this site after I did not receive my security deposit back. The landlord and his attorney made the process long, convoluted, and drawn out. Joan was persistent, patently and promptly answered my questions, clearly explained my options as we went along, and explained everything that was going on. She went to great lengths to obtain information and witnesses to support my case (I unfortunately wasn’t the first to have a terrible experience with this landlord). The case was finally resolved and ruled in my favor. I’d highly recommend Joan and her associates!
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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

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