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Emma Lee Scott

Emma Scott’s Answers

456 total

  • What can I do about the past due rent? How do I pursue? What type of attorney and what steps should I take?

    I have a residential home that was being rented. The tenant stopped paying rent I issued a 5 Day notice. The tenants stated that they are moving out today or tomorrow at the latest. I will then change locks. However, they do owe a balance....

    Emma’s Answer

    Once the 5-day notice expires, you can file a suit against the tenant to recover past due rent, and/or possession (if they haven't moved out yet). This suit is called a Forcible Entry & Detainer action, and a landlord tenant attorney can help you get it started. First, consult with a landlord tenant attorney to make sure the 5-day notice was drafted and delivered correctly, then they will discuss next steps with you.

    Do NOT change the locks unless the tenant has moved everything out. The law views this as "self-help", which is illegal and can potentially cause you more trouble down the road.

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  • What are my legal responsibilities of breaking a lease with no early termination clause

    I started renting an apartment with a 1 yr lease. I'm 3 months into this lease and am considering moving back to live with my parents, as it would put me in a much better financial position. I've read my lease multiple times and see no clause ...

    Emma’s Answer

    In IL landlords have a duty to mitigate their losses from early lease termination. What that means to you is that the landlord's statement is generally true, except he can't just sit on the apartment and collect rent from you. Landlords have to make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant, but you'll be responsible for the rent in the meantime. Reasonable generally works out to 1-2 months, although situations vary.

    I agree with Mr. Braebender in that he can't just keep the security deposit. He can only keep whatever is necessary to cover repairs to the unit over and above normal wear and tear. You may want to have a landlord tenant attorney in your local area review the lease to make sure you aren't missing anything.

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  • Lease says "no pets allowed without prior written consent of landlord." But landlord says no pets allowed.

    I'm renting an apartment, and in the lease, it says "no pets allowed without prior written consent of landlord." Before we moved in, the online posting for the apartment says no pets allowed, but the lease says otherwise. Some people have cats in ...

    Emma’s Answer

    You're misunderstanding the lease provision. It doesn't say the landlord must allow pets, but that if any pets are allowed it will only be with a prior written consent.

    In the future, if it's important to you to have a pet friendly complex, it' would be smart to double check with management before signing the lease.

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  • Eviction Notice

    My 20 year old son and his 17 year old girl friend live with us, and he only pays us $100 a month cash for food, and has never paid any rent of any kind. He is making our life miserable and we want him out. I am not sure what form to use, the sta...

    Emma’s Answer

    If he won't leave willingly, then you'll have to use the standard eviction procedure to kick him out.

    If he doesn't have a written lease, the law views him as a month to month tenant. Month to month tenants can be evicted with a 30 day notice for any reason. You must issue the notice and wait 30 days. If he doesn't leave, then you must go and file an eviction suit.

    If you have a written agreement with him, then he must breach that agreement somehow, proper notice must be given, and then a suit can be filed.

    In either case, I recommend getting a consultation with a landlord tenant attorney before moving forward. They will listen to the specifics of your situation, advise you properly, and make sure the proper procedure is followed.

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  • I have a no pet rule within my condo association. What do I need to rent out my unit to a tenant who has a service pet?

    I have a prospective tenant who says she has a service pet due to being narcoleptic. However, the condo association has a "no pet rule". What do I need from the tenant to allow her to move in the unit with her dog, if emotional or service pet?

    Emma’s Answer

    If your tenant has a certified service animal, and her disability is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, she can't be prohibited from having the animal in her unit. Under ADA and the Fair Housing Act this would be considered a reasonable accommodation. Recommend checking with an attorney specializing in disability or fair housing issues to help you navigate the process of getting it approved by the board.

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  • Tenant has three months left on their lease and want to get out of the contract...

    Tenant has three months left on their 1 yr lease and want to get out of the contract and move (says he has a lower paying job that's farther away) closer to the new job. He's telling me to keep the deposit and use it for the (10th month's rent) an...

    Emma’s Answer

    When tenants terminate a lease early, Illinois law requires landlords to mitigate their damages. This means landlords must make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant to take the unit as soon as possible. This doesn't mean you have to take the first person who walks through the door, but I think the tenant's suggestion to start looking now is a good idea. Reasonable is USUALLY (circumstances vary) a couple of months.

    You're not required to take the security deposit as the last month's rent (unless specifically set out in the lease). Whether or not you do is your choice, but it's likely you can only hold him liable for 2 months worth of rent.

    I highly recommend getting a consultation with a landlord-tenant attorney to further discuss the specifics of your situation.

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  • Month to month tenant got a 5day notice and 10 day notice @ the same time are those the appropriate notices?

    I lived here for 10yrs I been late n the past there was no problems I always have given notice Of the rent going to be late and when It will be paid then one day I came home and I have these notices posted on my door I haven't been served yet bu...

    Emma’s Answer

    I agree with the answer above. From what you stated above, you have been served with the notice to pay rent, but not the eviction summons & complaint, which is what will tell you when you need to go to court. If the landlord has served you with these notices but the time period didn't expire, their complaint may have been filed prematurely and you could still have time to pay the rent in full.

    As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities. So, as stated above, seek counsel to determine the options for your specific situation.

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  • How much does an eviction cost a landlord in Cook County Illinois?

    New landlord trying to get an approximate best case and worst case $ cost and amount of time from start to finish for evicting a tenant in Cook County Illinois. I heard that Cook County will not kick out tenants during the winter months. Is this t...

    Emma’s Answer

    It's difficult to determine what an attorney will cost you, as they have different rates. Filing fees can be found on the court website at Add to that $60 Sheriff's Service fee for each party that needs to be served. Amount of time will also vary with your situation and depend on whether the tenant raises defenses, etc.

    It is true the Cook County Sheriff usually has an eviction moratorium during the winter months but that should be ending shortly. However, they do have a backlog of evictions. If you file an eviction case and order Sheriff's service, you can inquire in their office about how long the wait is from time of order of possession.

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  • Hi! I'm trying to leave my rental apt now, tho my lease is up 5/1. I found a dream tenant for 3/15 thru next year.

    Dumbfounded that landlord is refusing to entertain this option.Suddenly claims he has other plans for apt, tho he had asked if I want to renew. I have not pd Mar; he can keep my sec. dep of $1300. By contract I'm responsible for addn't $1300 for A...

    Emma’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Landlords in Illinois must mitigate their damages when a tenant terminates a lease early. This means they must make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant for the unit. It does NOT mean they must accept your proposed tenant. It's up to them. If he tries to sue then your proof of presenting a potential tenant might be relevant and helpful.

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  • Landlord/Tenant Responsibility

    Hello I am looking for help I'm renting a duplex that is owned by a man and his wife. I am the only renter in the building last Sunday my neighbor downstairs said that there is water damage coming from a leak in my unit. Upon inspection my landlor...

    Emma’s Answer

    State Farm is correct. This repair is the Landlord's responsibility.

    Since you're in Chicago your property is likely covered by the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO), which dictates how this situation should be handled. I recommend speaking with a landlord tenant attorney who knows the CRLTO and can help you deal with this situation in compliance with the ordinance. This will most likely involve sending a 14-day notice to the Landlord, but an attorney can review the specifics of your case and advise you on the best way to move forward.

    Good luck!

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