Written by attorney Christopher Anthony Cali

Chicago Condo Renters Beware

This is something to think about for both condo owners renting their condos to tenants, and tenants renting from a condo owner. If you are renting a condo, know that the use and occupancy of the condo is not only subject to the lease, but also to the condominium association Declaration, By-laws, and the rules and regulations. If the lease conflicts with the condo documents, then there could be problems. A brief example will show why this is the case. A condo owner rented out his condo to a tenant. In the lease, the condo owner allowed the tenant to have two small dogs in the unit. The lease was signed and the tenant moved in with her dogs. Two days later the tenant got a visit from the property manager. She found out that the condominium declaration does not allow unit owners to have pets. The property manager threatened to evict her from the unit if she did not get rid of the dogs. The aftermath of this scenario is bad for both the landlord and tenant. First, the tenant obviously wants to keep her dogs, so she is going to be forced to move out if she wants to keep them. The landlord is in breach of the lease, since the lease states that the tenant can have dogs. Now, the tenant must find another place to live, and has to sue the landlord to recover the cost of the move and loss of the unit. In Chicago, the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance applies, this means that the landlord could be liable for the tenants attorney fees and court costs as well as other damages. The tenant may be able to recover her costs, but now she is forced to find another place to live in a very short period of time. The moral of the story is that both landlords and tenants should inquire about the condominium rules and regulations prior to signing a lease to make sure that the lease provisions do not conflict with the condominium documents, because the condo association will win every time and both the landlord and tenant will end up losing.

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