Landlord Rights and Tenant Disputes
As a landlord, you take what steps you can to vet your tenants. Background checks, leasing history, references – you may rely on these things and then end up with a bad tenant anyway. When that happens, our experienced attorneys provide aggressive, knowledgeable legal services to help you evict your tenant or to reach another outcome.
Common Disputes and Disagreements with Tenants
To a certain extent, tenants act as caretakers of the homes they are occupying. They also agree to pay their rent in the correct amount and on time. Failure to meet these commitments hurt your business and should be dealt with swiftly.
As experienced attorneys for landlords in Illinois, we have witnessed first-hand the myriad ways a tenant can violate a landlord's trust, as well as the terms of the lease agreement:
- Failure to pay rent on time
- Failure to pay rent at all
- Violating the terms of the lease
- Causing unreasonable damage to the property
- Failing to communicate with you about pests, bed bugs, mold or other issues requiring attention, as outlined in the lease
- Failing to report maintenance problems in a timely fashion
- Changing locks or otherwise preventing you from entering the home
This list is not exhaustive. If you feel your agreement with this individual has been violated, you probably have a case we can help you with. After reviewing the terms, we can determine the options available to you. Most of our clients who are landlords want to resolve these disputes as quickly, efficiently, painlessly and cheaply as possible. We are sensitive to those needs and to your bottom line. Although we cannot guarantee specific outcomes or timelines, we do know what to expect and we can determine the choices available to you.
Unfortunately, bad tenants rarely get better. Call our attorneys for guidance and to prevent any critical missteps when your tenant violates the agreement.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
The experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Thaddeus M. Bond, Jr. & Associates, provide legal services for landlords. These services include:
- Writing an enforceable lease
- Preventing or monitoring damage to the property
- Getting rent on time
- Avoiding rent lost to repair-and-deduct actions
- Evicting troublesome tenants
- Assembling documentary evidence in defense or prosecution of a civil trial over property damage
- Protecting yourself against code violation charges
The lease agreement is the bedrock upon which your entire relationship with your tenants is built. A large part of what we do is help landlords like you draft good leases. This document is binding and is what is relied upon as you work to show how your tenant wronged you. We assist with drawing up leases, but also provide legal services for when things go wrong during the term of an already-signed lease.
Our landlord-tenant dispute attorneys will help you resolve the situation without running into missteps, errors or pitfalls. Such mistakes can be disastrous for getting payment, evicting your tenant, gaining entry or achieving other outcomes. We know all of the relevant laws, regulations and codes to help you navigate the process with the best possible outcome for you.
Important Landlords' Rights You Should Know About
Just like your tenant, you have certain rights. Of course each party has certain responsibilities as well. But misbehaving tenants often try to claim their landlords are in the wrong, and that they had to withhold payment or make an unapproved change to the apartment as a result. While that may sometimes be the case, it's not uncommon for a tenant to be mistaken. Consider your rights as a landlord in Illinois:
- The right to visit and inspect your property. Your tenant does not have the right to bar you from accessing the real estate that you own. The law requires only that you visit at reasonable times and with reasonable notice. Absent an emergency, it is best to give notice of a visit at least 24 hours in advance. Notice of an inspection can be given by telephone, voice mail, text or e-mail.
- The right to a well maintained property. Your tenant does not have the right to damage your building or to make improvements or alterations without your permission. Make sure you have strong language in your lease on these issues. Failure to properly maintain the property or to pay required utilities can be grounds to terminate a lease early and/or evict a tenant.
- The right to a law abiding tenant. Your tenant is prohibited from using illegal drugs, making excessive noise or violating any other local ordinances while residing in your property. If the premises are governed by a homeowners or condominium association, make sure your tenant gets a copy of the rules and regulations and insist that they abide by them.
- The right to timely payment of full rent. You don’t have to take excuses for the tenant being late or only making partial payment of the rent when due. Set a precedent by serving a 5 day notice every time the tenant does not pay in full on or before the due date. Don’t let a tenant stretch the limits on payment as they will take a foot if you give them an inch.
Remember that bad tenants never get better. At the first sign of a problem, start action to terminate the lease and remove the tenant. The court system does not allow for immediate evictions and it can average 6 weeks or longer to remove a defaulting tenant through the courts. Even if the tenant complies with default notices, the sooner you start the legal process towards a court eviction the better.
Choosing an Attorney
When choosing an attorney to represent you, you may want to look for the following characteristics:
- Case results
- Client reviews
- Knowledge of local laws, ordinances and housing regulations
- Knowledge and direct experience drafting and working with leasing agreements
- Personal commitment to obtaining the best possible results for you
With more than 5 decades of combined experience in Lake County, our attorneys have extensive familiarity with resolving landlord-tenant disputes. We fight aggressively on behalf of landlords from across our state. You should not be taken advantage of and your lease – along with relevant statutes – provides protection in such situations. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients, and we hope you will take a moment to review our past case results.
If you aren't sure whether you need a lawyer, we encourage you to contact us by phone or email. Your initial consultation is FREE, so it doesn't cost anything to find out if we can help you with your tenant dispute. We'll also provide an estimate for our legal fees.
Questions to Ask at Your Consultation
We encourage you to bring any and all questions, concerns and thoughts to your initial consultation. No question is too simple, no concern is trivial. You deserve to have all the information you need in order to decide what to do next.
Although you can ask us literally anything you have on your mind about this dispute, some of the most common questions include:
- Can I evict my client?
- Roughly how long will it take to do so?
- Must I leave a 5-day, 10-day or 30-day notice that I intend to evict?
- How do I make sure the notice is crafted and delivered correctly and without error?
- My tenant damaged the property. Did they violate the lease?
- My tenant alleges I failed to fix a maintenance issue. How can I show this isn't true?
- How routinely do you handle landlord-tenant disputes?
- How much will you charge?
Our attorneys are committed to providing you with clear, straightforward and honest answers. The only way you can make an informed decision is by having accurate and honest information. We will make sure you know what your options are for resolving the situation with your tenant.
For a free review of your options with our experienced Illinois landlord dispute attorneys, please call the Law Offices of Thaddeus M. Bond, Jr. & Associates, at 847.599.9101. We have two office locations, one in Libertyville and one in Waukegan. We proudly serve people from across the surrounding region, including Gurnee and all of Lake County.
If you have a tenant who is not paying you or is otherwise violating the terms of the lease, please call our attorneys now. Having an experienced attorney at your side can help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes as you seek to get the money owed to you or to evict your tenant.