Residential Landlord-Tenant Dispute Lawyer
Over 35 Years of Real Estate Law Experience
Landlord-tenant disputes are as old as rental agreements. Both parties to the lease are subject to certain requirements under contract as well as both state and local laws, and both parties regularly push the boundaries to protect their interests. Whether you are a tenant subjected to unlawful conduct by a landlord, or a landlord dealing with an intransigent tenant, you need a seasoned, knowledgeable residential real estate attorney on your side when a dispute arises.
If you are a tenant facing wrongful eviction or a violation of your rights, or if you are a landlord concerned over your exposure to tenant liability, contact a knowledgeable residential landlord-tenant lawyer at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle, Ltd. for help protecting your finances and your home.
When Do Chicagoland Tenants Need a Landlord-Tenant Lawyer?
As a residential tenant in Illinois, you may encounter numerous situations in which a dispute with your landlord is on the horizon. You are guaranteed certain rights under contract as well as under state and local law. If your landlord tries to violate those rights, or if you are engaged in any other sort of dispute with your landlord, the seasoned real estate attorneys at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle are ready to help.
Our landlord-tenant dispute legal team is ready to assist when:
- Your landlord tries to improperly evict you. Landlords must go through the proper legal proceedings in order to evict a tenant. They cannot physically force you out, they cannot simply change the locks, they cannot remove your doors or possessions. If your landlord tries extra-legal measures to kick you out, you have the right to fight back.
- You are facing eviction. Even if your landlord is going through the appropriate legal channels to evict, having an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer on your side can be the difference between keeping your home and winding up on the street. Your attorney may find one of many useful strategies to avoid eviction, including anti-eviction laws, financial arrangements such as bankruptcy, or legal protections under other laws and regulations.
- Alleged lease violations. Tenants agree to certain obligations under the lease, including paying rent on time, limiting residents to the agreed-upon number, and avoiding certain behaviors that might disrupt neighbors–such as playing loud music in the hallways or stairwell. Sometimes, landlords try to rely on petty lease violations to kick out a tenant without just cause. They may be trying to get around rent control restrictions or simply replace a tenant with someone they prefer. Your landlord-tenant lawyer will make sure you do not pay exorbitant penalties or face eviction based on unreasonable breach allegations.
- The landlord fails to make necessary repairs. Landlords also have obligations under the lease and state and local law. They must keep your apartment habitable, and they must make appropriate repairs. They cannot, for example, wait until the dead of winter to fix your broken heater, or leave you without a working door or lock. You may have remedies including withholding your rent until certain repairs are made, but you must do things the right way to avoid liability for yourself. A seasoned landlord-tenant lawyer can help you protect your rights without you setting yourself up for failure.
- You’ve been injured. You are responsible for your safety inside your apartment, but inside the building’s common areas, the landlord must keep the premises safe. If an icy entryway, a faulty elevator, or a wobbly staircase railing causes you serious injury, you have the right to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the building owner and/or manager.
- Your property has been damaged. Sometimes a building’s shoddy wiring or weak roofing can lead to an accident, damaging your property. If you find your ceiling collapsed or your kitchen set ablaze, you have the right to sue your landlord for your losses.
- Disability and other fair housing violations. Illinois landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on a variety of characteristics, including race, religion, sex, and disability. Landlords must also grant reasonable accommodations to disabled tenants, such as preferential parking or allowance for a seeing-eye dog as an exception to a no-pets policy.
- Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO). Special rules apply to rentals of Chicago properties. Chicago’s RLTO applies to residential rentals of 6 or fewer units where the landlord does not reside at the property. It varies the duties and obligations of both landlords and tenants.
The landlord-tenant dispute lawyers at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle help landlords avoid unnecessary liability. If you have a tenant who consistently fails to pay rent, you need to make sure you follow all appropriate laws and regulations to effect an eviction. If you have a tenant violating the rules and you don’t know your options, a dedicated landlord-tenant lawyer can help.
Our residential real estate attorneys will help you through the unlawful detainer and eviction process, making sure to avoid any liability-generating pitfalls along the way. We are also ready to defend you against fair housing allegations and other tenants’ rights disputes, resolve title issues and right to first refusal claims and help you seek rent collection legally and efficiently.
Call for Help from a Dedicated Chicago Landlord-Tenant Dispute Attorney
If you want to protect your rights as a tenant or avoid unnecessary liability as a landlord in the Chicago area, contact a residential landlord-tenant lawyer at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle, Ltd. for a consultation, in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025, or in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.