Connect with us:

When Can a Chicago Landlord Conclude a Tenant Has Abandoned the Apartment

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in abandonment of apartment, Chicago landlords, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, landlord attorney, personal property, rental periods, RLTO, tenant's intention

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) applies to all non-owner occupied residential rental buildings as well as to owner-occupied buildings of more than six units. RLTO has helpful definitions of when a tenant can be considered to have abandoned his or her apartment. The first situation is simple, where the tenant has given actual notice to the landlord of the tenant’s intention not to return to the unit.

The second definition of abandonment requires three things:
a) That in the case of a tenancy with rental periods of one month or more, all persons entitled to occupy the apartment have been absent for a period of two (2) days or in the case of rental period of less than a month, that all persons have been absent for one rental period;
b) All persons entitled to occupy the unit have removed their personal property from the premises; and
c) Rent for the period is unpaid.

The third situation is which the landlord may conclude there has been abandonment is where all persons entitled to occupy the apartment have been absent for a period of thirty two (32) days and rent for the period is unpaid.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about RLTO or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

When Must a Chicago Landlord Disclose Building Code Violations to a Tenant

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Chicago Landlord, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, code violations, Illinois landlord attorney, month to month tenancy, prospective tenant, renewal lease, RLTO

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) requires that a Chicago Landlord in a non-owner occupied building or in an owner-occupied building of more than six units must notify a prospective tenant in writing of any code violations in the building which have been cited during the previous 12 months and of any pending code enforcement proceedings. The same disclosure must be made in writing when the lease is renewed.

However, a recent Illinois appellate court case created and exception where rather than entering a new written renewal lease, the tenant simply continued to occupy the apartment after expiration of the initial lease. Under Illinois law, this situation created what is called a “month to month tenancy”. The recent appellate decision held that a month to month tenancy does not constitute a “renewal” for purposes of RLTO and thus no code violation notice is required.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about RLTO or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

Illinois Small Estate Administration Made Easier

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in decedent, estate administration attorney, personal property, probate, probate estate, small estate administration, small estate affidavit

Illinois has long had a law which permitted the transfer of up to $100,000 in personal property at a person’s death without the need for probate. The law permitted the transfer by the completion and execution of what is called a small estate affidavit. Since a probate estate can take seven months to a year or more to complete and can involve attorney fees and costs of $2,000 or more, this alternative to probate can be very useful in the right circumstances.

Until the beginning of 2015, the small estate affidavit had a characteristic which severely limited the usefulness of the procedure, in that the affidavit could only be used where the estate had no debts other than funeral expenses. This changed through a law passed in 2014. Now a small estate affidavit may be used in estates which have non-funeral debts, provided all debts of the decedent are listed in the affidavit.

The person who signs the small estate affidavit becomes responsible for paying the debts. In addition, the signer becomes responsible for distributing the estate to its rightful recipients, who are also to be listed in the affidavit.

The small estate affidavit allows banks and other third parties who have possession of the decedent’s assets to transfer them in accordance with the affidavit. Further, the small estate affidavit may used to gain access to a safety deposit box of the decedent.

Feel free to contact an Illinois estate administration attorney experienced in the use of small estate affidavits at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the use of a small estate affidavit to avoid probate or any other area of the laws governing Illinois estate planning or Illinois probate or estate administration.

Appellate Court Confirms Right of Tenant to Attorney Fees in RLTO Counterclaim

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in appellate court, appellate court decision, attorney fees, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, counterclaim, court decision, eviction law, eviction law attorney, RLTO

An August, 2015 Illinois Appellate Court decision has confirmed that a Chicago tenant who successfully prosecutes a counterclaim in an eviction action for damages under Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) is entitled to an award for the tenant’s attorney fees. The First District Appellate court in Shadid v Sims rejected the landlord’s argument that RLTO only provides for an award of attorney fees where a tenant prevails in a separate action initiated by the plaintiff.

In the Shadid case, the plaintiff landlord had filed what the court characterized as a “garden-variety eviction lawsuit” for non-payment of rent. The tenants counterclaimed alleging various violations of RLTO. After a bench trial, the lower court ruled that the tenant had met their burden of proving a RLTO violation and that they were entitled to a full offset of the rent then owed. The Court then granted the tenants the right to file a Petition for Attorney Fees, which they did, seeking $9,878. The landlord argued that the tenants were not entitled to attorney fees because they were not the plaintiffs; rather they were defendants and counter plaintiffs. The trial court agreed and dismissed the Petition for Attorney Fees. The appellate court reversed the trial court decision and remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to grant the Petition and award the tenants reasonable attorney fees under RLTO.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

New TRID Requirements are Delaying Residential Real Estate Closings

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Closing Disclosure form, disclosure period, loan documentation, Loan Estimate form, mortgage, Real Estate, real estate closing, real estate law, three day rule, TILA-RESPA forms, TRID

The new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule went into effect October 1, 2015 and is already delaying residential real estate closings. TRID requires loan documentation consisting of two new forms: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure to ensure compliance. These new forms consolidate the TILA-RESPA forms and are meant to give consumers more time to review the total costs of their mortgage.

The Loan Estimate is due to consumers three days after they apply for a loan, and the Closing Disclosure is due to them three days before closing. However, the three day rule is only applicable if the disclosure is delivered personally. If the disclosure is delivered any other way, the Rule “deems” the disclosure was made three business days later, making the disclosure period six or more days before the closing.

Because there are huge potential penalties to mortgage lenders if they do not make the required disclosures on a timely basis, mortgage lenders are interpreting the new rules very conservatively and are adding additional days for the disclosures as a cushion. Thus, rather than using three days before closing as a cutoff, the cutoff for a particular transaction might be 7 – 10 days or more.

Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate closings for both buyers and sellers at Kreisler Law if you have questions about sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing the purchase or sale of real estate.

Cook County Sheriff Expected to Announce Eviction Moratorium During 2015 Christmas Holiday Period

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Cook County Sheriff's eviction backlog, eviction law, eviction law attorney, holiday moratorium

As has been done in prior years, it is expected that the Cook County Sheriff will soon announce a moratorium on evictions during the last couple of weeks in December. In fact, the Sheriff’s Office is presently stepping up the pace of the evictions it is completing, with the moratorium in mind.

Landlords should note that the present eviction backlog is approximately five weeks. This backlog is likely to increase substantially as a result of the holiday moratorium as well as the Sheriff’s refusal to conduct evictions on unusually cold or snowy days.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

Recent Illinois Appellate Decision Shows the Peril to Chicago Landlords of Accepting Security Deposits

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in appellate court decision, Chicago landlords, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, Illinois landlord attorney, non-refundable "move-in" fees, RLTO, security deposit, security deposit rules, statute of limitations

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (“RLTO”) contains a series of rules governing the acceptance of security landlords by Chicago landlords. These rules are being strictly enforced by the Courts and are leading many Chicago landlords to discontinue the practice of requiring security deposits from their tenants. Instead, many are now requiring non-refundable “move in” fees.

A recent appellate court decision shows why security deposits are on their way out. In its 2015 decision in Faison v RTFX, the Illinois Appellate Court has now held that the failure to provide a proper receipt for a $10.00 increase in a tenant’s security deposit gave rise to a requirement that the landlord return the entire $600.00 security deposit plus pay a $1,200.00 penalty plus the tenant’s attorney fees. The facts in Faison were that a landlord and tenant entered into a lease in April, 2007, which provided for a security deposit of $590.00. After the initial lease expired, the tenant continued on a month to month basis. The landlord increased the month to month rent from $590.00 to $600.00 in May, 2008 and collected an additional $10.00 security deposit, for which no receipt in the form required by RLTO was given. This happened again in May, 2009. The court held that claims regarding the May, 2008 $10.00 payment were barred by the statute of limitations but ruled that the May, 2009 $10.00 payment was not so barred.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the handling of security deposits for properties subject to RLTO or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

The Role of an Eviction in Defaulted Illinois Contract Sales

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in CCP, contract sale, eviction judgment, evictions, Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, installment contract for deed, Litigation, real estate transaction

When a real estate seller is willing to finance his buyer’s purchase of the property being sold with a relatively small down payment, it is common for the transaction to proceed by what is called a contract sale or an installment contract for deed. Under that form of transaction, the seller does not execute and record a deed when the transaction closes and possession of the property is transferred to the buyer. Instead, the parties execute a document under which the buyer agrees to make payments and to insure and maintain the property and the seller agrees when the seller has been paid as agreed, a deed will eventually be delivered.

When a buyer defaults under the contract, the seller is faced with the problem of how to terminate the contract and get his property back. The contract sale document will provide that after default and upon notice, the contract may be terminated and all prior payments forfeited. However, that does not put the contract seller back into possession of the property.

Restoration of possession requires the use of the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, which is contained in the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”). Section 5/9-104.1 of the CCP requires that a demand be served on the buyer giving at least 30 days to satisfy the demand before suit may be filed. The case then proceeds like any other eviction, except that in entry of the eviction judgment, the court may satay the enforcement of the judgment for up to 60 days where more than 75% of the original purchase price remains unpaid but in cases where less than 75% remains unpaid, the Court is required to stay enforcement of the order for 180 days. The court may grant a shorter stay even where than 75% of the original purchase price remains unpaid, if the plaintiff can show that plaintiff had granted previous extensions of the time to pay or for other good cause shown.

Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate transactions and litigation at Kreisler Law if you have questions about sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing real estate.

What Condominium Association Information is Available to an Illinois Condominium Buyer?

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Association declaration and by-laws, capital expenditures, condominium association, condominium buyer, condominium law, condominium property, condominium unit purchaser, financial condition, insurance coverage, pending lawsuit, real estate closing, unit owners

There are risks to buying a condominium in an existing condominium association, as the financial condition of the association will determine whether future maintenance and replacement needs of the condominium property will require large future special assessments. Because of this, the Illinois legislature created section 22.1 of the Condominium Property Act.

Under section 22.1, a condominium unit purchaser may request and the seller must obtain from the condominium board copies of the declaration and by laws and any rules and regulations and information about any pending lawsuits or judgments, as well as the following:
1.  A statement of any liens, including a statement of the account of the unit being purchased setting forth the amounts of unpaid assessments and other charges.
2.   A statement of any capital expenditures anticipated by the   association within the current or succeeding two fiscal years.
3.   A statement of the status and amount of any reserve for replacement fund and any portion of such fund earmarked for any specified project by the Board.
4.   A copy of the statement of financial condition of the association for the last fiscal year for which such statement is available.
5.   A statement setting forth what insurance coverage is provided for all unit owners by the association.

Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate closings for both buyers and sellers at Kreisler Law if you have questions about condominium law or the sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing the purchase or sale of real estate.

Expiration of Illinois Eviction Judgments

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Cook County Sheriff's eviction backlog, equitable grounds, eviction court, eviction law, eviction order, evictions, Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, Illinois Eviction judgments, legal grounds, statutory language

Illinois Eviction judgments can be somewhat ephemeral, in that they become unenforceable 120 days after the judgment is entered.  This can become important during Chicago winter months, when the Cook County Sheriff’s eviction backlog grows longer due to the usual year-end Holiday moratorium declared by the Sheriff and due to the fact that evictions are not performed on unusually cold or inclement days.

The period of enforcement of an eviction order which is about to expire or has expired may be extended by motion.  However, notice of that motion must be sent to the defendants and must contain specific statutory language found in section 5/9-117 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure.

The motion to extend will be granted by the court unless the defendant appears and establishes that the tenancy has been re-instated, that the breach upon which the judgment was based has been cured or waived, that the plaintiff and defendant entered into post-judgment agreement the terms of which the defendant has performed, or that other legal or equitable grounds exist that bar enforcement of the judgment.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

Proud Members

  • National Association for Realtors logo

  • Chicago-realtors-logo

  • chicago-bar-association-logo

  • Association of Condominium, Townhouse, and Homeowners Associations Logo

  • W C R T

  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Logo


Kreisler Law, P.C.