Landlord.jpg

Housing Issues

The following is a synopsis of the law regarding housing. It is not intended to be a complete summary of the law and should not take the place of legal advice from an attorney:

There are a variety of housing issues that can arise, both for the tenant and the landlord. These are just some commonly arising examples. There are many more.


Illegal Lockout

If a tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord has some legal options that he/she can pursue. Changing the locks however, is not one of them. Yet, it is becoming an increasingly common tactic, as police resources are stretched thin and some landlords are taking the law into their own hands. It is completely illegal to change the locks on a tenant, regardless of how far behind they are on the rent. If you are the victim of an illegal lockout, you can file an injunction in Circuit Court to force the landlord to let you back in. 

Click here to set up a consultation with this office to discuss your legal options.


Unsafe Conditions (Rent Escrow)

Landlords are not required to provide nice housing. However, there are some minimal conditions of habitability that they must ensure. For instance, the heat must run in the winter, the toilet must work, there must be running water, etc. If your apartment does not have these, then your landlord must provide them. If the landlord refuses to provide these basic services, you may be able to hold rent in escrow until such time as the repairs are made. 

Click here to set up a consultation with this office to discuss your legal options.


Tenant Holding-Over Action

There are instances where a lease ends and the Tenant (T) is told to move out, but T refuses to vacate the premises. At this point, the Landlord (LL) has a problem: it is illegal for the LL to simply evict T. If LL attempts to evict LL or change the locks, LL has engaged in "self-help" which is illegal.

In order for LL to get back his property, LL has to file a Tenant Holding Over action with the District Court. At the hearing, the Court will hear evidence to determine whether T is indeed holding over (ie. staying on the premises after properly being told to leave). If the Court determines that T is holding over, they can order the T to vacate the premises, starting the ball rolling on the eviction.

Click here to set up a consultation with this office to discuss your legal options.


Failure to Pay Rent Action

If a Tenant (T) refuses to pay the rent owed on a property, the Landlord (LL) may need to file a Failure To Pay Rent Action (FTPRA) against the T. The filing is fairly simple and can be carried out at your local district court. However, once the action is filed, the LL has to prove his/her case by a preponderance of the evidence (ie. 50.01%), which can prove daunting. For a small fee, this law office can assist you in making sure that the case goes smoothly and you get your overdue rent. 

Click here to set up a consultation with this office to discuss your legal options.