Top 5 Landlord Mistakes
Bradford Miller Law, P.C., helps Chicago landlords avoid the top five landlord mistakes. Read more below, and contact our attorneys online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific situation.
Ignoring the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (also known as the “RLTO”). Generally speaking, the RLTO applies to all landlords and tenants in Chicago EXCEPT when the building is BOTH owner-occupied AND six or fewer units. And “owner occupied” means actually living there full time. If you have a problem with the tenant, consult the ordinance BEFORE acting. This could mean the difference between being sued and not being sued.
- Not handling the security deposit properly. The RLTO has strict guidelines for what you can do with the security deposit. Generally speaking, you need to have it in a separate, interest bearing account and you must give a proper receipt to the tenant when you receive it. At the end of the lease, you must send an itemized list of damages (if any) within 30 days and send the entire or remaining security deposit back to the tenant within 45 days. The interest on the security deposit meanwhile must be paid to the tenant within 30 days. TIP: Assume you have a 14-day deadline for everything — deal with any security deposit issues quickly and return the security deposit as quickly as possible. Do not take a chance of missing any deadline.
- Not attaching the LATEST summary of the RLTO and the corresponding security deposit interest rates. Landlords constantly forget to attach the latest summary of the RLTO and the corresponding security deposit interest rates or they attach an OLD version. When you do this, you are essentially giving the tenant the right to terminate the lease at whatever time he or she chooses.
- Waiting two or three months before starting the eviction process. Very rarely does the tenant “catch up” on his or her rent. Act sooner rather than later because the eviction process takes a while!
- Charging outrageous late fees. According to the RLTO, you may charge $10 per month for the first $500 in monthly rent plus 5 percent per month for any amount in excess of $500 as a late charge. Nothing more!
Contact Bradford Miller Law, P.C.
To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Chicago real estate lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll free at 312-815-6637. Meetings can be set up for weekdays, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. We charge reasonable fees for all services.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney before acting on any information.