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1 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS CARPLS Volunteer Training Landlord-Tenant Law For Volunteer Lawyers Matt Gallagher Senior Staff Attorney CARPLS

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Presentation on theme: "1 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS CARPLS Volunteer Training Landlord-Tenant Law For Volunteer Lawyers Matt Gallagher Senior Staff Attorney CARPLS"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS CARPLS Volunteer Training Landlord-Tenant Law For Volunteer Lawyers Matt Gallagher Senior Staff Attorney CARPLS

2 2 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Overview of Substantive Training Preliminary Questions for Callers Initial Legal Considerations Pre-Tenancy Issues Issues Arising During Tenancy Post-Tenancy Issues Miscellaneous Issues

3 3 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Preliminary Questions for Clients There are certain preliminary questions that should be asked of all callers with landlord-tenant problems

4 4 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Background information questions Where is the apartment? Who is the tenant? Is it subsidized housing? Who is the landlord and where does the landlord live? How many units are in the building?

5 5 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Questions About the Lease How much is the monthly rent? How much is the security deposit? Is the lease written or oral?

6 6 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Questions About the Situation Is the tenant current on the rent? What is the problem? What is the clients goal?

7 7 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Preliminary Legal Considerations Certain legal issue must be considered in virtually all landlord-tenant cases

8 8 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Questions to Ask Yourself What law applies? What does the client want? What is the likely path for this case?

9 9 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS What Law Applies? A variety of laws can apply Local ordinances State Law Federal Law

10 10 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Local Ordinances Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO) Applies to all dwellings in Chicago except: Owner-occupied buildings of less than 6 units Hotels, Motels, SROs Hospitals, Convents, Monasteries Real estate sale-related tenancies Employer-owned housing

11 11 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Other local ordinances Mount Prospect Evanston Oak Park

12 12 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Illinois Statutes Forcible Entry & Detainder Act Security Deposit Return Act Security Deposit Interest Act Utility Service Act Residential Tenant Right to Repair Act Human Rights Act

13 13 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Federal Laws Subsidized Housing Rules Fair Housing Act

14 14 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS What does the client want? What is the clients expressed goal? Is this a realistic goal? What are the economics of the situation? What is a realistic goal? Can the client help themselves?

15 15 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS What is the likely path through CARPLS? A CARPLS Case Referral to Legal Service Provider Referral to Social Service or Government Agency Advise client Over the phone Mail to client Self-help material

16 16 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Typical Fact Patterns Questions you should ask What law governs General practice tips Referrals and mail outs

17 17 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Pre-tenancy issues Common issues which arise before the tenant signs the lease or moves into the unit

18 18 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Tenant put down security deposit and wants to back out of the deal Can the client document it? Is there a valid lease? Did the client sign anything? Basic contract law applies No legal aid referrals or mail outs

19 19 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Issues Arising During Tenancy Common issues arising during the course of the tenancy

20 20 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Apartment Condition Problems I Governing Law: Common law CRLTO Residential Tenant Right to Repair Act

21 21 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Apartment Condition Problems II CRLTO: Repair and deduct for minor or moderate problems Lease termination for major problems Written notice requirements Tenant may make repairs

22 22 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Apartment Condition Problems III Illinois Residential Tenants Right to Repair Act Similar to CRLTO Similar exclusions

23 23 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Apartment Condition Problems IV If no statute, look to: Language of printed lease Common law

24 24 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Apartment Condition Problems V Practical advice: Everything must be in writing!!! Call building inspector Take pictures Retaliation is an issue Make sure tenant doesnt wind up complaining their way to homelessness

25 25 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Eviction Notices Eviction procedures Defenses to eviction

26 26 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Eviction Notices - Types 5 Day - nonpayment of rent 10 Day - other breach of lease 30 Day - termination of month-to- month tenancy

27 27 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Eviction Notices - Service Effective service of a notice: personal service on the tenant; service on a person 13 years old or older if residing on the premises or in possession of the premises; certified or registered mail, with return receipt; or posting, but only where no one is in actual possession

28 28 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Eviction Procedure - Intro Forcible Entry & Detainder Statute Cook County Eviction Courtrooms Daley Center Suburban

29 29 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Eviction Timeline Part 1 Tenant served 5-day notice Complaint filed after 5-day expires Tenant served and assigned court date about 2 weeks later Tenant appears on return date and trial occurs same day Eviction order entered, enforcement stayed for 1-2 weeks

30 30 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Eviction Timeline Part 2 After stay expires, eviction order placed with Sheriff Sheriff schedules eviction weeks after receipt of order 24 hour letter sent by sheriff Sometime thereafter, sheriff will actually appear and evict

31 31 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Defenses to eviction Only germane defenses: Landlord did not serve proper notice Tenant paid rent within 5 days Tenant did not breach lease Retaliatory eviction (under CRLTO) Waiver by landlord Speak up - I have a defense

32 32 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Evictions - Practical advice Landlords almost always win Its a matter of proof, not the truth Lack of a proper notice is the best defense Agreed orders are tough to vacate Try to buy time only if it will help the tenant

33 33 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Common Area Utility Problems Landlord or other tenant stealing utilities - call police, City and utility companies Tenant can only be required to pay if in lease and if landlord gives 12 months bills - bad deal for tenant

34 34 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Termination of Utilities If landlord obligated to pay utilities in rent and fails to do so, potential rent abatement if tenant mitigates damages Practical advice: Call landlord, if no response pay bill yourself and deduct from rent after mailing proof to landlord

35 35 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Post-Tenancy Issues Common issues which do not arise until after the tenancy is over

36 36 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Security Deposits I Typical problems: Landlord fails to return full amount Landlord sells building Tenant wants to use it as last months rent

37 37 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Security Deposits under CRLTO Within 30 days of vacating, landlord must provide either: Full refund; or Itemized statement of damages with receipts or estimates Within 45 days of vacating, landlord must provide: Balance of security deposit; and Paid bills showing repairs done

38 38 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Security deposit practicalities If not covered by CRLTO or state act, look to lease and contract law Take pictures when moving in and moving out! Give landlord your forwarding address Pro se court is always an option

39 39 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Security deposit interest Under CRLTO, rate set by City Comptroller % for 2007 Under State Security Deposit interest act (25+ units), 0.5% for 2007 Otherwise, look to lease

40 40 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Subsidized Housing Issues Issues related to Section 8 and other subsidized housing programs

41 41 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Section 8 Federal housing subsidy Market-rate apartments, rent subsidy of 0-100% from government Tenant signs a lease directly with landlord Refer problem cases to LAF

42 42 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Public Housing CHA is the landlord Few CARPLS cases Clients generally know grievance procedures Refer to LAF

43 43 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Miscellaneous Issues A grab bag of other miscellaneous issues

44 44 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Discrimination Discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, or disability is illegal under various Federal, state, and local laws Referrals are available to legal aid agencies and government agencies

45 45 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Exorbitant Late Charges If CRLTO applies, limited to $10 per month plus 5% of rent to the extent the rent exceeds $500 Otherwise, no formal limit placed – check lease, check for reasonableness

46 46 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Tenant vs. Tenant harassment Covenant of quiet enjoyment Try mediation if at all possible – CCR Otherwise raise with landlord Very tough to break lease due to this

47 47 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Landlord is the caller Treat like any other caller re: income, etc. Many low-income landlords do qualify because the rent is not coming in so they have no income Mail out available on how to evict a tenant

48 48 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Lease renewals CRLTO requires 30 day notice of non-renewal Otherwise, no requirement to notify of non-renewal unless set forth in written lease

49 49 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Landlords access to apartment Common law and CRLTO provide landlord reasonable access Landlord must give reasonable notice (2 days) before entering In emergencies landlord may enter without notice (but under CRLTO must give post-access notice)

50 50 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Lockouts Lockout = any illegal withholding of possession of apartment from tenant by landlord, incl. changing locks and terminating utilities Call 911 if it just happened Landlord cannot take self-help steps to evict – only a sheriff can evict

51 51 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Subleases Landlord has to accept a reasonable sublease Tenant remains primarily liable for rent

52 52 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Building code violations CRLTO requires landlord to notify tenants of all building code violations within prior 12 months

53 53 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Roommates If both named on lease, they are jointly and severally liable If only 1 is named, the other is considered a subtenant Roommates can evict other roommates

54 54 10/3/2007(c) 2007 CARPLS Questions? Contact us Matt Gallagher Leslie Wallin Kelli Johnson


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