I have been representing landlord’s for over 17 years now. I’ve seen all sorts of shenanigans pulled by tenants. But I’ve also seen how landlords make a mess of their own case and jeopardize the outcome. Here are the some of the many mistakes landlords make:
- Failure to run a credit/background check on tenants, usually because the landlord doesn’t want to pay for it, yet this cost can be passed off to the tenant.
- Failure to have the tenant fill out an application.
- Failure to collect a big enough security deposit to cover actual physical damages to the property, although in Chicago mis-handling of the security deposit can lead to a whole new set of troubles.
- Failure to hire a lawyer when you’ve hit a brick wall – like when the tenant files a jury demand or when your property is in an LLC, Partnership or Company.
- Failure to make motions or other legal steps at the appropriate time and to deal with the latest circumstance presented:
- Motion to appoint a special process server when the Sheriff didn’t succeed in serving the tenant(s) with summons and court papers
- Motion for use and occupancy when the tenant files a jury demand which drags on the case and causes you the landlord to be losing out on monthly rent as the case proceeds
- Initiate Interrogatories, Document Production and Requests to Admit which the tenant(s) must respond to or suffer consequences of failing to answer
- Failure to know a Landlord-Tenant law exists in your City or Village which governs your actions and the actions of your tenant.
- Failure to be practical and make a business decision to negotiate with the tenant to end the case and stop the bleeding.
Zoe Biel is a practicing attorney in the Chicagoland area. All information provided in this blog is meant to be informational and not a substitute for seeking out the advice of an attorney based upon your own individual case.