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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 101010
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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We have been falsely accused for a year of smoking in our building.

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We have been falsely accused for a year of smoking in our building. We had witnesses to state that we were not and our landlord assured us 5months ago that he wanted to keep us on as tenants and that he would deal with the owners in the building harassing us. This past Saturday we received a certified letter stating that he would not be renewing our lease and that they would start showing the place on Monday. Our rent has always been paid on time, and we've taken great care of the place. I have complained however on numerous occasions about the carpet out front of our door being soiled with the neighbors dog feces, among other things, and now they want to put us out. This is coming as a complete surprise and I believe we are being thrown under ther bus either because I require that they fix things or because we are the youngest couple in the building. After this ordeal we have no desire to stay here, our landlord cannot be trusted. I'm not sure how to proceed but I would like a month to month agreement until we find a new place seeing how if i had known we were moving I would have been looking long before now. And I want an order stating that they cannot come into the place yet and start showing it. Sorry, this is the shortest, longest explanation I could give you about the situation. Thank you
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Just to clarify:

1) The landlord is not terminating your lease early, but, is simply not renewing it - correct?
2) The letter does not accuse you of any wrongdoing, but, simply states that he is not renewing - correct?
3) Has he given you anything WRITING (including email or text) that states that he would be renewing your lease, before this letter was received?
4) Are you a minority of any sort?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Ely,
Thank you for your response. Yes, he has simply stated that it would not be renewed.
No, the letter does not accuse us of any wrong doing. I was given that information after he avoided my phone calls and I finally reached his assistant.
Yes, I have an email that states that he would like to keep us on as tenants for as long as we would like to stay.

We are african American, but so is everyone else in the building. I am 29 and my husband is 28 we have two small children. Very well behaved.

Respectfully,
Deljah
Friend,

Okay, thank you. I am going to type out my answer now which may take a second; apologies in advance for the wait...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It's ok. Thank you
My apologies for the wait.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is a "mixed news" answer.

First of all, understand that the landlord does not have to renew the lease once it expires, regardless of whether or not they have a reason to do so. Just like you can choose whether or not to renew if the landlord offers it, the landlord may choose to renew or not. In other words, the contract ENDS at the time the lease ends. You cannot make the landlord resign the lease because both parties have to agree to renew the contract.

Now if you simply continue living there, you will have a month to month lease by default under 765 ILCS 705. But, he can simply give you a month's notice to terminate, then.

Someone in your situation may have recourse, but it is not 100% solid. This is called promissory estoppel.

"A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise." This is generally referred to as the doctrine of promissory estoppel. Bank of Marion v. Robert" Chick" Fritz, Inc., 311 NE 2d 138 - Ill: Supreme Court 1974 citing Second Restatement.

In other words, if he has stated that you can live there for as long as you want, and you REASONABLY RELIED ON THIS and passed up other opportunities, then this may buy you some time. Is this a solid argument? Not really, I am afraid. This is because a Court would state "well, what opportunities did you pass up, exactly?"

However, it may be used as a way to "scare" him into agreeing for another term of lease, stating that unless he does, you may fight the matter under promissor estoppel claim/affirmative defense. But, let us hope that he buys the threat and resigns the lease, because if he does not, you have little other options, I am afraid.

I am very sorry.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Ely,
I would like to do a month to month until we find a place. Should I draft a letter and state my intentions? Including going to court if necessary? And what is the time frame they have to give us to start showing the place. I was told it was a 30 day notice that the place will be shown and then 48 hours once they have an interested party and have notified us that they are coming. Can we have an order put in place that wont allow then to come into our home on Friday?

Deljah
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Ely,
I would like to do a month to month until we find a place. Should I draft a letter and state my intentions? Including going to court if neccessary? And what is the time frame they have to give us to start showing the place. I was told it was a 30 day notice that the place will be shown and then 48 hours once they have an interested party and have notified us that they are coming. Can we have an order put in place that wont allow then to come into our home on Friday?

Deljah
You are very welcome.

Should I draft a letter and state my intentions? Including going to court if necessary?

Yes - this may help the landlord to be pushed into negotiating with you. While your argument may be weak, it is the threat of court that drivers him to negotiation.

And what is the time frame they have to give us to start showing the place. I was told it was a 30 day notice that the place will be shown and then 48 hours once they have an interested party and have notified us that they are coming. Can we have an order put in place that wont allow then to come into our home on Friday?

Unfortunately, there is no rule or law in Illinois which states when a landlord can or can't enter the property he/she is renting. As such, the general rule is that a landlord may enter with reasonable notice during reasonable times except in case of an emergency.

Reasonable notice is 1-2 days. However, the landlord may not enter unreasonably. This means once a week - with notice - maybe. Anything more than that may be deemed interference you do not have to comply. The landlord also cannot "make" you clean up the apartment before showing it.

If the landlord continues to enter without proper notice or more than once a week or so, a restraining order MAY BE FILED against them, called orders of protection.

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