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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2961
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Hi, had a tenant vacate my rental property after promising

Customer Question

Hi, had a tenant vacate my rental property after promising to pay on 06/30, then saying he was going to pay on 7/10, called him 7/10 and he advised me they moved out. Amount is $1050 plus carpet cleaning as was explained in lease. In addition we were on a verbal month to month based on lease as it expired last July. His basis for non payment was that I have been late on mortgage payments and assocition fees and felt he did not have to pay. My reason behind behind behind was that I was undercharging them about $350-400 per month as one tenant was my sister in law. Over time and due to medical bills I fell behind however home is not in default and assocition is now paid up. Thanks!  Also although totally my fault, we have not been in the property yet but see a lot of garbage on flors etc.  Biggest question is A), is worth going after them and B), how should I go about inspecting property...if its worth going after them

Submitted: 1 year ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,

Your tenants are responsible for all past due rent. If they do not pay you can take them to small claims court to recover the full value (the tenant may not offset rent based on the landlord's mortgage situation).

You are entitled to the carpet cleaning if it is included in the lease. The lease converts to "month to month" at the end of the lease term, and retains all of the same terms as the original written document.

To go through and evaluate the cleaning costs and damage to the unit, I will refer you to California's Department of Consumer Affairs website (I know you are in Illinois, and Illinois has some online resources as well, but the California guide is the easiest one to read and the guidelines for taking away rent apply to all 50 states): http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/sec-deposit.shtml

(Here is a guide for Illinois, with the Illinois procedures as well: http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=75)

I hope that my answer was of assistance to you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you for your business!
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2961
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the prompt reply! For small claims(and I know it is hard to answer this), would I better off hiring a lawyer to help with process serving, etc... or at this point would it probably make it not worth taking them to court for as the cost of a lawyer's time might excede the rent. I also forgot to mention that due to my own ignorance, I was not providing receipts and they were paying cash. All I have as proof is their text messages.


 


First answer was excellent as well. thank you again!

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,

You can take your tenant to court with or without an attorney (the Illinois attorney general has published a helpful article on small claims court procedures: http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/smlclaims.html).

Whether or not the case is worth it probably depends on the total damages (amount of unpaid rent, amount of cleaning costs, and any repairs that are necessary). If you go to an attorney, the attorney will be able to help make sure you meet all of the steps and requirements to get your judgment properly, while if you have the time to do it on your own, you can usually follow the procedures for this kind of case with some assistance from online resources such as the attorney general's office, the court, and this site, or from your local court's self help desk.

While not as eloquent, text messages are written documents under the evidence code.

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