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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28021
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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I gave my Landlady a 30 day written notice of my intention

Customer Question

I gave my Landlady a 30 day written notice of my intention to move, as she never repaired anything. I did break the lease and I agreed that she would keep the security deposit.
However, upon receipt of my notice she began harassing me VIA text mostly. Late at night, and while I was at work. She was relentless would not stop.
My letter was dated October 15, 2015 and said I would be out within 30 days, but with her relentlessness I agreed to be out by Nov 9, 2015.
On Nov 7, 2015 while I was at work she went over to the duplex and changed the locks and did not give me access to my belongings which included many sentimental items, thousands of dollors worth of clothes, lawn furniture and all my cleaning supplies as I fully intended to clean before I gave her the keys.
My Daughter went over there to collect her clothes, and Ms. Cheryl Penman (landlady)
shut the door in her face. subsequently my daughter called the police and was let in only to find all of her clothes had been thrown away. My daughter then filed a complaint with the circuit clerks office. At this point Cheryl Penman(of Sherman Illinois) hired an attorney and is trying to sue me for damages and 4 months rent.
I went to court, showed her attorney my evidence of harassment.
He called me with an offer of 2 months rent.
She has already kept my security deposit, and all my belongings adding up to thousands of dollors and sentimental value.
I do not want to pay her a cent.
Do I have any grounds
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Just to be clear, she agreed to allow you to vacate, terminate the lease and to keep your deposit, in exchange for this? Was her attorney aware of this agreement? Does he also know what she did with damaging/destroying your personal items?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She did agree. She hired a new attorney as she has quite the reputation for never repairing Anything. I have spoken to several people that have delt with her.
He did not know Anything when i presented my evidence at the court house.
His name is***** He is actually a criminal Attorney. (###) ###-####
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She Locked me out! Before the 30 days.
Did Not allow me the chance to clean or retrieve my belongings.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As i stated before, he seemed quite supprised when i told him
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Allow me a minute to respond

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Based upon what you shared above, it does appear you could have a defense to raise and grounds to oppose this. The reason why I say this is because 1) you stated that there was an agreement, whereby she would release you from the lease term, in exchange for forfeiting your deposit. 2) her actions in locking you out prior to the expiration of the 30 days was illegal and she can not do that. 3) it was illegal for her to dispose of your personal property and belongings. As such, she could be liable to you for the damages for the lock out and throwing away your items and she may not have any claim to the unpaid rent, since there was an agreement to terminate the lease early and she kept the deposit. The only claim she could make and use to offset anything she may owe you, is if you did cause damage to the property, which needed to be repaired. The fact that she kept the deposit was more of a penalty to release you but there would still be liability for any damages caused by you. With that being said, you could have a counter claim and if her attorney offered to settle, you can make a demand for X amount and demand that the case be dismissed with prejudice, so she could not refile and you would not have to pay her anything

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!