Friday, May 29, 2009


Landlords and the Law

Here are a few things you should know when dealing with tenants/landlord issues. First as the landlord you always have the right to enter the apartment. In Chicago you have to give 48hrs written notice to enter the apartment unless it is an emergency. An emergency would be a hot water tank that is leaking on the apartment below, a fire, or maybe if you truly had a reason to be concerned for the health of your tenant. Most of your tenants won't need 48 hrs written notice to make a repair or check in on something, a simple phone call will do. Still it is good to be aware if you are having a dispute that you need to give ample notice. Send a certified letter and post a notice on the tenants door. They do not need to be present. It is the tenants responsibility to make arrangements to be there. I would say if you can work it out that the are present it would probably be best for all the parties. Try and get it in writing from your tenants when they will agree to give you access, that way if they are not there when you come you will be covered.
The other thing I wanted to talk about was renting illegal apartments, mostly basements, I never recommend doing this. If you have a dispute with the tenant the lease will be invalid and if there is an injury or some type of damage your insurance will not cover it. Don't rent illegal apartments. Go through the process of making them legal or keep the space for personal use.
If you are ever unclear about your rights as a landlord you should always seek legal advice before you take action.

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