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ChicagoTenant

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 

I moved from a 1 bedroom apartment unit after 22 months of tenancy. The apartment was in good /clean shape but the landlord charged 1.2 times the monthly rent ($1050) towards cleaning and repairs. I requested him for the clarification on the various items he listed in his list of damages/ cleaning but he never responded back.

 

I want to go to a small claims court and am looking for any help, pointers on how to do that. Any guidance/ experience will be of great help. I live in Chicago, Il (Cook County). Are the laws here land-lord friendly?

thanks

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,812
Reply with quote  #2 
We would need to know what charges he deducted for, in order to help you mount a defense in court.  But in general, you need to show, with evidence, why you either owe less or nothing for each item on his list.  If he listed the following:
$25 broken LR window
$500 carpet replacement in Master BD
$50 lock replacement and installation of deadbolt

You would respond in court by challenging each one individually, showing evidence why you didn't owe that amount.  You might respond by showing that the window was listed as cracked on your move-in inspection report (pre-existing damages). You may say that the carpet was 2 1/2 years old (length of your tenancy), and while your dog did destroy it, it should be depreciated so you only owe half of the amount.  And you may show that you returned the keys to the LL (key receipt) and argue that installing a further lock (the deadbolt) is an improvement and you are not responsible for charges for an improvement.  Get the idea?

You need to back up your assertions with evidence.  Move in and move out inspection reports, photos, independent witness statements, receipts for items, etc. will prove your point.
ChicagoTenant

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks, This information helps.

the LL did not give any breakdowns of expenses. He just provide a list of items (which included changing a light bulb) and a total cost he paid to a contractor (with a copy of check he made to the contractor).

In this situation do I estimate the expenses of justified items and contest the non-items he has characterized as damaged?



OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,812
Reply with quote  #4 

That's about all you can do.  Hopefully, the estimated expenses that you make of damages will be less than what he deudtced.  Remember to show proof of you estimations (such as a copy of the item 's sale page on the internet for a local store).  You need to show how you arrived at your estimations and how long it would take to repair the damages that are legit.  You then need to show that other charges aren't legit damages.

ChicagoTenant

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 

After all the research and preparation I found that the landlord only gave a PO Box as the address of the company managing the apartment. All my correspondence and rent checks were sent on the PO Box address and I cannot use the PO Box as the defendant's address. Is there a way to get the address if all I know is the PO Box?

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