When you think of all the reasons you might need a lawyer, you may never consider hiring an attorney to help you recover a security deposit. After all, you signed a rental agreement and your landlord is obligated to pay back the deposit within a few weeks of you moving out. In most cases, the rental agreement is sufficient and the landlord returns the deposit in a timely manner.
However, in some cases, a landlord may attempt to hold up payment, refuse to return a deposit, or deduct exorbitant fees from the deposit. Here is a look at four times you may need a security deposit lawyer.
High Dollar Claims
A dispute over $100 or less may not be worth the time and stress. In these cases, tenants often walk away with a lesson learned. However, security deposits in the Chicago area can range up to several thousand dollars. If a landlord is holding that much money, you should definitely consult an attorney. It is worth the time to recover those funds and you will also help to ensure future tenants do not suffer the same issue.
Moving Date Dispute
When tenants move out a few days late, landlords may try to keep an entire month’s rent from the security deposit. In fact, one landlord withheld funds simply because the tenant did not return keys for several days. Recent court decisions have looked down upon this type of practice. An experienced attorney can help reduce the amount the landlord can hold back.
Violation of Rights
It is important to understand your rights when breaking a lease in chicago. There are local, state, and government ordinances that supervise how a landlord must treat tenants. If you suspect that your rights are being violated in any way, it is best to consult an experienced attorney. They can clarify a situation and help you decide if legal action is warranted.
Disputes over Property Status
Landlords may try to retain security deposits due to broken or damaged property. If the property was damaged when you moved in or the damage occurred through landlord neglect, you may not be liable. An attorney can help prove your side of events and may save money on your security deposit.
When dealing with rental issues, make sure you hire an attorney experienced in this process. Chicago rental law can be complex, and it helps to have an expert in your corner.