MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCIES DON’T MEAN A LACK OF RIGHTS
Recently, I met with a nice young woman who was told to get out of her apartment. She had lived in the apartment for almost a decade, so she was surprised when the landlord told her to do so. What was most surprising was the reasoning. The landlord claimed that because they didn’t have a lease, the landlord could just tell her to get out without any prompting. Even if you don’t have a lease, in the City of Chicago, you are protected under the CITY OF CHICAGO RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT ORDINANCE for qualified rentals. The following are a few key points for those in a month-to-month tenancy.
IT’S EITHER A LEASE OR A MONTH-TO-MONTH, NO IN-BETWEEN
A lease is a pretty simple concept. The terms are clear, the payments are fixed and most of the time, everyone is on the same page. However, what happens when the lease expires? Sometimes, a tenant will continue to pay rent even after the lease expires. The landlord, likewise, not in the business of turning money away, will accept the rent. And thus, a month-to-month tenancy is born. In Chicago, it is one or the other. There is no “waiting period” that alienates your rights as a tenant. Often times, a month-to-month contract is not in writing. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be. The facts of the circumstances will dictate whether a contract has been formed. Of course, proof of payments and acceptance are a big component, so getting proofs like receipts is a big plus in your case. But if a landlord is telling you that you have to get out TODAY, that’s a big warning sign and it might be time to talk to an attorney today!
TERMINATION OF A MONTH-TO-MONTH HAS PROCEDURE
As a month-to-month tenant, you still protected under state and local laws. That means in Chicago, the lease may still fall under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance. This means that your landlord has duties to maintain the property. Don’t let the fact that you don’t have a lease be used an excuse for no heat. In addition, either party does have the right to terminate the agreement; however, notice must be given at least thirty days in advance. Further, the notice carries over to the next term. That means if your month-to-month tenancy starts on the 1st of every month and your landlord gives you notice on June 15th, you have the right to stay in the apartment until August 1st. Further, if your landlord continues to collect rent even after the termination period, he or she has started a NEW month-to-month tenancy and has to start all over again. So make sure to keep rental receipts!
No Lease? No Worries! Call the Shimotake Law Firm Today!
Even if you don’t have a written lease, we may be able to help you! You have rights even if you don’t have a lease! Call to speak with an experienced and sympathetic Chicago attorney at (312) 620-6499 for your free evaluation today.