security deposit lawyer









   Email us


   Class Action







Past results are not guarantees of same results in your case



































Deposit Law


          Some  cases settle before court.  All of them probably should.  There are a lot of landlords with good intentions.  This is why we often send a landlord a copy of the complaint we intend to file in court before filing it, advising the landlord to consult with their own lawyer and settle the matter before it is filed. 

          If a case cannot be settled then there has to be a trial (or mandatory arbitration).  Renters should be prepared to testify honestly and provide evidence related to their tenancy.  The landlord who loses at trial in most cases must pay both damages and also the renter's court costs and attorney fees.  Below are examples of some cases we had to take to trial, and sometimes the Illinois Court of Appeals:  


  Prospective tenant gave no security deposit and never moved in but recovers one month's rent for failure to disclose prior code violations Lease termination and Deposit Return

Lease Termination

Legal Lease Termination Illinois Security Deposit Return Act Case Landlord's claim that he occupied a three unit building but was never seen is rejected, and RLTO applies   Two Months' Rent for Unlawful Entries in Evanston

Lease Break 1


Lease Break 2


Lease Break 3


Lease Break 4


IL Return Act


   Owner Occupied?


Unlawful Entries 



Mortgaged Security Deposit Appellate Order

Owner Occupied

Court of Appeals applies penalty damages under both RLTO 080(f) and Illinois Security Deposit Return Act

Court of Appeals Affirms Tenant Award

Appellate Court Order reversing Cook County judge, in favor of student tenants

Evanston Tenants Rights Opinion

  evanston security deposit case
   Encumbered Deposit

 The Missing Landlord

 Return Act 


 Interest Not Really Paid

Evanston Double Deposit

Evanston Double

Deposit II


Evanston Double Deposit III 


          If we have to litigate a case, then the landlord will never believe our fees are reasonable, since they have to pay them.  But often the judges who determine the fees think our requests are reasonable:


And I might add, although [Landlord] may not appreciate it, but this matter has been handled about as efficiently as I've seen many lawyers for plaintiffs handling these matters, and the amount that's to be imposed for attorney's fees is probably one of the lower amounts I've seen and is due primarily to the efficiency with which this lawyer has conducted himself during the matter.  So there will be judgment accordingly.  You can total the whole thing up.  That will be the fees $350 

       Sometimes many renters are part of class actions.  This makes sense when lots of people were subject to the same allegedly unlawful practice by the same landlord.  We have filed cases resulting in cash or rent-credit payments made available for thousands of renters in Chicago and other Illinois cities like Arlington Heights, Lisle, Naperville, and Schaumburg.

      Class actions sometimes result in a substantial payment of unclaimed funds by the landlord to a non-profit organization that assists low income individuals with legal problems arising from housing.  Our clients who serve as class representatives make this reluctant charity possible. 

chicago volunteer legal services cy pres award letter


Chicago Bar Foundation Letter

           In theory, renters who represent their class (1) do neighbors a favor, (2) motivate

    landlords to abide by the law, and (3) represent the rights of all Illinois renters.  

Seal of the State of Illinois

          Click HERE to fill out and submit a questionnaire for potential free review of your tenancy situation.  Email to or call (312) 775-1015.

 Deposit Law   Email   About Chicago Security Deposit Lawyer  Our Cases & Client Reviews   Tenant Resources   Disclaimer   Privacy














silver bullion


Mark Silverman Law Office Ltd. has gotten tenants out of leases and their security deposits returned. 


Our reviews on Yelp






Dear Mark  Thank you so much for being such a great lawyer + enabling us to have the best vacation ever!

Thanks for everything!!


keeping slumlords in check


From a landlord:

 thanks for interest rates

Dear Mr. Silverman.  Thank you for your expertise in assisting Kelly and her roommates in breaking their lease.  Thanks to you, they are in safe places and all moving forward!  We will definitely refer clients to you in the the future.  You made a difficult experience more bearable, and one we certainly learned from in many ways!

Mark - Thank you so very much for the hard work you put into helping me.  Your prompt responses & efficiency is very appreciated.  Because of you I was able to move to a better place & recover some damages.  The work you do is very important since it helps ordinary people like me.  I hope you have a great holiday & a happy new year. God bless.

thank you letter gracias

Mark - you're the man!! What an incredible settlement.  I don't think any of us cashed our checks, so we'll just split it evenly.  Please have them cut four checks to:

thanks a million mark

thank you letter

Chinese dance book and unnecessary apology for not speaking English

Deposit Law   Email   About Chicago Security Deposit Lawyer  Our Cases & Client Reviews   Tenant Resources   Disclaimer   Privacy