rented an apartment in a five-unit Chicago building for a year.
She gave a $900 security deposit and moved out at the end of the lease.
She owed $140 for rent when she left, which she acknowledged could be
withheld from her security deposit.
After move-out the
Landlord never paid interest and also kept all of the security deposit.
The Landlord kept the deposit for repairs, cleaning, and replacements.
After two lawyers
attempted to recover Tenant's security deposit we had to finally go to
trial. We sought damages under
5-12-080(c)&(f) for nonpayment
of interest, and also under the
Illinois Security Deposit Return Act
Act"). Even though the RLTO does not allow
"stacking" of penalty damages for multiple security deposit violations,
we guessed that the penalty damages under the Return Act might be
stacked on top of RLTO penalty damages.
At trial Landlord
said he mailed a written itemized statement of damages within 30 days
after Tenant moved out. However, the Landlord admitted he never
sent the Tenant copies of paid receipts from the alleged repairs and
replacements. The Landlord explained that the receipts he had
would have offered no additional information to Tenant than the
written statement he already sent.
The trial court
found that the Landlord's failure to send the copies of paid receipts
was not in bad faith, so that no penalty damages under the
Return Act were awardable.
Penalty damages under
were awarded, plus return of $600 withheld from the security
deposit, plus $100 for failure to attach a summary of the RLTO to the
The Landlord appealed
this ruling. Knowing we'd be waiting another 10 months to close
the case anyways, we appealed too.
The court of appeals
denied the Landlord's appeal (claiming the building had only had 4
units, and was owner occupied). The appellate order also modified
the trial court's award, adding $600 in penalty damages under the
Return Act, representing the
un-awarded half of "twice the amount of the security deposit due" plus
costs and attorney fees under the
The order from the
appellate court is unpublished pursuant to
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23, and
so is not precedent. But it is still interesting.