Austrian Postdoctoral Fellow has to Fly Back to Chicago
from Vienna to Reclaim his Security Deposit
This Tenant was doing research at Northwestern University and renting in downtown Chicago. When the Tenant moved out in 2008, the Landlord knew the Tenant was moving back to Austria.
After the Tenant moved out the Landlord made up a list of deductions to justify keeping all of the Tenant's money. There was no way the Tenant could do anything about it from Austria on his own, and the Landlord and the Landlord's lawyer knew this.
The Tenant had us file a case against the Landlord, and the landlord's attorneys took several steps in court to drag out the case. Finally it was set for trial, and so settlement offers were made, and the Tenant had to fly to Chicago from Austria for a trial in 2009. At least oil was cheap.
At trial the judge agreed that much of the Landlord's deductions were for normal wear and tear, especially after a two year tenancy. The Court also found that the Landlord violated the RLTO. Only because of the RLTO violation and damages was the Tenant able to break even in this case, because the cost of his airfare was still about equal to the damages he was awarded.