Lease Termination Successfully Defended in Court
In this case the Tenants rented a penthouse condo in Chicago under two 12-month leases.
About half-way into the second lease, in early 2009, the Tenant lost their job and had to move out of state, leaving six months on their lease. The rent was $7,500 per month, and the Tenants had given the Landlords an $11,250 security deposit. The Landlords refused to cooperate in letting the tenants try to re-rent the unit.
The Tenants hired us to find a way to terminate their lease legally, on short notice. We did. The Tenants moved out and left the state.
The Landlords and their lawyer never accepted that what we did was legal, unfortunately. The security deposit was never returned. The Tenants were satisfied to call it even and let the Landlords keep the whole $11,250.
Four months later, the Tenants were served with a lawsuit by Landlords seeking $33,000 in rent under the remainder of the Chicago lease.
We represented the Tenants in defending the case and counter-suing the Landlords for return of the security deposit and damages.
Ultimately we obtained judgment in favor of the Tenants and against the Landlords for more than $33,000 plus costs and attorney fees.
However, the Landlords went bankrupt, and so nothing was ever collected. The Landlords still got away with stealing the Tenants' whole security deposit, despite the law.
There is an opportunity for a tenant with a judgment to pursue recovery of some amount from bankruptcy proceedings, but, these out-of-state Tenants in this case were happy just to not owe anything.