Unlawful Evanston Apartment Entries
In this case the the tenant rented a condo unit in Evanston until May 31, 2008. Tenant gave a $1,400 security deposit and paid $1,500 rent.
In the last four months of the rental, the landlord had his real estate agents showing Tenant's unit to prospective buyers about once a week. The agents rarely gave at least two days' advance notice of their intent to enter. This was fortunately documented by email:
Tenant alleged there was an unlawful entry and that, also, there were repeated requests for entry that had the effect of harassing her. She sought two months rent ($3,000) for this. Under section 5-3-4-3 of the Evanston Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance (ERLTO):
"Except in cases of emergency, or unless it is impracticable to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant at least two (2) days' notice of his intent to enter."
Under ERLTO § 5-3-8-2(B):
"If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful, but which have the effect of harassing the tenant ... the tenant may recover an amount equal to not more than two (2) months' rent"
Tenant also alleged that Landlord's accounting for her deposit on June 24 violated the ERLTO § 5-3-5-1(C) requirement that deposits be accounted for within 21 days after move-out. The trial court found that Tenant's return of the keys on June 3 after her May move-out did not toll the running of the 21 days. Tenant sought return of her whole deposit ($1,400) plus two times the whole wrongfully withheld deposit ($2,400).
Finally, Tenant sought the $200 penalty associated with Landlord's failure to attach a copy of the complete ERLTO to her 2007 lease, as is required by ERLTO § 5-3-5-10.
At trial the Tenant was awarded all her damages sought plus court costs and attorney fees.
The Landlord's $3,000 counterclaim for damage proably caused by the Landlord's own realtors was denied.