Blog Post Breaking an apartment lease in Chicago | 1-800-895-2550

Breaking an apartment lease in Chicago | 1-800-895-2550
Jan

17

2016

Breaking an apartment lease in Chicago | 1-800-895-2550

Breaking an apartment lease in Chicago is just as difficult as in any other city in the U.S.  Most, if not all landlords hate when their tenants break their leases.  They hate it especially when a tenant breaks it in the middle of harsh Chicago winter, when re-letting is almost impossible during this time of the year.
Luckily, Chicago has one of the best tenant protection laws in the US and you’ll have better ways to get out of apartment lease without much trouble. The city offers several ways for a tenant to break a lease legally.  Most common ones are subletting and rerenting.  Even though most people confuse them, they have two different meanings in the industry (see infographic below)
Apartment subleasing
Your leasing office and/or your landlord should allow you to sublease your apartment with out any penalty.  It would be your responsibility to find a sublessee who’d sign until the original lease until it expires. Whatever damage, if any done to your apartment, you’d still be responsible for it, as your name would remain on the original agreement until the lease is over.
As soon as the original lease expires, you as the original tenant would get your security deposit back (provided no damages were done). At that time, the sublessee would be able to either vacate or resign the new agreement with your landlord, without you in the agreement.
Lease assignment and rerenting
Nobody likes the idea of adding a stranger to their lease and praying that they won’t default on their monthly payments. The best way to get rid of your lease is to assign it to someone else who’ll qualify based on income, credit and background checks.  You’ll no longer be eligible, as your name would not appear on the lease agreement.
However, as soon as you give your notice to vacate to your landlord, he/she must immediately put the apartment on the market and attempt to find a new tenant.  Sometimes, the landlord might charge a fee for re-renting, although they may just deduct the costs from your security deposit.
Contact Tenant’s Union Before Breaking an Apartment Lease in Chicago
Unfortunately, there could be a time when your landlord is so difficult that you have nothing else left but to contact Chicago’s Tenants Union for mediation.  They will help you in drafting proper letters and claim any code violations done by your landlord on your behalf.  Unfortunately, tenant unions services are not free of charge, although they are well worth it.
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