My girlfriend and I rent a place and do not have a written lease or contract. We've had to replace a few appliances and were told by the landlords that it was our responsibility to do so. We've also been told we have to leave them behind when we move, even though we bought them. Without a written contract can they legally make us leave them? What would they be able to do to us if we did take them when we move out?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You are being bamboozled. If you moved into the place with appliances there and they stopped working because they were no good or too old, you rented the whole place and therefore the landlord should fix them or replace them if they can't be fixed. But there are a lot of landlords like that and I would say do nothing without (a) having a lawyer on your side and (b) have an appliance repair person come in to evaluate the appliances you say need replacing, and get an estimate of repair or something saying they can't be repaired and must be replaced. THEN, you must give notice to your landlord under the "Illinois Residents Right to Repair Act" and if the landlord then doesn't act, you may be able to replace the appliances but there are $$ limits to what you can spend to do so. If the lack of appliances makes the place unlivable (stove, refrigerator) you may be able to have the local health or building department come in and cite the landlord. Again, it would be helpful to have an attorney on your side. If you are NOT from this zip code, be careful and make sure whoever you choose to work with is NOT the landlord's attorney too. Ask up front.
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