Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Illinois

I am a student and rented a room out from an individual in their home. To make things clear, the home was owned by a couple, but left it to their son, who rented out a few rooms to pay the mortgage. On move in day, I was expected to pay my rent and deposit and I was also supposed to sign a lease that was month-to-month and receive keys. That day, the son told me that he had been very busy and had not been able to pick up the lease, but I could still move in as long as I paid the money but there will be a lease shortly. Having no place to go, I went ahead and moved in. To make a long story short, I had been asking for a lease constantly, and the son pushed it off, saying he had been busy but not to worry. I began to look for another place to move, but unfortunately 3 months down the road I was still there, and there was no lease. Then, I received a call from the home owner (the father) saying that I needed to move out by the end of the month or sooner due to his daughter needing to move back home. The son had known this but did not tell me sooner because he did not want me to leave early and leave him without money to pay the mortgage. The son said that as long as I cleaned the room and there was no damage, he would return my deposit. I had tried to meet with him the week I left but he was out of town. I called and texted him continuously after moving, and all I got was "I need a few more weeks". Soon enough, he stopped responding entirely. I was not even able to return my keys or get items I forgot. I called his father and his father said he had no knowledge of a deposit and if am to get it, it would be from his son. The son does not respond and it has been about 6 weeks. I have two old roommates who lived there that are aware of this situation and know that I paid a deposit. I have proof of emails and texts of the son acknowledging the deposit and promising that he would return it. What can and should I do?

Asked on 11/21/13, 12:54 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Betty Tsamis Tsamis Law Firm PC

File an action against both the son and homeowner in small claims court in the county in which you live. I am assuming you are not in the City of Chicago. Check you local jurisdiction for laws on return of security deposits. You could be entitled to a penalty.

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Answered on 11/22/13, 9:48 am

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