Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Illinois

Can I get out of a apartment lease? I gave her $1500 upfront and she called me today and told me she would not send me over the lease until my checks cleared.

Asked on 6/24/13, 3:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

So you're saying you signed the lease and handed it over to the landlord with $1500, and now the landlord won't sign and return the lease until your check(s) (presumably for the security deposit and first month's rent) clear.

OK, well, technically even though she may have prepared the lease she is viewing your having signed and sent it in as an offer to lease from her, and she is conditioning acceptance of the paper lease, her signing and returning it, on clearance of funds. Effectively she is saying that clearance of funds will be acceptance because she apparently is depositing the money before returning a lease signed by her as landlord, which is the customary way of accepting a lease "offer".

You can "revoke" the offer at any time up and until acceptance which, technically, would be acceptance of funds according to what she is saying, but more in line with custom would be before she returns a signed lease to you. Proving who did what and when would be the issue in a fight over the money and lease later, so you may want an attorney to handle the revocation.

Then again, you don't say when you gave her the lease with money, or how long it's been, or when she deposited the checks.... so there's a good chance the checks have already cleared, and about the only way you could revoke fully would be to stop pay too, which also may be too late. Again you should have an attorney involved or, if you intended to rent from her, go through with the lease assuming your confidence that the checks will clear and this is only her way of verifying you are "honest", as sad as it all may seem.

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Answered on 6/24/13, 5:45 pm

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