Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Illinois

I had to exit a lease early due to work relocation in November 2018. In good faith, I notified my landlord immediately when I got the news, and worked with them to list my unit on Craiglist and their website. I was told someone would contact me about my "lease buyout" if it didn't rent. I heard nothing from no one. I only lived in this unit for exactly 60 days. I vacated on my move-out date, surrendered my keys and moved cross-country. Nearly 3 years later, they've hit my credit report with $9,000 in unvalidated debt. What's my best step forward?

Asked on 3/10/21, 7:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

A lease is a contract, and those promises by the landlord about a "buyout" would have to be in it, or you'd need that promise in writing from the landlord.... Someone will have to review the lease and the written promise, if any. Normally a tenant is allowed to sublet (meaning you are still responsible) unless the landlord accepts the new tenant in your place and then lets you off the hook. So the debt may not be invalid, but contestible. Each credit reporting agency (Equifax....) has a dispute resolution process. But the most likely reason your credit was dinged was because the landlord couldn't track you down, and figured the best way to "find you" and possibly sue you, was to ding your credit. See a local attorney about how to 'get out from under' a bad credit report.....before contacting the landlord. There are ways but the landlord may still be able to sue you back in the location where the apartment is.

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Answered on 3/29/21, 8:48 am

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