Tenant lawsuit: Loop luxury high-rise landlord owes free rent for entering apartments without proper notice

By Jonathan Bilyk | Sep 16, 2015

A tenant in a luxury apartment building on the north end of the Loop believes he and his fellow tenants are owed some free rent from their landlord, who is alleged in a new lawsuit to have violated city ordinance by not providing enough warning when sending work crews into tenants’ apartments when they weren’t home.

On Sept. 10, Joshua Stahl, a resident of the 73 East Lake apartment building at 73 E. Lake Street, Chicago, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against the building’s owner, RMK Management, claiming RMK violated the city of Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.

In the complaint, Stahl has asked the court to expand the lawsuit to a class action to include many of the other tenants in the 42-story, 332-unit apartment building, located just northwest of Millennium Park.

Stahl is represented in the action by attorneys Keith Keogh and Michael S. Hilicki, of the Keogh Law firm, of Chicago.

According to the complaint, Stahl leased an apartment from RMK in the building from May 2014-May 2015.

Stahl said on several occasions during that 12-month span, workers employed by RMK entered his apartment without giving a 48-hour notice the lawsuit contends is required by the city’s landlord-tenant ordinance.

Stahl said the first such allegedly improper entrance into his apartment occurred in June 2014, when he received an email from his building’s property manager, informing him workers hired by RMK would be “entering his unit shortly to change one of his unit’s windows.” Stahl alleged he immediately called the property manager and instructed her not to let the workers into his apartment. She allegedly refused his request, prompting him to run home, as his workplace was nearby, to find the workers in his apartment.

Stahl said similar incidents occurred twice more in August 2014 to allow workers to “inspect his windows” and “install valves for the water dispensers on the residents’ refrigerators.”

In both cases, Stahl said the entrances were made following notice provided by email the day before, but less than even 24 hours prior. In both cases, Stahl said the emails indicated the property manager knew the emails represented “short notice” to tenants.

Stahl’s complaint cited the city’s landlord-tenant ordinance, which states landlords “shall give the tenant notice of the landlord’s intent to enter of no less than two days.”

The complaint has asked the judge to certify a class in the matter to include either all tenants of the building at the time of the allegedly improper entrances, or just those tenants whose apartments were entered, either to replace and inspect windows or maintain the units’ refrigerators, without at least two days’ notice.

The complaint has asked the court to appoint Stahl as class representative in the case, to find RMK violated the city ordinance and to award Stahl and the other tenants in the putative class damages equal to one month’s rent for each alleged ordinance violation, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

According to a listing for the 73 East Lake building published on ApartmentGuide.com, rent for apartments in the building can cost from $2,280-$4,395 per month.

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Organizations in this Story

Keogh Law Ltd. RMK Management Corporation

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