Cook County Record

Friday, December 13, 2019

Chicago apartment renters say landlord failed to provide tenant rights statement required by city


By Charmaine Little | Aug 8, 2019

Lake street on the near west side chicago
Flickr user: Seth Anderson Chicago [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

CHICAGO -- Two tenants have filed a class action, accusing their landlord of failing to provide tenants with a document explaining their rights under a Chicago ordinance governing landlord-tenant relations.

Plaintiffs Natalie Farhat and Magida Farhat filed suit July 22 against a Chicago apartment building owner in Cook County Circuit Court.

According to the class action complaint, the Farhats rented apartments in a building at 410 S. Morgan St. on the city's Near West Side. Defendant Automatic Lofts, the suit alleges, served as a landlord for the building that had more than 200 units. Automatic Lofts hired JMG Realty to manage the property. The suit states it was a typical tenant/landlord relationship until the defendants provided the Farhats with a 34-page rental agreement Nov. 21, 2018.

The Farhats sued, alleging the defendants left out a separate summary, a violation of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance. A separate summary is a document that is designed to “describe the respective rights, obligations, and remedies of landlords and tenants with respect to security deposits, including the new interest rate as well as the rate for each of the two prior years,” according to the court documents. 

Based on law, the suit states, each rental agreement is required to have a summary attached. Even in the cases of an oral agreement, a landlord is required to provide the tenant with a copy of the separate summary.

When a landlord doesn't provide the summary, the plaintiffs assert the ordinance empowers tenants to give a written notice to terminate the rental agreement. The tenant would also be owed $100 in damages. The Farhat plaintiffs accuse the defendants of failing to provide the document when their rental agreement was renewed, and they requested $100 for themselves and $100 each for the class representatives.

The plaintiffs also asked for an incentive for being class representative, attorney fees and other relief. 

They are represented by attorneys Aaron Krolik and Mark Silverman, of Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2019-CH-8530

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Circuit Court of Cook CountyAaron Krolik Law OfficeLaw Office of Mark A. Silverman

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