Renters leaving early & skipping last month rent - Cook County IL

8 Replies

I have tenants who notified me on 7/1/18 that they are leaving on 7/31/18 even though their lease expires on 8/31/18. They have not paid me July rent and they are not going to pay me August rent. Their security deposit is less than their current month. There also may be damages to the unit in which case I will need the security deposit. 

The unit is in the suburbs of Chicago. What options do I have in pursuing payment from them? Has anyone experienced this in Cook County, Illinois? Does anyone recommend an attorney to use? Should I have a creditor go after payment?

I know there are ways to avoid this in the future, but I'm hoping to find a solution for the current situation. 

Thanks in advance. 

@Sean Graham, I recently had a tenant who was non renewed and they didn't pay last months rent so they had a deposit for their new place.

I am in the process of taking them to small claims court for breach of contract where I will ask judge to also have them pay my costs to file and serve them assuming I win.

If you receive a judgement and they still don't pay them you can file another form to garnish their wages.

I don't intend to make garnishment a hardship so they have trouble paying rent at new place and will be open to a 12-36 month payback term, so long as I am made whole on rent and fees.

This is my first time going thru the process so I am uncertain of outcome, although I have a paper trail for rents paid and unpaid, and texts from them admitting they were not going to pay.

Here is a helpful link.



I had a similar situation. I explained to my tenants that if they did not pay for rent and damages I would sue them, and a judgment would not only trash their credit but allow me to garnish wages. They requested a payment plan over one year which they have now paid off.

Good luck.

personally I would start the eviction process for 2 reasons

1. They may just stay and not pay 

2. If they see a 3 day notice on their door they may think, darn if we get an eviction on our record we won’t be able to get another rental.  And go ahead and pay the rent 

99 percent of the time this is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Can’t collect from someone who has no money.

Send them to collections for $15 fee. That's what I did. The only way to challenge you is to take YOU to court.

The question you need to ask yourself is if they are suit worthy. If they have no assets let them go.

If they have assets the best you have a couple of options. 

1. We use Legalshield to send collection letters. It is included in the monthly cost and often gets a response because it is on letterhead from a law firm in Chicago. Want to know more my contact information is below.

2. You can file suite and get a judgement against them. If you win and they enter into a consensual repayment agreement that's great. Once it is signed let them know that failure to pay will result in a garnishment of their wages.

3. Do not send over Vinnie the leg breaker. That is illegal. 

4. If you happen to learn who they rent from you can bring their new landlord up to speed.


Lawsuits should be viewed as an investment. If you do not expect a return even if you win the suit, all you will have are more expenses. Every case is different though so you have to decide for yourself. In this case I would send the required notice to vacate in case they don't actually move out on the 31st. Once they are gone and you have possession back, send them a certified letter with detailed list of all outstanding expenses minus their deposit. Make it as mean and threatening as you can but most likely they won't pay and you will just end up taking the loss on your taxes. You could file in small claims court and would most likely win and you would only be out the filing fee and the time to go to court but you have to decide if it is worth it.