Lease written in English and a Spanish speaking Tenant

4 Replies

I recently purchased 3 unit / flat in Burbank IL (Chicago Suburb) and I inherited tenants that are month to month. My town has just changed their laws requiring leases for every rental unit with a yearly $20 permit. I do have a lease that I had previously drafted up by my lawyer which I plan to use but one of my tenants does not speak English. When I do speak to her, her daughter translates. Has anyone run into this problem and if so what did you do?
Should I?
-Pay a Spanish speaking lawyer for a new lease?
-Try to get my tenant to sign a lease she can’t read?
-Try to get the daughter to sign the lease? She’s in her early 20s
I’m leaning towards just paying the money for a new lease. They’re great tenants that I don’t want to lose but I don’t want to do anything to put myself in a bad position either. Any suggestions, experiences, or recommendation to a good Spanish speaking lawyer in the Chicagoland area would be great.

@Justin Gonzalez   I don't have personal experience here and I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect that you will have to get the lease drawn up in Spanish.  If you have either the tenant sign a lease that she can't legally be expected to understand or have the daughter sign the lease for her mother without power of attorney, I don't believe that the lease will hold up in court should they ever decide to be less-than-ideal tenants.

the lease should be in English but having the conversion in Spanish makes it a stronger agreement because you know they undertand the rules and guidelines of the agreement. Im Also looking for a copy in Spanish/ English. 

I have a similar situation. I am actually trying to learn Spanish to help and being Texas, it is almost necessary. If the daughter lives there she should be on the lease anyway. Also to clarify, a MTM lease is still a lease. Is Burbank prohibiting MTM leases and forcing you to sign new ones? I would give her a blank copy of the lease ahead of time so she can have it translated herself and just have her daughter there when she signs it. If her daughter won't sign the lease have them both sign a separate document saying it was translated when signed and she understands what she is signing. Will it hold up in court? Hopefully you never need to find out. If you are really worried, do the signing at a notary.  I have not had to take adverse action against my tenant and hopefully won't, so I cant say what legal barriers you would run into. 

Unfortunately I have personal experience with this issue . Grandma is Puerto Rican . Grand daughter talks to me . Very annoying very and it’s a unique challenge to communicate to get my point across .

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