Chicago, IL asked in Landlord - Tenant for Illinois

Q: My Landlord is requiring my roommate and I to pay the outstanding balance left from a previous tenant. Is this legal?

They are stating we assumed liability once we signed the lease, but was never made aware that there was an outstanding balance on the apartment. Is it our responsibility to pay, or do the previous tenants have to pay?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Rochelle, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: You don't owe rent for any time prior to the beginning of your lease. The sole exception would be if the terms of the lease explicitly state you are assuming liability for the rent left unpaid by a previous tenant -- something I've never heard of in a lease. If your landlord wants to collect the unpaid rent due from a previous tenant, he has to go after the previous tenant.

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