Because of the inherent complexities of residential real estate, it is always wise to have a skilled real estate attorney at your side to explain the ins and outs of documents and transactions and to protect your best interests. If you live in Illinois, M&A Law Firm, P.C. is a fine choice. We are dedicated to listening carefully to your specific needs so that we can address them properly. Our extensive experience in all types of real estate transactions ans closings makes us valuable advocates.
How M&A Law Firm Meets Your Real Estate Needs
M&A Law Firm is fully prepared to meet all of your legal needs relative to Residential Real Estate. The comprehensive list of matters we help buyers or sellers of homes with on a regular basis is lengthy and includes:
- Mortgage contingency
- Inspection review and requests for appropriate repairs
- Acting as a go-between between the opposing attorney and the inspector
- Reviewing and asking for modifications of contract
- Ensuring that the tax credit obtained for the buyer is appropriate
The list of actions we take to assist our clients who are landlords or tenants includes:
- Generating or examining leases
- Dealing with evictions
- Explaining the intricacies of rental market laws
In cases of both sales and rentals, our attorneys are also available to help you resolve issues of discrimination based on your race, age, religion, gender, or a number of other federally protected categories.
Tenants, Landlords and Leases
While the process of renting an apartment may seem to be a fairly simple one, before you generate or sign a lease you should always have a knowledgeable real estate attorney look the document over. Any legally binding contract should be reviewed by a professional who understands the provisions and the legal terminology so that you don’t wind up agreeing to things you don’t fully comprehend. This is equally true whether you are the landlord or prospective tenant.
Although most residential leases are fairly standard and not especially negotiable, it is still necessary that they be examined for variations from the norm, or small clauses that may mean big trouble for one party or the other somewhere down the line. Now that residential lease forms (like so many other legal forms) are available online, landlords may believe that downloading a cookie-cutter lease will serve the purpose. There are, however, always unique circumstances that may not be addressed by such a preformed document.
This is why it is important to make sure of all the particulars, such as who is responsible for maintenance, damages, pest control, as well as how much the security deposit will be and under what terms it will be returned. At M&A Law Firm, we take into account all aspects of the landlord and tenant relationship, from negotiating to drafting and reviewing documents. Our presence makes certain that every detail of the transaction is evaluated and clarified.
No tenant wants to be evicted and although some landlords want to expedite an eviction, this is rarely easy. M&A Law Firm’s attorneys are prepared to represent either party in an eviction case, but, we are most commonly hired by landlords. Our aptitude in tackling both sides of the matter, however, makes us sensitive to the issues involved from both points of view.
Well aware that eviction proceedings, and the time leading up to them, can be painful, costly and full of drama, we have developed skills that enable us to move along the process with as little turmoil as possible. After filing a complaint with the local court, we serve a summons on the defendant (tenant). We are fully aware that it can be hard to put salt on the tails of tenants who are being evicted and so we have learned to be adept at serving the defendant through a variety of legal channels — the sheriff’s office, a process server, or a published legal notice.
Once the eviction case is presented to a judge, it will be managed through case management conferences or the judge may order a discovery or a trial. Our attorneys will follow the process through its stages, maintaining a dialogue with opposing counsel so everything moves forward as efficiently as possible. We are talented negotiators and may well be able to resolve the problem while avoiding a court case. If not, we will fight vigorously to win your case, reclaim your property, and possibly obtain monetary compensation for you as well.
Selling and Buying Residential Property
Selling or purchasing residential property is an important step in the lives of most people, involving substantial investment, both financial and emotional. M&A Law Firm can help you whether you are buying or selling, or both buying and selling, a home, by making the process as stress-free as possible.
Our attorneys are entirely familiar with real estate transactions, so we are well-prepared to lead you through every step from negotiating the contract to representing you at the closing. One of the distinctive features of our law practice is that we make every effort to keep your costs reasonable. iBesides our affordable flat fee,we offer you a discount, if you engage our services for both the sale of your existing home and the purchase of your new one. Since we pride ourselves on providing personalized attention to each of our clients, and use a detail-oriented approach throughout our real estate dealings, you can depend on us to cover all the bases and to treat you with the consideration and integrity all of our clients have come to expect.
Residential Real Estate Laws in Illinois
There are certain elements of real estate law that differ from state to state which is why it is important to use a real estate lawyer well-rooted in your state when you are dealing with negotiations in Illinois. It should also be remembered that, in addition to the real estate laws of Illinois, some cities or towns in the state of Illinois may have local city ordinances that must be followed. Your attorney will apprise you of these. Some of the specifics of Illinois property and real estate laws that you should become familiar with include those described below.
Rental Market Laws
Illinois rental market laws are designed to protect both landlords and tenants. Although the state doesn’t limit the amount landlords may charge for a security deposit, even in subsidized housing, it does require that landlords return tenants’ security deposits within 30 to 45 days of the termination of the lease. Landlords may, in some cases, charge two deposits — one to pay for any damage caused by the tenant and the other as an advance on the payment for the final month, as well as an extra charge for a key deposit or for tenants housing pets. If, at the time of the security deposit return, there is a dispute about whether the full security deposit is owed or any deductions may be taken for damages to the property, a suit can be filed in small claims court or settled with the help of a real estate attorney.
Rental laws in the state also specify forms of discrimination that are forbidden. These include: discrimination on the basis of race, age, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, creed, ancestry, national origin, or physical/mental handicap.
Because the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act has not been adopted in Illinois, rental agreements are not standardized. This is a good reason to have an astute lawyer on your team to make sure that any rental agreement you sign, whether you are the landlord or tenant, complies with local building and housing codes and makes clear what the responsibilities of each party are in maintaining the premises.
Foreclosure: Homestead Protection Laws
In Illinois, a homeowner may declare a portion of his or her property off limits to creditors, assuming that this portion of the property is valued at less than $7500. Homestead laws in Illinois also offer protection to elderly or disabled persons who face foreclosure or eviction, stating that such persons can remain in their homes until alternative housing can be found. In Illinois, there are also adverse possession laws which allow individuals a type of “squatters’ rights” if they occupy an abandoned property and improve its condition substantially over a period of at least 20 years.
Adverse possession laws were created to prevent homeowners facing foreclosure from becoming homeless and destitute, allowing them to register a parcel of real property as a “homestead,” thus keeping creditors from taking complete possession. An individual can claim as much as $15,000 worth of property and a couple can claim $30,000. Though this does not leave the homeowners much, it does permit them to retain enough money to find another place to live. There are also federal homestead laws that apply in such situations, but they are not applicable in Illinois.
Contact Our Skokie Residential Real Estate Attorneys
By now, you have probably realized that the complexities of residential real estate make it essential that you have a skilled real estate attorney to assist you when you are involved in any type of real estate transaction. There are a number of reasons that you should bring your questions and concerns about Illinois real estate dealings to our highly competent, trustworthy practice. For one thing, we focus on your unique needs, always providing you with individualized attention you can depend on. For another, we are conscious of keeping your legal costs as low as possible. Most of all, we have a reputation for helping our clients make wise real estate decisions and for serving each client with care and respect. To get in touch with M&A Law Firm, P.C. just call our office or fill out the contact form on our website.