Are we mean? A quick word to tenants in residential evictions

landlord businessJust a little while back, I received a particularly nasty comment on this blog from a reader who accused me of ignoring the plight of Chicago’s tenants. The poster commented:

“I personally think you SUCK! These people are desparate (sic) and need help. All tenants are’nt (sic) bad. You and your landlord, self righteous bull. These people need direction not I don’t represent tenants crap!”.

The commenter went on to suggest that I provide advice for “these greedy, sex hungry,greedy (sic) landlords”.  The comment rants further on and on and ends with a few ad hominem attacks.  Ouch!

Unfortunately, as Abraham Lincoln said, you can’t please all of the people all of the time!  Well, the commenter is right about one thing.  We don’t usually represent residential tenants in evictions (commercial evictions and special circumstances are a different story).  With rare exception, our firm represents landlords in residential eviction cases. (By the way, Landlords are not monsters either.)  It is hard to be a landlord in Illinois and especially in Chicago.  Part of our practice is helping landlords comply with the law (tenant’s rights folks should be pretty happy that there are attorneys out there helping landlords get into compliance, right?).

In addition, it is true that a part of our practice includes representation of tenants who have claims against landlords under the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance.  However, we very rarely take on residential eviction defense work.  More to the point though is the fact that a blog cannot be all things to all people.  This blog is a landlord-oriented look at evictions and other legal matters related to landlords.  (we actually have a website that has a more balanced focus on landlords and tenants and their rights under the CRLTO, state, and other law).

I can not deny it though, when it comes to residential evictions, we are a landlord’s firm.  Some attorneys represent mostly landlords.  Some attorneys represent mostly tenants.  Some attorneys represent both.  Just like some divorce attorneys represent mostly men or mostly women.  There’s no right or wrong – it just is.  Our firm generally helps just landlords.

Is that to say that tenant’s don’t need help or that landlords are always right?  Not at all.  Luckily for tenants, there are many tenant-side attorneys out there (not to mention legal aid clinics and not-for-profit legal service providers) who will gladly represent a tenant in an eviction defense.  In fact, I know many fine attorneys in this town, some who I consider to be good friends, who work primarily on the tenant’s side.  I appreciate the challenges tenants encounter when faced with a bad or ignorant landlord (hence some of the tenant representation we take on) and I believe all parties should have some access to representation in an eviction.

However, for any tenants reading this, kindly keep in mind that this blog is about landlords, for landlords, and geared towards landlords.  Of course we do not give advice to tenants here!

About Richard Magnone

Co-founding member of Reda | Ciprian | Magnone, LLC, attorney at law and Illinois licensed lawyer since 1996.
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