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I have a scamming property management where I'm renting a studio apartment with. I'm in Illinois, US. I have many issues with them.

For instance, when I was renting with them, as soon as they got my signature, they give me a utility bill left from previous tenants, asking me to pay. I resisted saying like utilities, bills should be charged to whoever using them. But they said we bill to the apartment, not people.

They also had workers changing electricity switch boxes in my apartment, make my lockers and others unusable for more than a month. Cockroaches and insects everywhere in the kitchen. I noticed they made an unauthorized payment on my account for more than a monthly payment! No one except them has the portal's account. Fortunately I realized this quickly and canceled the transaction.

But the one I can not tolerate anymore is that I purchased my own rental insurance at the time of moving, and simply asked them to waive their own insurance fee. They did it a month later, but I noticed surprisingly my gas fee suddenly became 4x higher, so the total sum is remaining the same! One day I got a utility bill from a neighbor with a 2BR of 2x sq ft, and noticed while many of my charges are half (due to half sq ft), some others like gas fee are more than half! In fact, the sum of difference is that insurance fee which was supposed to be waived!!

Due to these obvious reasons, I definitely want to move out of the place. But how should I handle the contract which is still up for 4 months? That contract needs to be stopped.

  • Where in IL? Chicago? – BlueDogRanch Feb 20 at 17:29
  • Yes. Chicago suburbs. – Tina J Feb 20 at 18:24
  • Did I read it right that you gave them account access to your bank online portal? – Ron Beyer Feb 20 at 18:29
  • My bank info is saved on portal. So apparently they just made a payment through it. – Tina J Feb 20 at 18:31
  • You should begin with looking through some of the applicable info here: bc-firm.com/tenants-rights-chicago. Also, look through the relevant parts of this resource guide prepared by the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing: lcbh.org/resource-guide. Edit: The first one may not apply at all, as it is a Chicago ordinance. Just noticed the above comment clarifying you're in the 'burbs. – A.fm. Feb 21 at 1:11
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If you just walk away, it is possible that they will sue you for the remaining rent. Then you would need to defend yourself in court, for which you would need a lawyer. So the simplest thing to do is take the legal high ground and sue the landlord. It's not legal to freely access a person's bank account and you can't defraud a tenant over utility usage. You will still end up hiring a lawyer but the court will be more sympathetic to your plight if you obey the law rather than breaking the law.

  • Better to avoid court as much as possible. So better to convince them. Do they usually sue for small amounts?! They also need to pay for lawyers I guess, even if they have one in house. – Tina J Feb 20 at 19:39

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