Why an Attorney Should Review Your Rental Agreement

Why an Attorney Should Review Your Rental Agreement

Are you a landlord who has properties being rented out or that you want to rent out? If you do, then you need to have a rental agreement. You might have a standard agreement you found online or through a template. Maybe you are using an old agreement that hasn’t been updated in years. Regardless, you will want to have an attorney review it.

Make Sure You Are Following the Laws

There are certain laws you need to make sure you are following when you are a landlord. You can’t discriminate when it comes to renting out your property, for example, but you may not know all of the ins and outs of how this and other laws work. There could also be outdated text in old rental agreements you are using that could put you at risk.

In some cases, the attorney could find that you and your property aren’t fully protected in the agreement. In those cases, you can work with the attorney to redo the contract before it is presented to the new renters. Although having them draft a new rental agreement may seem inconvenient, most can handle this in a relatively small amount of time.

What If You Are the Renter?

Most of the time, renters don’t think they have to worry about standard rental agreements they have to sign before they can rent an apartment or house because they are standard. While this may be true in many cases, you have to realize that you are still signing a legal agreement. There could be language in there that is not only not in your favor, but that could be illegal, as well.

Rental agreements tend to be relatively simple, so hiring an attorney to look at yours should be fast and affordable. Although it might not be needed, it is something you will want to consider, particularly if you think there is anything odd in the agreement.

Find a Quality Attorney

Whether you are a landlord or you are someone who is renting a piece of property, you are going to need to speak with an attorney. You will want to talk with an attorney who knows and understands real estate law. Keep in mind that not all attorneys are capable of providing you with this type of knowledge. Make sure you are working with the best.

Turn to the experienced lawyers here at Bell Shah Law when you have any type of rental property questions. We will put our years of experience to work for you and ensure you and your real estate are properly represented

Squatter’s Law and Vacant Properties

Squatter’s Law and Vacant Properties

Those who own property in Illinois should make sure they understand the ins and outs of squatter’s rights and how it might affect the property owner’s vacant property. A squatter is someone who lives on someone else’s property without the permission of that owner. Those who are squatting have right in Illinois. If they can meet certain requirements under the Illinois Adverse Possession law, the squatters could have rights to your property. If the courts agree that they have a claim, they will get full legal rights to your property.

What Requirements Does a Squatter Need to Meet?

Getting squatters right in Illinois is not easy. However, with some vacant properties where the landlords are essentially absent, it is possible.

The squatters are required to have resided on the property for at least 20 years. Any less time than this, and they cannot claim the property. Additionally, the squatter needs to physically occupy the property just as the owner would.

They need to treat the property like they are the owner. An example of this would be making improvements on the property. They couldn’t merely hide a tent someone on a large property and claim to have lived there for 20 years without doing anything to benefit the property.

The squatter’s occupation of the property also needs to be obvious. They can’t try to hide that they are living on the property. It needs to be obvious to everyone, even the legal owner of the property, that someone is living there.

Also, the occupation needs to be hostile. However, in legal terms, this doesn’t mean violence or anger. Instead, “hostile” can mean one of three things:

  • The person squatting doesn’t necessarily know that the property they are living on belongs to someone else. This is called simple occupation.
  • The squatter knows that they are trespassing. This is known as awareness of trespassing.
  • Finally, there is the good-faith mistake, which might refer to someone who receives an invalid deed and believes they truly own the property when they actually don’t.

What Can You Do About Squatters?

As a landlord in Illinois, if you have a vacant property, you will want to make sure it is properly secured. You might also want to install security precautions, add no trespassing signs, and make sure you inspect the property regularly. If there is a squatter found on the property, you will want to speak with the attornies at Bell & Shah right away.

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