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Chicago’s Leading Landlord Advocate & Real Estate Law Firm
Thank you for visiting our website. We have been serving our clients for over three decades with professional and responsive representation. Chicago real estate lawyer James Kottaras offers complete real estate services, including legal and brokerage services. We will provide you with honest and competent advice for all your residential, commercial, and investment needs. We are committed to:
- Personal Attention
Over the course of 30 years of legal practice, James Kottaras has earned a reputation with his clients as a skillful and knowledgeable negotiator and litigator. This is why most of his clients are repeat clients or referrals from previous clients. At the Law Office of James Kottaras, we understand that "word-of-mouth" advertising is always the best form of advertising. That is why we make every effort to ensure that your interests are protected and that you leave fully satisfied with the outcome of your case or transaction.Residential Evictions
In Illinois, a landlord can evict a tenant for failing to pay rent, breaching a term of a lease, or holding over after a lease has ended. A landlord who wishes to evict a residential tenant must comply with the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act (the Act) and with any local ordinances pertaining to residential tenants. For example, in Chicago, landlords must abide by the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (the Ordinance). The Act and the Ordinance set forth strict requirements regarding notice and the process of filing an eviction action and enforcing an eviction order. If a landlord does not adhere to them, the landlord's attempts to evict a tenant may be ineffective. For example, a landlord must provide notice to a tenant prior to filing an eviction action, but the notice requirements vary depending on why the landlord wishes to evict the tenant. Additionally, notice must be served on the tenant via a method deemed valid under the law.
The Ordinance also protects residential tenants from retaliatory evictions. Thus, if a tenant can show that he or she engaged in one of the acts protected by the Ordinance within a year of the attempted eviction, the court will presume that the eviction was retaliatory. Additionally, if the court finds that an eviction was retaliatory, or if a landlord violates other provisions of the Ordinance, the landlord may face significant penalties. Therefore, it is essential that a landlord seeking to evict a residential tenant understand and comply with the process set forth by the Ordinance.Commercial Evictions
The process for evicting a commercial tenant in Illinois is established by the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act. In most cases, a landlord will seek to evict a commercial tenant due to the non-payment of rent, but eviction actions also can arise out of any other violations of a lease agreement. Regardless of the reason for seeking an eviction, it is crucial for the landlord to abide by the process established by law. First, the landlord must give the tenant notice that the landlord seeks to evict the tenant and the reason for seeking an eviction.
If the tenant does not remedy the violation in a timely manner, the landlord can file an action to evict the tenant, which is known as a forcible entry and detainer action. The landlord must then properly serve the documents instituting the action on the tenant. Typically, a court will then hold a hearing, during which each side can present evidence in their favor. If the court grants the eviction, the landlord will be granted the right to possession of the property. In some cases, the landlord may be awarded overdue rent and attorneys' fees as well. The judge will issue a writ of possession, which allows the landlord to force the tenant to vacate the premises. It is important for the landlord not to take any actions during the eviction process that might be construed as forgiveness of a violation of a lease term, such as accepting a partial rent payment.Residential Real Estate Closings
Buying or selling a home is a momentous occasion in a person's life, and Chicago real estate attorney James Kottaras understands that it can be overwhelming. If a real estate closing is not handled properly, it can create significant issues down the line, but people who buy or sell residential property are rarely aware of what they must do to safeguard their interests. Thus, it is prudent for anyone buying or selling residential real estate to retain a lawyer to assist with the closing process. When a buyer identifies a property that he or she wants to purchase, an attorney can check the title to ensure that there are no defects that would prevent a valid transfer of the property. Additionally, an attorney can ensure that the seller has provided the proper disclosures for the property, facilitate in obtaining any necessary inspections, and identify any issues that need to be addressed before the transaction is completed.
For sellers of residential real estate, an attorney can obtain any required certificates, determine appropriate tax prorations, and obtain any required releases prior to the closing. A real estate attorney in Chicago also can assist with negotiating the sales price of the property for both the buyer and the seller, analyze the sales contract and suggest any appropriate revisions, and review any financial documents.Commercial Real Estate Closings
The sale or purchase of a commercial property is significantly more involved and complicated than buying a home. While commercial and residential transactions are similar in that the buyer and the seller in each transaction must negotiate the cost of the property and the terms of the sales agreement, there are additional steps that a buyer should take when purchasing commercial real estate to ensure that the property is a sound investment. For example, in most commercial real estate transactions, there is a grace period known as the due diligence period, during which the buyer can conduct investigations regarding the property. The buyer should determine whether the property previously has been involved in litigation, assess whether there are any zoning restrictions on the property, and identify and eliminate any environmental concerns. Chicago real estate lawyer James Kottaras can guide you through this process.
A commercial buyer also should obtain surveys of the property, request any necessary financial or tax documents, and review any existing lease agreements if the property has tenants. A buyer should assess whether there were any title disputes or any other issues related to title or liens or encumbrances on the property. Meanwhile, it is important for the seller of a commercial property to identify and produce any documents requested, and to attempt to mitigate the impact of any harmful information revealed during the due diligence process.Hire an Experienced Chicago Attorney to Protect Your Property Interests
If you are interested in buying or selling a commercial or residential property, or if you need to evict a tenant, you should speak to an attorney regarding your rights and obligations. James Kottaras is proficient in handling a variety of legal matters related to property interests. Mr. Kottaras represents clients throughout Cook, DuPage, Lake, and Will Counties. You can contact him via the online form or at (833) 346-5300 to schedule a meeting with a real estate lawyer in Chicago or seek assistance with a landlord-tenant dispute.