Can other aspects be included after a lease is signed

UPDATED: May 12, 2009

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Can other aspects be included after a lease is signed

My daughter and her potential roomate signed a lease and submitted checks (now cashed) for security deposit and first month rent. Now, after the fact, the owner has come up with a $250 charge as a move out fee that the owner says is due before they can take occupancy. What’s going on here and do they have any recourse?

Asked on May 12, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I am not licensed to practice law in Illinois, and I don't have a copy of the lease to review, so I can't give you a firm opinion.  One place your daughter can look for a qualified attorney is our website,

A lease is a contract, and once it is signed by both sides, its terms usually limit what each side can, or cannot, do.  If the move out fee is not in the lease, I very much doubt that the landlord can get away with this.  And if the fee isn't in the lease, the landlord is probably violating the lease -- breaking the contract -- by demanding extra money that he's not entitled to.  This is something that your daughter and her roommate should not decide on their own, but if a qualified Illinois attorney comes to the same conclusion, they might want to reconsider having to deal with this -- person -- for a year;  if so, they might have to sue to get their money back.

Either way, I think your daughter and her friend should spend that $250, if necessary, on a consultation with a good lawyer.  Often, sadly -- people -- like this try to take advantage of others;  often, when faced by an attorney who knows that what they are doing is wrong, these -- people -- will back down.

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