If someone signed a statement to make repairs upon vacating but they don’t, what can you do?

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If someone signed a statement to make repairs upon vacating but they don’t, what can you do?

This is a situation in which an extended family member had someone with a trailer on her land and this person moved off about a month ago. Before moving she had paid rent and signed an agreement to put back the property the way it was before she moved there. She also agreed to have a professional landscaper do the work. They have e-mailed her and called her twice with no responsefrom her.

Asked on May 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord could sue the tenant for breach of contract.  The landlord's damages (the amount of compensation the landlord is seeking to recover in the lawsuit for breach of contract) would be the cost of restoring the property to its original condition.  The landlord will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by hiring a landscaper and/or others whose costs are reasonable and comparable to other landscapers in the area.  If the landlord selected the most expensive landscaper, the landlord would have failed to mitigate damages and the landlord's damages would be reduced accordingly.  The landlord could also deduct the cost of repairs to the property from the security deposit.


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