Joan M. Fenstermaker
Landlord Tenant Lawyer

Joan M. Fenstermaker, P.C.

Landlord Tenant Lawyer Representing Tenants in Chicago


Problems with your landlord? We can help! Joan M. Fenstermaker, P.C. represents tenants in the city of Chicago.

Security Deposit

If you live in Chicago and your lease is subject to the RLTO*, there are very specific rules that your landlord must follow regarding your security deposit. If the landlord violates the RLTO regarding your deposit, your landlord may owe you two times your deposit plus attorneys' fees!


A landlord cannot threaten eviction in retaliation for exercising your rights. Renters are protected by both the RLTO and Illinois state law from a landlord trying to evict them for exercising their rights under the law. Know your rights!

Illegal Late Fees

If your tenancy is governed by the RLTO, there is a maximum amount that your landlord can charge you for late fees. If the landlord charges you a late fee in excess of what's allowed under the RLTO, your landlord may owe you two months rent plus attorneys' fees!

Apartment Needs Repairs

Is your landlord failing to make needed repairs? Contact us to find out what legal rights you may have to withhold a portion of your rent, force your landlord to make the repairs, or break your lease.

Illegal lockout

In the City of Chicago, a landlord cannot force you out of your apartment without an order from a judge. If your landlord is threatening to lock you out of your apartment, call us to find out your rights.

Break Your Lease

Do you need to break your lease? There may be a way to terminate your lease without penalty. We can review your lease for you and let you know your options.

Riser Project/Rehab

Has your building announced a Riser Project or major rehab or renovation that will involve work being done in your unit? Contact Joan to find out if you may be entitled to a temporary reduction in your rent.


Has your landlord lost your building in foreclosure? If the new owner wants you to move, you may be entitled to relocation assistance up to $10,600. Contact Joan to discuss your options. Know your rights!


Do you need to move before your lease is up? If your tenancy is governed by the RLTO, your landlord is required to accept a reasonable sub-tenant without charging you a fee. Call Joan to find out if your situation qualifies!

*RLTO is the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance. The RLTO governs most types of apartments in Chicago (the most common exception is owner-occupied buildings with fewer than seven units)

An Advocate for Renters

landlord tenant lawyer Joan M. Fenstermaker

Representing Chicago Tenants

As a landlord tenant lawyer, Joan specializes in helping renters resolve issues with landlords. Joan and Nick have successfully represented numerous tenants in obtaining the return of their security deposits and other landlord problems. There is no charge for an initial consultation to discuss your case. In most cases, you will not have to pay any attorney's fees from your own pocket.

Free Consultation

Call or email for a no-cost consultation. When you call, you will speak with Joan or Nick, not an assistant.
(312) 371-6473
Please, no walk-ins

About us

landlord tenant lawyer Joan M. Fenstermaker

Joan M. Fenstermaker

Joan Fenstermaker graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Business Management in 1991. She graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 1994.

Although Joan has over two decades of litigation experience in a wide variety of cases, she most enjoys representing tenants who are being treated unfairly by their landlords. Joan has represented hundreds of tenants and is well versed in protecting tenants' rights. Joan is a zealous advocate for her clients and doesn't hesitate to fight for them.

landlord tenant lawyer Nick Bailey

Nicholas Winston Bailey, Associate

While in law school at Northwestern University, Nick volunteered with the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, which introduced him to Joan. After passing the Illinois Bar, Nick joined Joan's firm as an associate. Nick works alongside Joan, striving to make sure clients get what they deserve. He also makes great coffee.

What Our Clients Say

"Joan was truly awesome - after being told by a few lawyers I didn't have a case, Joan was persistent and creative in understanding what tools we could use. Joan ended up helping me win a good sum of money, and was always eager to keep the case moving forward. Wonderful to work with."

"Joan Fenstermaker was a huge help in my landlord dispute case. She assisted in getting me back my security deposit in a quick and timely manner, and was very communicative (which was perfect for me, considering how anxious I was over needing a lawyer for the first time in my life). She was regularly available by phone, text, or email for any issues or questions I had, and the whole process ran smoothly with her at the helm. I am eternally grateful to her for her assistance!"

"We were referred to Joan thru a colleague and within hours of our first call with her we had information that laws had been broken and in our case we were rewarded $15k+ within 2 months. Joan knew the details of our case minute to minute and we both agree that Joan is one of the best lawyers we have encountered. When your lawyer is focused and cares like Joan does, it is apparent in the outcome of your case. We can't rave enough about her expertise and professionalism, this resulted in a quick settlement on our rental agreement. Our landlord thought they could take advantage of good paying people that didn't want to have to file a law suit, we are so thankful we did. Honest people do win!"

"Joan represented me through a long, difficult lawsuit against my landlord. She never gave up on it and pushed it through to its resolution and our win over one year later! She was incredibly persistent, helpful, supportive, professional, and kind. I would highly, highly recommend Joan to anyone having landlord issues!"

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