The jerk next to my mother’s home will not let her repair her broken windows — What can I do?

April 4, 2024

AuthorArnold E. Karolewski

Practice AreasReal Estate

The family home is about 75 years old and my mother has lived in the home for the last 50 years.  The home is located in the old neighborhood where space is at a premium and one of the sides of the home is located about three feet from the lot line. 

Three of the windows on that side of the home have deteriorated and need to be replaced. My mother hired a contractor to perform the work, but when he placed his ladders three feet onto the neighbor’s land, the neighbor threatened to sue my mother and the contractor and forced the contractor to remove his ladders.

The contractor gave the neighbor a copy of his insurance certificate and further explained that the ladders would be on the neighbor’s property for not more than four hours. The neighbor, who has been the neighborhood pariah for the last 20 years, has refused to act in a neighborly manner.

I am concerned that this jerk is going to sue my mother and otherwise make her life miserable.  What can I do?

Fortunately, Illinois has an “anti-jerk law” which is formally known as the Illinois Entry on Adjoining Land to Accomplish Repairs Act.

The Act provides that the owner of a single-family residence who needs to enter upon adjoining land to make repairs or perform maintenance may compel the owner of the adjoining land to permit such entry. Unfortunately, the Act will require that your mother file a lawsuit wherein the court will prescribe the conditions for the entry of the contractor onto the neighbor’s property and shall determine the amount of damages, if any, to be paid to the owner of the adjoining land. The court may also impose other conditions.

Although there may not be ready answers for all disputes between neighbors, the attorneys at Chuhak & Tecson are able to identify possible remedies for dealing with un-neighborly neighbors.

Client alert authored by Arnold E. Karolewski (312 855 4320), principal.

This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.