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James Kottaras
  • Landlord Tenant, Real Estate Law, Business Law ...
  • Illinois
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Prior to graduating from law school, Mr. Kottaras received valuable training as an intern for two civil court Judges. After law school, Mr. Kottaras began working with a local law firm, where he honed his litigation skills representing real estate developers and personal injury clients.

In 1993, Mr. Kottaras opened a Law Office in the Chicago-Loop, and has been in continuous operation ever since. During this time, he became general counsel for a local real estate developer and owner of several Chicago-Loop commercial buildings, where he practiced real estate leasing, litigation and transactional law. After the developer retired, Mr. Kottaras became a fully-independent practitioner.

Since that time, Mr. Kottaras has been providing clients with the competent and insightful legal representation in eviction cases, real estate leasing and transactions, and real estate-related litigation. Mr. Kottaras is also a licensed Real Estate Broker and Title Agent for Chicago Title Insurance (CTI) and Professional National Title Insurance (PNTN) and has represented sellers and buyers in numerous closings in Chicago and throughout suburban Cook County, Illinois.

Practice Areas
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Supreme Court of Illinois
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U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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  • English
  • Greek
Professional Experience
Law Office of James Kottaras
- Current
Schlyer & Associates
Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D. (1989)
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Indiana University - Indiana University-Bloomington
B.A. (1986)
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Professional Associations
Illinois State Bar
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Chicago Bar Association
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Licensed Real Estate Broker
Illinois & Indiana
Websites & Blogs
James Kottaras' Website Profile
Law Office of James Kottaras Website
Legal Answers
3 Questions Answered

Q. How do we establish property percentage of ownership?
A: Generally speaking, in Illinois, unless there is language to the contrary in the Will, the interests in the property are presumed to have been distributed equally (or "per stirpes") to the heirs. However, if you have contributed a disproportionate amount to maintain the property, pay RE taxes, etc, you may want to consider filing a "partition" action to have a Court determine a fair and equitable distribution of any interest in the property or any proceeds from a sale. However, this could become costly in fees and court costs and it is always better to try to work out an amicable arrangement with your family members. You should consult with a knowledgeable attorney practicing real estate and/or wills & estates to review the Will and for more specific legal advice.
Q. If a lessee hosts a roommate (no lease, roommate agreement only), who has standing to sue the roommate for unpaid rent?
A: Depending on the terms of your "roommate agreement," which I assume would be similar to a sublease form, you should be able to sue the roommate for unpaid rent owed to you. The landlord/owner may not be able to sue the roommate for his portion of the unpaid rent, but if you have not met your obligations under the "master" lease (including timely payment of rent), the landlord can sue for possession (i.e. eviction) against you and all other occupants of the property. The landlord may also seek unpaid rent and any other reimbursements (i.e. court costs, attorney fees, etc) allowed under the lease against any signatory to the master lease. You should have a knowledgeable eviction/contract attorney thoroughly review your lease and roommate agreement for more specific legal advice.
Q. My father is deceased his house is in Trust, I'm the successor Trustee. Is the house considered mine? Like a 2ndary home
A: Hopefully, at the time of the Declaration of Trust, your father's attorney also recorded a Quit-Claim Deed transferring the title from your father to the Trust. If not, then we would need to work with the Title Co. to record an Affidavit of Heirship to determine all the parties with an interest in the property. You should have an attorney discuss your options and shepherd the transaction to closing.
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Contact & Map
Law Office of James Kottaras
150 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
Toll-Free: (833) 346-5300
Fax: (312) 264-2349