APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION
547 N.E.2d 472, 191 Ill. App. 3d 41, 138 Ill. Dec. 305 1989.IL.1631
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Carl Cippola, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the court. MANNING, P.J., and CAMPBELL, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE O'CONNOR
This is an appeal from a judgment awarding possession to plaintiffs La Salle National Bank and Ahmo Hamzagic in an action brought for forcible entry and detainer.
Defendants, Hadi and Sartaj Khan, entered into a 15-year commercial lease, beginning May 1, 1987, for the property at 1313 Wilson Avenue in Chicago, for the purpose of operating a coin-operated laundry. The lease was signed by the Khans as tenants and La Salle National Bank as landlord, as trustee of a trust dated May 2, 1961. Pursuant to paragraph G of the trust agreement, the trust was to expire May 2, 1981. The lease provided that rent was due on the first day of each month and that rent was to be paid to the landlord at 135 South La Salle Street.
Plaintiff Ahmo Hamzagic was the beneficiary of the trust, and from May 1987 until January 1988 collected the rent for the property from the Khans. The Khans wrote their checks payable to Hamzagic and, despite the provisions of the lease, paid the rent after the first of the month, typically around the tenth of each month. Through January 1988, Hamzagic accepted the late payments. In addition to the rent, the Khans paid Hamzagic for a scavenger service for the property. The parties disagree as to whether payments for the scavenger service constituted partial payment of rent.
In February 1988, attorney Bahtiar Hoxha sent a letter to the Khans on behalf of Hamzagic. The letter stated:
"Please be advised that [Hoxha] represents Mr. Ahmo Hamzagic, the sole beneficiary of La Salle National Bank Trust No: 27819, Lessor.
My client advises me that you have been paying your rent on the tenth day of the month. However, the rent is due on the first of each and every month.
This letter will serve notice to you that as of March 1, 1988 my client will not accept rent payments from you that are not timely.
NOTE, any payment of rent made after the first day of the month in which it is due will be treated as a breach of the Store Lease." (Emphasis in original.)
The rent for March 1988 was paid on March 1. The rent for April 1988 was not paid until April 6. On April 7, plaintiffs filed an action for forcible entry and detainer. On April 13, 1988, the rent check was returned to the Khans with a letter notifying the Khans that the lease had been breached. Checks for payment of the scavenger service for ...