Property II, Pages 401–403

Cook v. University Plaza

Court of Appeals of Illinois, 1981

Facts:

Plaintiffs were students in defendant's dormitory. The individual contracts require a $50 security deposit. Plaintiffs filed a class-action suit based on a statute about payment of interest on security deposits to a tenant.

Procedural History:

Trial court dismissed due because statute was inapplicable because no tenant-landlond relationship was created by the contracts.

Issue:

Did plaintiffs and defendant enter into a license or a lease?

Rule:

LexisNexis IconWestLaw LogoGoogle Scholar LogoPage 402, Paragraph 3

Whether a contract is a lease or a license is not to be determined from the language that the parties choose to call it but from the legal effect of its provisions

Reasoning:

  • The contract said that it was a license, not a lease.

  • The students could be moved between rooms at defendant's will.

Holding:

The contract did not intend to enter into a landlord-tenant relationship, and they did not. Affirmed.

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