Difficult tenants can be a real pain in the “you know what!”. While it would be ideal to just toss them out and replace them with a new tenant, that’s generally not how it works. It is important to know the eviction laws in your state because both landlords and tenants have rights. So before you proceed with an eviction in Chicago, IL, it is important to review the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) so you can be aware of the laws and consult with an eviction attorney.
What is an Eviction?
Most of us have some idea what an eviction is. An eviction is the legal process of removing a tenant from your property. You can’t just tell them to leave or worse yet, shut off the utilities or make the living conditions unbearable. That could work against you and have legal ramifications. Instead, landlords must provide proper written notice of the issue that’s been discovered and give the tenant enough time to make the correction. There are systems and processes put in place to make the experience go as smoothly as possible. Then you can file for an eviction, but keep in mind the process can take up to 5 months or more.
Steps Involved When Dealing with an Eviction
It’s important that you follow protocols put in place to handle an eviction in Chicago, IL. Take a look at these steps of the eviction process in Illinois.
Step 1: Notice must be posted to vacate or correct an issue.
Step 2: If the issue is unresolved and the tenant remains in the property, a complaint is then filed and served.
Step 4: A hearing is held and a judgment is issued.
Step 5: The property is then returned to the landlord.
Step 1: Reasons a notice may be posted
- Failure to Pay Rent – If rent is past due, a notice must be served to notify the tenant and allow them time to pay the rent on order to avoid eviction.
- Tenant is Violating the Lease Agreement – If a written provision in the lease agreement is violated, the landlord is not required to give the tenant the opportunity to correct the issue prior to proceed with an eviction.
- Tenant is Participating in Illegal Activity – if a tenant in your rental is engaged in illegal activity. written notice must be served before starting the eviction process.
- Lease Term Ended or No Lease – If lease term has ended or there is no lease in place the landlord is not need a reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
- Foreclosure of the property – if your rental property is being foreclosed on, the tenant still has to receive notice before eviction.
Step 2: File the Complaint and Serve
The next step in the eviction process, Chicago landlords must file a complaint in the County where their property is located. The cost to file an eviction in Cook County is around $237. Both the summons and complaint must be served to the tenant by either a sheriff, a process server or anyone over the age of 18 that isn’t a part of the case and it must be done three days before the hearing.
Step 3: Judgement and Court Hearing
Hearings are usually scheduled for 7 to 40 days after the summons has been issued by the court, if a tenant fails to appear at the hearing the judge may rule in favor of the landlord, therefor ordering the tenant to move out by a certain date. However, In Illinois a tenant can contest the default judgement by doing so within 30 days of the date of the judgement to appear at the hearing and giving reasons why they should not be evicted.
Step 4: Writ of Execution
The writ of execution means the tenants final notice to leave the property, and it gives the tenants time to remove their belongings before the sheriff comes to the property to forcibly remove them.
Step 5: Property is Returned
After the writ of execution has been executed if the eviction was filed due to illegal activity or illegal drug activity the sheriff must remove any tenant within 7 days. For all other reasons for eviction, tenants are given up to 14 days to move out.
Tips for Handling an Eviction
Handling an eviction in Chicago, IL can be scary. Having to evict someone from a property for any reason is a difficult thing to do and a long process to endure. Sometimes tenants are compliant and understanding and there are times when the situation is the opposite. Thankfully there are rules in place to help navigate the process. Here are a few tips to make it easier on yourself.
Even though the situation is frustrating, and you want the tenants to move out, getting angry doesn’t help anyone. Remain calm and consult with a landlord tenant attorney to find out what your first steps should be.
Keep Records of Everything
Good record keeping is critical when you are landlord. Getting things is also important. If you must prove in court that you didn’t violate any of the right of the tenant, you’ll need written documentation.
A little empathy goes a long way
Even though you’re frustrated, try dealing with your tenants with kindness. Make them feel like you understand what they’re experiencing. Things do happen and people fall on hard times and working together can make the process less painful on both sided.
Handling an eviction in Chicago, IL isn’t fun, and it can be a long process. Evictions in Illinois can also be a bit tricky especially the time of year the eviction process is taking place. Illinois does not process evictions during the winter months so there is a small window during the year when evictions can be done. Knowing the laws and the eviction process in Chicago is crucial to any landlord especially if you are looking to buy new rental properties in the state. If you are a current landlord and find yourself in a situation where you need to evict a tenant due to non-payment of rent or lease violation consult with a landlord tenant attorney. But if you are in a situation where you want to sell your rental property with or without tenants occupying the property give us a call to discuss what your options are.
We are Kim and Jean with Onyx Homes, LLC and we are solution driven cash buyers in Chicago. We help our clients find different ways to sell their homes quickly and we can close on the timeline of your choosing. Feel free to reach out to us today by scheduling a call or simply filling in your information in the box. We will be happy to listen and to help you. We look forward to hearing from you.