Dickson Law Group, LLC has experience resolving disputes between tenants and landlords.
Both tenants and landlords hate the eviction process. It is costly to landlords, both in legal fees and time spent with a rental unit that is not producing rent, and to tenants who run the risk of losing their housing. Resolving a dispute with your tenant or landlord without legal intervention is always preferable to filing a lawsuit.
Most of these disputes can be resolved with open communication. Contact your tenant or landlord and discuss why the tenant is not making timely rent payments. They may need a little more time to get caught up. Or, they may not have realized that certain conduct is a violation of the terms of your lease and are willing to correct it. If you can come to an understanding, you can avoid the time and expense of a lawsuit.
Some eviction lawsuits are inevitable
I have seen bad tenants and bad landlords. Sometimes a tenant needs to find a way to break their lease, and sometimes a landlord needs to evict incorrigible tenants. We can help you.
Landlords: Do not engage in self help!
If you unlawfully change the locks to the premises, cut off utilities, or take steps to evict the tenant yourself, you expose yourself to tremendous legal liability and perhaps fines. The eviction process in Illinois is complicated, and you need an experienced attorney to ensure that your eviction is legal.
The Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Law
The eviction process in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Law, which is set forth in Article IX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/9-101, et seq. The Forcible Entry and Detainer Law sets forth five steps that must be followed to obtain an eviction order:
- Notice: You must provide proper notice to the tenant. The notice requirement is designed to give the tenant an opportunity to correct your complaints or get caught up with their rent and avoid eviction. Improper notice is the most common reason why eviction lawsuits fail.
- File a lawsuit: After proper notice has been given, you must file a lawsuit setting forth the legal and factual reasons why you should be awarded possession of the premises and why the tenant should be evicted.
- Court hearing: Eviction lawsuits are handled in Illinois on an expedited basis. Most eviction cases have no more than court appearances. If the tenant shows up to the first court appearance and contests your right to evict them, the judge will set your eviction case for trial. At trial you must prove your right to collect back rent and obtain possession of the property.
- Order of possession: If the landlord has so far done everything correctly and decides in the landlord’s favor, the judge will enter an “Order of Possession,” which grants the landlord possession of the property after a certain date. Most judges are reasonable people and are reluctant to order instant possession of the premises, so that the tenant can collect their things and move out in an orderly fashion. If tenants do not show up to court on the first court date, many judges will assume that the tenant does not care about retaining possession of the property and will grant the landlord immediate possession.
- Eviction: If the tenant has not moved out and turned over possession of the property by the date the Order of Possession becomes effective, the landlord can deliver the Order of Possession to the county sheriff to schedule an eviction. On the eviction date, a Sheriff’s deputy will stand by to ensure that the tenant moves out and that no altercations take place.
The importance of having an experienced eviction attorney
The eviction process has many pitfalls, and landlords and tenants who attempt to navigate the eviction process on their own fail. Call the attorneys of the Dickson Law Group today to set up a free, one-hour consultation to discuss solutions to your dispute with your landlord or your tenants.