Property owners have heard the horror stories: from destruction of property to pets left behind to tenants that will just not vacate the premises, the job of a landlord is far from easy. Tenants are granted rights under the law, protecting them from unfair practices – but what about those who own the properties? It can be much more challenging to remove a tenant; an experienced civil attorney is a tremendous ally.
One of the most common reasons commercial tenants are served with eviction notices is, not surprisingly, failure to pay rent on time – or at all. However, any activity that violates the terms of the lease is also grounds for eviction. The trouble for landlords is that eviction is not as clear cut or simple as serving notice and changing the locks. It involves a complex, and often lengthy, process.
In Illinois, landlords must provide tenants with written notice and warning of eviction. They must also give the tenants a “reasonable” amount of time to correct the violation. For example, if they are in arrears for rent, they must be given the opportunity to pay.
If the tenant fails to correct the violation, the landlord must petition the court for “unlawful detainer” or “forcible entry and detainer.” Then they have those papers served. A hearing is schedule; if the tenant doesn’t file an answer, the landlord prevails. If this is the case, the court gives the tenant a specified number of days to vacate. Failing to do so moves the process to the next phase: local law enforcement officers execute the order.
It sounds straightforward, but eviction can be complex. For example, the tenant can present defenses to against eviction. Again, if the problem is nonpayment of rent, the tenant could argue that the landlord failed to make necessary repairs. Another issue occurs when the tenant disappears whenever a process server shows up with documents. This can impede the process.
In any event, consulting with Kiswani Law’s team can help ensure that your rights as a landlord are upheld. Contact us at 708-210-9247.