This is the next post in my series on how landlords can evict a tenant in Peoria and other parts of Illinois. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you need to remove a tenant from your property. It is also important that you speak with counsel immediately to help ensure that the matter is handled properly. If the case is not handled correctly then you run the risk of the judge making you start the process over or, worse, denying the eviction entirely. In this article I will explain the process of evicting a tenant in our state. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Evicting an Illinois tenant begins with the “Notice To Quit”
The first step in evicting an Illinois tenant is to serve them with a Notice to Quit. This is a legal notice which informs the tenant that they are being asked to vacate the property and the reason for which the request is being made. The Notice will also provide them with a deadline by which they must leave the property. This deadline will depend on the reason for eviction. If, for example, the tenant must vacate due to the non-payment of rent, then they must only be given a five day notice. There are other reasons, however, which may require notice of up to thirty days. If the tenant vacates the property before the deadline then the matter is considered resolved and the tenant will not have an eviction on their public record. If the tenant does not vacate by the deadline then the next step is to file an eviction action with the Court.
The first step in filing a formal eviction action is to file a Summons and Complaint with the Court. These documents will be served upon the tenant and a hearing will be scheduled. Most hearings are a relatively short affair. This is due to the fact that most evictions are based on clear cut reasons, such as the non-payment of rent or a tenant overstaying their lease. If the tenant does not show up for the hearing (which happens often), then the Judge will typically grant the eviction. If the tenant does attend the hearing then, typically, the Court will still grant the eviction if the justification is clear (i.e. it is clear that the tenant has not paid rent). The Court will then enter an Order stating that the eviction is granted and that the tenant must vacate the property. Depending on which local court system you are in, the tenant may be given a short amount of time to remove their belongings from the property.
While the foregoing process may sound straightforward, it is important to remember that how the Court will rule in any given situation will always depend on the specific facts of the case. Also, retaining an attorney can help you to ensure that the process is followed correctly.
Illinois landlords may be required to have an attorney to assist them with an eviction
It is common for landlords to ask the question “do I need an attorney to evict a tenant?” There are multiple aspects to this question. First, if a landlord has placed their property into a business entity such as an LLC or a corporation, then an attorney will be required to handle the eviction. This is due to the fact that such businesses are considered “separate entities” and must be represented by counsel; a non-attorney landlord cannot represent such a company. Second, even if the landlord owns the property as an individual, having an attorney can result in the matter being handled more effectively. This, in turn, can result in the property owner reclaiming the home more quickly. So, in short, there are some instances where a landlord will be required to retain an attorney for an eviction and there are others where retaining counsel is advisable, though not required.
If you are a landlord and need assistance with evicting a tenant then contact us online or by telephone to speak with a Peoria eviction lawyer. My office is devoted to providing quality service and we look forward to being of assistance. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.