Being a landlord and/or manager is a difficult job. There are many complex issues that you deal with on a daily basis. In this installment, we address three frequently asked questions:

Question 1: What are the different ways that a Landlord can terminate a lease and evict their tenants?

There are 3 common reasons to evict a tenant:

  • Failure to pay rent – Under Illinois Law, the Landlord is only required to give 5 days’ Notice to the tenant. Many leases provide for more than 5 days so be sure to check your lease and make sure it is 5 days in order to timely evict the tenant.
  • Failure to conduct themselves accordingly – Some tenants may participate in objectionable or improper conduct. They may even cause annoyance to other occupants of the Unit. In these cases, the Landlord shall give 10 days’ Notice. If the tenants do not vacate within 10 days, the Landlord may bring an eviction lawsuit.
  • Termination of Tenancy – If you do not want to renew the Lease to the current tenants, it is important to serve the tenants with a 30 Day Notice before the end of the lease. This would allow you to bring an eviction lawsuit against the tenants if they unlawfully withhold possession of the Unit after the Lease has expired.

Question 2: What is the timeframe of an eviction lawsuit?

There is no concrete time frame for how long it will take to get the tenants out of the Unit. However, here are some factors:

  • If the matter is uncontested (i.e. tenant admits to liability), the Judge would give between 7-28 days to vacate the Unit.
  • If the matter is contested and the tenants participate in motion practice, it could take anywhere between 3-6 months.
  • Also, in order to obtain a personal judgment from the tenants, the Landlord would need to effectuate service on the individual. This can take many attempts by the Sheriff and/or Special Process Server.

Question 3: My tenants are evading service. Can I post the Notice on the door of the Unit?

  • No. The law in Illinois is clear; the notice must be personally served to the tenant, or an occupant of the unit who is over the age of 13. Landlord cannot post the Notice on the door of the unit unless the unit is vacant and abandoned.
  • If the tenant is evading service of the Notice, hiring a decent process server will allow them to find more creative means of getting the tenant to open the door.
  • Ultimately, the key is obtaining service. We are unable to move forward with an eviction lawsuit without serving the tenants.

If you are a landlord or manager and have concerns regarding these questions and their effect on your property, please do not hesitate to contact Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit at 855-537-0550 or visit our website at www.ksnlaw.com.