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Can Tenants Get Kicked Out In The Winter In Illinois

Posted on in Residential Landlord Evictions

kendall county lawyer for landlordsYes, tenants may be evicted in Illinois during the winter months. There are no weather restrictions in Illinois with respect to eviction proceedings in Illinois.

Reasons for Evictions by Landlords in Illinois

There are multiple reasons landlords in Illinois want to forcible evict tenants in the winter months. These reasons include the following:

  • Non-Payment of Rent

  • Failure to comply with terms of the written lease (property damage, criminal act, nuisance, non-compliance with rental terms of written lease)

  • Landlord wants to sell the property 

  • Purchased at foreclosure or auction (and want to evict current tenants)

  • Property owner wants to forcible remove a former intimate partner, friend/acquaintance, and/or family member

  • Property owner wants to terminate current written lease at expiration date (or as a holdover tenant)

  • Eviction of a squatter which is not legally entitled to the rental property

The above reasons are the variety of reasons that an Illinois landlord wants to terminate a rental tenancy or forcibly remove a tenant or tenants. Landlord Evictions, LLC has a niche in representing Illinois landlords in forcible entry and eviction proceedings and representing Illinois landlords with respect to real estate closings, asset protection, and estate planning exclusively focused on landlords.

Illinois Eviction Law in the Winter Months

Landlords must comply with the Illinois eviction laws to forcibly remove unwanted tenants. The winter months are irrelevant except around Christmas and New Year’s. There are no formal laws in Illinois which require an Illinois Judge to delay a tenant’s forcible entry and detainer action. Possibly, a Judge may give a tenant an extra week to avoid evicting a tenant around Christmas or the New Years. However, in our experience, Illinois landlords hurt themselves by failing to start the eviction process because evictions increase during the New Year because many Illinois landlords delay or fail to begin the eviction process in Illinois until after the New Year.

In our experience, the police department or sheriff’s office will inform a landlord or property owner (or property manager) that they must commence the eviction process to forcibly remove a tenant.

Eviction Procedures in Illinois are Two Pronged: a) Preparation of Eviction Notice(s) and b) Commence Eviction-Court Proceedings

The first process in removing a tenant is preparation and delivery of the eviction notice. There are several eviction notices, including notices for the following:

  • Non-Payment of Rent (5-day Notice)

  • Non-Compliance with Written Lease (10-day Notice)

  • Termination of Month-to-Month Rental Tenancy (30-day Notice)

Delivering the appropriate eviction notice either by personal service or by certified mail (or registered mail) with signature requested are important to validly effectuate service on a tenant. Personal service means that the landlord (or its’ agent or a private process server) personally handed the eviction notice to the tenant(s) or a family member living at the residence who is 13 years of age or older. Certified mail (and Registered Mail) is highly recommended against because the tenants must sign the certified mail or registered mail (green card). The USPS postal carrier will return the green card. The green card proves to the Illinois court that the tenant(s) received the eviction notice delivered by the landlord (or its’ agent) or property manager.

Filing an Eviction Complaint Against a Tenant in Illinois

After the eviction notice has been delivered, the landlord must way the period required by the eviction notice. Generally, a non-payment of rent notice is 5-days and non-compliance of the rental terms of the written lease is a 10-day period. Termination of the rental lease (whether it was a written lease or oral lease or continued after the expiration of the rental lease).

There are generally two causes of action, which the landlord may file against the tenants in Illinois. The first type of cause of action is an eviction which seeks recovery of money damages (unpaid rent, late fees, and/or attorney’s fees (and costs) and return of possess of the premises. Illinois courts generally charge around $350 for this type of eviction action because the landlord’s rights under eviction laws in Illinois allow them to seek money relief and possession of the premises back. With this type of cause of action, a civil judgment is possible to find that the tenant owes the landlord a specified sum of money. A civil judgment or otherwise known as a” judgment”.

An Illinois judgment has a time limit of seven (7) years from the date of their entry. However, the enforcement period of a civil judgment may be up to a period of twenty-seven years. Even if a judgment is greater than 7 years old, the landlord may enforce a civil judgment for a period of up to twenty-years after the judgment’s first entry. See 735 ILCS 5/12-108.

The second type of cause of action in Illinois eviction cases are possession only. Generally, a landlord wants to limit their out-of-pocket expenditure and desires to seek possession only. Possession only means that the landlord is only interested in securing the rental property back. Or perhaps the property owner or landlord did not have an agreement for the significant other or partner or family friend or acquittance to pay any specified dollar amount of rent. In this instance, a thirty-day notice must be delivered to terminate the rental period of the tenant. A thirty-30-day notice is required as well when a tenant has overstayed the expiration of the rental lease. Again, the landlord must first terminate the month-to-month rental tenancy before commencing an eviction case in the Illinois courts. A benefit of “possession only” orders is that the Illinois courts charge around $200 less than possession and money damages claim.

Summons and Eviction Complaint

The court process requires delivery of a summons and complaint to the tenants to inform them of the legal proceedings against them. The summons is a standard court issued document which informs the tenants of the nature of the allegations, the court date and court room (and time of the proceedings). The Illinois Supreme Court also requires a handout about Illinois court based rental assistance to be included with the Summons. Some County courthouses have mediation requirements and/or other requirements, which are applicable to Illinois landlords as well.

The Eviction Complaint contains the allegations against the Tenant such as the following:

  • What type of eviction notice was delivered and an affidavit of service describing the method of service of process delivered to the tenant (with the appropriate eviction notice)

  • The amount of money damages sought against the tenant such as unpaid rent and late fees, reasonable attorney’s fees, unpaid utilities, and court costs (if applicable)

  • Desire to seek the return of the rental premises back to the landlord (or property owner)

  • Relief sought

Proof of Delivery of Summons

The Illinois Judge will seek proof that the tenants have received proper service of the eviction complaint. The tenants technically can show up for the first eviction court date and get a continuance because of non-service of the summons. The Illinois court system has requirements in the methods to inform Defendants of legal proceedings against them. If the Plaintiff has failed to serve the Defendant Tenants, then the Plaintiff (or the Attorney) must seek a second court date to re-attempt to serve the Summons and Complaint or ask for relief from the requirements of serving the Defendant tenants based upon willful non-compliance of service of process by the tenants. Many residential tenants will evade service of process and not allow a Sheriff or civil process server to serve them. The Defendant tenants will look at the process server or sheriff’s officer (but this is not good service under Illinois law). Thus, certain Defendant Tenants understand their rights and the court rules, which enable them to remain the premises longer (or may prohibit entry of a money judgment against them).

Hiring an eviction attorney is a wise decision to protect your rights as a landlord (or property owner). Here, at Landlord Evictions, LLC will serve property owners, landlords, property managers, and real estate investors in the following counties:

  • Kendall County

  • Will County

  • Kane County

  • DeKalb County

  • Grundy County

  • Suburban Cook County Only (at this time)

  • Livingston County

  • Kankakee County

  • DuPage County

ILLINOIS EVICTION LAWYERS FOR LANDLORDS ONLY

Call Landlord Evictions, LLC today at 630-780-1034 to discuss your eviction legal needs (or via online contact form). Phone calls are no charge and there is no reason for an Illinois landlord to come in for an office appointment. We handle everything virtually including payment proceedings and processing of eviction engagement letters. 

Landlords also save time because we handle preparation of eviction notices and delivery of eviction notices by hiring third-party process servers on your behalf to serve the eviction notices. Moreover, landlords save time and money by having the Illinois eviction lawyers show up for court without them being present. There are only limited exceptions such as attending trial or hearings (which may require the landlord’s attendance).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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