Unfortunately, some tenants choose to violate their lease, either through negligence or deliberate actions. In these tenant-landlord disputes, you need the experienced real estate law attorneys at Thaddeus M. Bond Jr. & Associates, PC to fight for your rights. While many such disputes can be settled short of eviction, most cases require court action.
If you have tried repeatedly to settle a dispute with your tenant and you’ve come to the conclusion that eviction is the only solution, we can help.
Eviction law in Illinois is complicated and it’s too easy to make a misstep during the eviction process. There are a number of steps you have to follow when moving to evict a tenant, and failure at any step along the way can leave you legally vulnerable. Let the experienced real estate law attorneys at Thaddeus M. Bond Jr. & Associates, PC guide you through the process.
The Eviction Process
The first step here actually takes place before you even begin your relationship with the tenant. Your lease is the foundation for the entire relationship, and eviction requires the violation of a sound, legally enforceable lease. You should always hire a lawyer to help you draw up a lease.
Assuming you have a solid lease, if your tenant violates its terms and you do not feel that suing for money damages will be productive, you can move forward with the eviction process. Most evictions stem from a failure to pay rent, though tenants can also be evicted for violating other specific provisions of the lease. The following process must be followed when evicting a tenant:
- First, you serve a tenant with a notice to correct or notice of eviction. There are several different forms landlords can use for this, and we will help you choose the right one.
- Second, depending on which notice you use, landlords must wait the appropriate time period before filing suit. That usually ranges from five to thirty days.
- Third, once that period of time is over, you must go the clerk at the appropriate county courthouse and ask for an eviction complaint form. Thaddeus M. Bond Jr. & Associates, PC will help you fill out the complaint, attach all the necessary paperwork and file it with the county clerk.
- Fourth, have the sheriff’s office or private process server serve the tenant with a copy of the eviction complaint.
- Finally, there will be a hearing to determine if the eviction will come through. We will help you prepare for this hearing. That will include assembling all the necessary paperwork and witnesses. As a landlord, you have the burden of proof in an eviction case. You must prove the tenant violated the lease and that you have followed all the necessary steps.
If you win your hearing, the judge will present an order for the tenant to vacate the premises and pay a certain amount of money damages. You should understand two things:
- First, the tenant will usually have a certain period of time in which he or she can pay off the damages, so you will likely not receive that money immediately, if at all.
- Second, you cannot enforce the eviction order yourself. You must enlist the help of the local sheriff if the tenant will not abide by the eviction notice.
If you’re a landlord in the Lake County area and you need to help with an eviction, please contact Thaddeus M. Bond Jr. & Associates, PC for a free consultation. We charge a flat fee of $400.00 plus actual costs. Costs can vary from case to case and include the court filing fee, service of process feesand/or the costs to have the sheriff schedule and attend an eviction (they average $300-$400). Our fee shall be the aforesaid amount regardless of any award of attorney's fees or costs made by the presiding judge. Although many leases provide that the landlord is entitled to fees and costs, the amount awarded, if any, is left to the discretion of the judge and may or may not be the same as our firm's fee.
Our fee covers only the preparation and filing of the pre-suit notice and complaint, arranging for service of process, attendance at scheduled court hearings and/or trial and scheduling of an eviction if necessary. It does not include collection of any monetary judgment that might be rendered. Post judgment collection proceedings are a separate matter that will require additional court costs and proceedings. Our firm will, if you request, record your judgment on the public records but will not otherwise handle
post judgment collection proceedings.
If the tenant leaves the property after the pre-suit notice is served but before a lawsuit is filed, our fee will be $100 plus the costs for the process server.
In order to get started, we will need a copy of your lease as well as a statement showing the unpaid amounts due. If you prepared your own 5 day notice, we will need a copy of that as well.