Thinking they can save money, many landlords attempt to complete the eviction process by themselves and without representation by an experienced eviction attorney. They often find that the procedures are difficult and that even a simple error can delay the eviction of a non-paying tenant for weeks and even months.
An important requirement for any eviction lawsuit is a pre-suit notice. Depending on the reason for the eviction, a 5 day, 10 day or 30 day notice may be required. If you use the wrong type of notice or fail to include proper language, a judge will likely dismiss your lawsuit and force you to start all over again.
Proper service of the pre-suit notice is also very important. Posting on the door, slipping the notice under the door or simply putting it in the mailbox is not enough. Although giving the notice by certified mail is acceptable, most delinquent tenants will refuse to sign the green card. The best method for serving a pre-suit notice is by personally handing it to the tenant or someone residing with the tenant age 14 or older. Judges frequently dismiss eviction lawsuits because of improper service of a pre-suit notice.
Once an eviction case is filed, you must also get proper service of a summons. You can’t do this yourself. You need someone licensed to serve legal papers. A lawyer can help you by hiring an experienced process server whom they work with on a regular basis.
The clerk of the court may provide a template form for an eviction case but it is often inadequate. A proper complaint asks for all past due rent plus rent through the date the tenant is ordered to leave. It also asks for the judgment to include court filing fees, process server fees and possibly attorney’s fees. An experienced eviction attorney will make sure the complaint asks for all relief to which you may be entitled and will not rely solely upon an inadequate form provided by the courthouse or found online.
Finally, trial can be a scary experience if you’ve never done it before and don’t understand all the rules of evidence. Many landlords have lost good cases and allowed their tenants to stay much longer than they should have because they didn’t know how to present proper evidence to the judge. An experienced eviction attorney has tried many cases and will know what you need to do to get the tenant out of the property as quickly as possible.
For legal advice pertaining to your eviction efforts anywhere in Lake County, Illinois, please call Thaddeus M. Bond, Jr., & Associates, P.C., at 847-599-9101. We will help you decide if you can benefit from our services moving forward. We have offices in Libertyville and Waukegan.