Serving Waukegan, Libertyville, Lake County, Gurnee & nearby areas of Illinois
Posted: May 21, 2010
Buying a rental property is often a sound investment choice. Until your tenant stops paying and leaves you to cover the mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. on your own. Many landlords have questions about how to remove a non-paying tenant. The first and most important piece of advice is to avoid self help and to make sure you follow the legal process. That process is outlined below. A landlord should always consult a lawyer before engaging in any of these procedures on their own.
A) A notice of termination of tenancy must be served on the tenant. Personal service is best but other methods are allowed. If the tenant has a written lease, a 5 day notice is usually required. If the tenant pays in full within those 5 days, eviction proceedings must stop. If there is no written lease or the lease has expired, a 30 day notice may be required.
B) After the notice period expires, a lawsuit called a complaint in forcible entry and detainer must be filed. The tenants must be served with a summons and be given an opportunity to come to court to defend themselves.
C) If the tenants are properly served and do not come to court, a judge will sign a possession order and may also sign a judgment for the rent and other costs owed. If the tenants contest the redemption, a trial will be scheduled on an expedited basis.
D) A landlord may not self enforce the court’s possession order. The possession order must be enforced by the County Sheriff. The landlord will be present on the date the sheriff comes to the property.
If you are a landlord and need help with a delinquent tenant, do not hesitate to contact us.