If you think that you will be evicted from the rental property soon, you should know that your landlord is required by the law to go through a proper legal procedure. Tenants have certain rights that they can exercise in order to protect themselves from unlawful eviction. It is important that you have a good understanding of the eviction procedure and know your rights in order to respond to the eviction notice in the right way.
Find out the Reason for Eviction
There can be several reasons for your eviction in case of a lease agreement, such as damaging the property, failing to pay rent, disturbing neighbors, and others. However, if there is no written lease, you may be evicted without any reason, as long as the landlord has given you a written notice of 30 or 60 days.
Different Types of Eviction Notices
While legal terminology may differ among states, the purpose of different eviction notices is more or less the same. If you and your landlord entered a written lease agreement at the time of renting, you may receive three types of eviction notices.
- Pay rent or quit notice
- Cure or quit notice
- Unconditional quit notice
If you have paid your rent on time and did anything that would become a cause of eviction, your landlord can still ask you to vacate the rental property. The landlord may be required to present a valid reason for their request, but in some states, it is not mandatory. They will give you a notice to vacate within a period of 30 or 60 days. The purpose of the lengthened timeframe is to allow the tenant to find a new place to live.
What are your Rights as a Tenant?
According to the Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act, your landlord cannot evict you right away or force you out of the rental property by changing the locks, turning off the utilities, or throwing out your personal belongings. They must present a written notice in order to evict you. If the reason for eviction is the nonpayment of rent, they must give you 5 days to pay the due amount. If you have violated any terms of your lease, a 10-day notice will be issued.
If you do not vacate the rental property after the notice period has expired, the landlord can file a lawsuit against you. However, the landlord must first serve a complaint, followed by a summons to appear in court under the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act. The burden of proof in the court proceedings will be on the landlord. In addition, you will have the right to:
- Have a trial by jury
- Get an attorney to represent you
- Call your own witnesses for testimony
- Present evidence
- Ask questions
The eviction process can be overwhelming and confusing for many tenants. To understand your rights and learn about possible defenses, you should work with an experienced real estate attorney to get insights into your case and your legal options available to you. For more information, contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation and to discuss your case.