One of the more intricate details of owning Evanston rental properties is comprehending the idea of unlawful detainer. To define the term “unlawful detainer”, it is a tenant who continues to live in a rental property even after having no legal right to do so. When an unlawful detainer situation happens, rental property owners can then use it as the legal basis to begin the eviction process. But evicting a tenant because of unlawful detainer requires a court case and, in some cases, a jury trial. We’ll go over the following in the next sections: the basics of unlawful detainer, some examples of an unlawful detainer situation, and what to do when it happens.
A Legal Basis for Eviction
For a lot of rental property owners, the concept of unlawful detainer will not usually become relevant unless they need to evict a tenant. While it does give landlords the means to sue for a tenant’s removal, unlawful detainer is not the only legal basis for eviction. Evicting a tenant is always a delicate matter, and there are certain rules and regulations mandated in every state that must be carefully followed. A landlord cannot simply kick a tenant out for any reason once he or she has possession of the property. This includes not paying rent, violating the lease, or even canceling the lease. Instead, it’s essential to carefully document the situation and know your legal basis for eviction before making your case to the appropriate local courts.
Unlawful detainer can be relevant to a number of situations. To better learn more about the three most common ones, keep reading.
Example 1: The tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends.
If a tenant refuses to move out even after the lease has expired, this is the time when you might want to use an unlawful detainer to evict the tenant. You are not able, legally, to pressure a tenant to move out once their lease ends. You may be sued by your tenant if you do anything illegal, like changing the locks or calling the sheriff. Instead, in the event you have a tenant who refuses to move out, you should document the situation and file a petition with the local court. You must also make certain that your tenants are provided with the court documents. From that point, you are required to follow the eviction process given by the court system to get a judge’s ruling before proceeding with the rest of the eviction process.
Example 2: The tenant stops paying rent.
Another typical reason to use unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is when they cease paying their rent. There are several reasons why a tenant does not pay their rent. However, this is still a common occurrence. Some tenants may either be waiting for their paychecks or have simply forgotten. However, you may need to resort to eviction if ever your tenant does not pay their rent after you have provided multiple reminders and requests. If that happens, be sure to thoroughly follow any grace period provided in your lease and give your tenant one more chance to pay. If you’re not going to do this, your petition may not be successful in court
Example 3: The tenant refuses to leave after the landlord terminates the lease.
If your tenant will not move out even after you have terminated your lease with them, then an unlawful detainer may occur. From a tenant violating one or more terms to other reasons, there are multiple reasons why a landlord may terminate a lease. If your tenant will not leave and you need to terminate the lease, you can use the legal basis of unlawful detainer to petition the court to authorize them to move out. Mainly, be sure to document everything and follow the legal process step by step. Yet, the event of unlawful detainer is no reason to violate a tenant’s rights.
You will usually get a writ that gives your tenant one more chance to leave your rental property voluntarily, once you have the court’s judgment. You will not be the one to deliver the writ to your tenant. In most states, this will be given by the local law enforcement. You can then ask the aid of law enforcement, with a judgment and writ in hand, to remove your tenant and get your property back.
Even though they are a usual part of owning rental property, evictions are a time-consuming legal process that can easily become a serious difficulty. If you have a tenant who refuses to leave or is in violation of their lease, give Real Property Management Chicago Group a call, and we can assist you. Getting your property back as quickly as possible is something our professionals can help you with. They can help you carry out the eviction process safely and legally. To speak with an Evanston property manager, contact us online or call at 312-265-0660 today!
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