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As a landlord in Cook County, Illinois, it is important to understand the eviction process and the legal requirements involved. Evictions can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is essential to follow the proper procedures to avoid legal issues and protect your property.
The eviction process in Cook County starts with a written notice. The type of notice required depends on the reason for the eviction. If a tenant is behind on rent payments, the landlord must provide a five-day notice to pay or quit. If there is a violation of the lease agreement, such as noise complaints or unauthorized pets, the landlord must provide a ten-day notice to cure or quit. If the lease agreement has ended and the tenant has not vacated the property, the landlord must provide a 30/90/120 day notice to quit.
Once the notice period has expired, and the tenant has not corrected the issue or vacated the property, the landlord can file a complaint in court. The complaint must be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the property is located. The complaint should include the reasons for the eviction and any evidence supporting the case, such as lease agreements or communication with the tenant.
After filing the complaint, the court will schedule a hearing date, which must be at least seven days after the complaint is filed. The tenant must be served with a copy of the complaint and a summons to appear in court. The summons must be delivered by a process server or the sheriff's office. The tenant has the right to file a response to the complaint before the hearing date.
At the hearing, both the landlord and the tenant will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, a judgment for possession will be entered. The judgment will give the tenant a specified period, usually seven days, to vacate the property voluntarily. If the tenant does not vacate the property, the landlord can request a writ of possession from the court, which allows the sheriff to remove the tenant and their belongings from the property.
It is important to note that landlords cannot engage in self-help eviction, such as changing the locks or shutting off utilities, to remove a tenant from the property. Doing so can result in legal action against the landlord and potentially criminal charges.
In Cook County, tenants have additional protections under the Just Housing Ordinance. The ordinance prohibits discrimination against tenants based on their criminal background and provides tenants with the right to request reasonable accommodations for disabilities. Landlords must comply with the ordinance when evicting tenants and cannot discriminate against tenants based on protected characteristics.
In conclusion, the eviction process in Cook County requires landlords to follow specific procedures to protect their property legally. Providing written notice, filing a complaint in court, and attending a hearing are all essential steps in the eviction process. Landlords must also comply with the Just Housing Ordinance and cannot engage in self-help eviction. Understanding the eviction process and legal requirements can help landlords avoid legal issues and protect their property.
***If you need to file a commercial or residential eviction, contact us today at 312-619-9603 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process! As you know time is always of the essence when initiating an eviction!
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