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Eviction Basics for Landlords Part I: The 5 Day Eviction

By Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD
November 2, 2016
5 day eviction

Eviction Basics for Landlords Part I: The 5 Day Eviction
(This is the first in a three-part series for landlords about the legal obligations of evictions.)
By Michael DeSantis

Being a landlord is not always easy, and eviction is a delicate process that requires precise actions to avoid unpleasant legal consequences.

It’s always up to the landlord to decide when to serve the tenant with an eviction notice. Many landlords are lenient with tenants, and because of their relationship or extenuating circumstances, they allow them to pay the rent late. However, when a tenant begins to take advantage of a landlord’s benevolence, or just completely ignores the requests for past due rent, the landlord is within their rights to pursue legal action.

According to many sources and our own experience here at Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD, failure to pay rent is the number one reason landlords evict tenants. This type of eviction is known as a 5 day eviction because the landlord must give the tenant at least five days to actually pay the amount of the rent owed before they can legally evict them.

1. How do I properly initiate an eviction? You must deliver an official, clearly labelled eviction notice that explains to your tenant the nature of the eviction. Make sure you do the following in your 5 day eviction notice:

• Address it to the tenants in possession and all unknown occupants.

• Label the notice clearly so it does not confuse the tenant.

• Include information in the first full paragraph which includes the sum of rent owed and a description of the premises, specifically the actual street address.

• Provide the statutorily required number of days in your notice before the tenancy will be terminated.

• Clearly express that the payment must be due in five days from receipt of the notice or the lease will be terminated. Here is some sample language to use:

“YOU ARE HEREBY FURTHER NOTIFIED that payment of said sum so due has been and is hereby demanded of you, and unless payment thereof is received within five days from receipt of this notice, your LEASE of said premises WILL BE TERMINATED.

• On the notice also use the “only full payment…” language which comes directly from the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Statute and states:

Only FULL PAYMENT of the total rent demanded in this notice within five days of the date of service of this notice will waive the landlord’s right to terminate the lease under this notice, unless the landlord agrees in writing to continue the lease in exchange for receiving partial payment.”

• Date and sign the notice from the landlord or their agent.

• Fill out a proof of service and have it notarized. You do not need to give this to the tenant when you serve the notice but you should have it ready for court.

Failure to follow any of these rules could be used against you in court.

2. How do I deliver the notice? According to the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Statute, you may either serve the tenant the notice in person or to a resident above the age of 13, or by mail with a return receipt signed by the tenant. It is crucial that you deliver the notice properly or it could be used by the defense in legal action.

3. What is the tenant’s obligation when they receive the 5 day eviction notice? They have the legal obligation to pay the entire amount of rent due within the given five days.

4. What should I do if the tenant does not comply? If the tenant is not compliant with the notice, the landlord can file suit in the county where the property is located. In order to do this, they would need to file a Forcible Entry and Detainer Complaint. They also need to have a summons issued with the sheriff’s office for the tenants to appear in court.

When tenants don’t pay the rent they often leave the landlord no choice other than to evict. The situation can be stressful and tense, but do not fear! Our professional legal team here at Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD can help insure that your tenant is held to their agreement. Give us a call at 847-944-9400 or request a free case evaluation below.

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