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How Long Can Someone Stay In Your Home Before Claiming Residency?

Having family or friends staying with you for a few days is one thing. But sometimes people become unwelcome guests and will not leave. To get rid of your unwelcome guests, it is essential to understand the Illinois real estate laws for tenants. Talk to our Illinois real estate attorney at Dan Walker Law Office if you need assistance with an unwelcome guest.

Illinois Real Estate Laws For Tenants

A tenant has a lease and pays the landlord to stay in the residence. Guests in the home and not on the lease are not tenants, so they can become a liability when they act like a tenant.

Guests are allowed but they are not allowed to overstay their welcome and become tenants without paying rent. But the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act states that you cannot force your unwelcome guest out of your home. They possess the property because of an oral agreement with you.

Unfortunately, calling the police will not help because the people in the home are not trespassing and have not broken any laws. They are living there after you permitted them to stay.

When Is A Guest A Tenant In Illinois?

Sometimes, a guest in your home will be considered a tenant under Illinois laws. If so, you cannot call the police and force the person to leave. Some of the signs that you have a tenant under the law instead of a guest are:

  • They receive mail at your home.
  • The guest spends every night in your home.
  • They have moved in furniture or pets.
  • They make maintenance requests.

If these things are true, you cannot have them removed as trespassers. Instead, you will need to handle the issue as a tenant eviction. There is no specific timeframe for how long the person has to stay in the home before they are considered a tenant. Instead, the factors listed above are what constitute a landlord-tenant relationship.

What You Can Do About An Unwelcome Guest

The first step with unwelcome guests in Illinois is to ask them to leave in a reasonable time frame, such as 30 days. Give them a written notice to leave and keep a copy of the letter. If they stay in your home past the deadline, you may need to file an eviction lawsuit to get them out.

How To Avoid Guests Who Overstay Their Welcome

You might have let a friend or family member move in ‘temporarily’ out of the kindness of your heart. But sometimes, doing a good deed can lead to problems. For example, perhaps the person gave you some money to reduce the costs of them staying with you, or they changed their mailing address to your home. These actions may seem innocent, but they can make it harder to get them out.

If you take money to allow the person to live there, you may have started a landlord-tenant relationship. If that happens, the person has eviction protections under Illinois law. Also, letting the person get mail at your address can be used as evidence that they are a tenant.

You can avoid some of these issues by stating firmly how long the person can stay in your home. Get it in writing if you can, and do not allow them to move in furniture or get mail at your address.

Talk To Our Illinois Real Estate Attorney Today

Do you have a guest in your home who has overstayed their welcome? If you invited them into your home initially, they might have established tenancy, so you cannot lock them out. You may need an experienced real estate attorney to help with an eviction lawsuit. Contact our Illinois real estate attorney at Dan Walker Law Office at (630) 920-8800.

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