What You Need To Know About Illinois Renter Rights
At some point in life, most people in Illinois are tenants and rent real estate. If you are renting real estate in Illinois as a tenant, it is essential to understand your rights. Below is more information about Illinois renter rights. If you have questions about eviction or related matters, our Illinois renter rights attorney at Dan Walker Law Office can answer them and provide high-quality representation.
Eviction Overview In Illinois
In Illinois, the Eviction Act deals with evictions and related matters that landlords must follow. Following are the requirements a landlord has to follow when they perform an eviction:
- Serve notice to the tenant, such as a five-day notice for not paying the rent.
- Once the notice deadline has passed, the landlord must provide a complaint to the tenant. This can be done personally, or a process server can be used.
- If you are the tenant, you must show up for the initial court date. If you do not appear, there will be a default judgment against you. Then, the landlord may file the judgment, also called an eviction order, with the local sheriff.
- The landlord is not allowed to change the locks to evict you. Only the sheriff can evict a tenant with a valid court order.
- The landlord also is not allowed to evict the tenant by turning off the utilities to get you to move or pay rent.
- If the tenant shows up for the initial court date, you may ask for a continuance to retain an Illinois renter rights attorney. The court will typically grant a continuance for you to do so. You also could file a jury demand on your landlord, or you could try to settle.
- If you file a jury demand in Cook County, Illinois, the matter will be transferred to another room, and the judge will assign a jury.
- If you and the landlord cannot settle, a trial date will be set, and there, the jury will render a verdict on the eviction.
If your landlord has breached your lease by not meeting the duties outlined, there are several potential remedies for tenants:
- You can sue the landlord for damages because of the breach.
- If the landlord did not maintain the property livable, you could be eligible to vacate it and terminate the lease.
- If the landlord does not comply with state or local housing codes, there could be a breach of their ‘implied warranty of habitability.’ You could use this as a defense to an eviction for not paying rent. However, a landlord breaching local housing codes does not automatically entitle you not to pay rent. Rather, you would need to show that your damages stem from the breach of the implied warranty over the rent you owe.
Speak To Our Illinois Renter Rights Attorney Today
If you are a renter in Illinois and think your rights have been violated, you should speak to our Illinois renter rights attorney at Dan Walker Law Office. Attorney Walker can review your case and determine if you could be entitled to compensation in a lawsuit. For a consultation about renter rights violations, call (630) 920-8800 today.