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3 kinds of evidence that can help Illinois landlords with evictions

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Owning and managing an income-generating property can be a very frustrating experience. If a landlord has the right tenants, they can count on prompt communication and payment. However, there are plenty of people who can make themselves seem like reasonable tenants at first but who have very little respect for the property where they live or the landlord who owns it.

Eventually, Illinois landlords may reach a point where they need to evict a tenant because they have violated their lease, failed to pay rent and/or caused substantial property damage. Eviction proceedings can take months to complete and become quite adversarial. Landlords generally need evidence to support their decision to remove a tenant before the end of the lease. Thankfully, the three types of evidence below could very well help a landlord successfully evict a problem tenant if and when the situation warrants taking such action.

Lease paperwork

The contract that the landlord signed with the tenant is often the basis for the eviction. The failure to pay rent in full by a certain date as outlined in the lease can give a landlord the right to remove a tenant and replace them with someone who will pay rent in full and on time. The lease can help show that the tenant agreed not to have pets or smoke inside as well.

Witness statements

Perhaps it was necessary to bring in a repairman or exterminator, and they spotted illegal drug paraphernalia, extra tenants or a pet on the premises not authorized in the lease. Maybe neighbors have had to initiate multiple complaints about one particular tenant because they throw loud parties or have a dog that barks at all hours of the night. The statements of other parties can help establish to the courts that one tenant has violated their lease, seriously damaged the property or became a nuisance that impacted other people’s enjoyment of their rental units.

Photographs and internal company records

Perhaps a tenant who is in a pet-free unit has a cat sitting in their bedroom window every few days. A landlord could take photos of the animal to prove that a lease violation occurred. Similarly, photographs, video and internal documentation can help substantiate claims of other major lease violations, including a tenant causing damage to the property, possibly by smoking in the building. Internal company records might also include estimates from the professionals that will need to repair a damaged unit or remediate smoke or pet damage.

Any records that can help validate a landlord’s claim regarding a tenant’s responsibilities and their misconduct while living in their rental space can help strengthen eviction efforts. Gathering the right documentation is a crucial step for landlords hoping to repair a unit and/or get a paying tenant into it as soon as possible.