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3 instances when evicting a tenant in Illinois is illegal

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Evictions

Eviction is a stressful and disruptive process for both landlords and tenants. Illinois law strives to create a balance, helping to ensure that landlords can recoup their property under legitimate circumstances while protecting tenants from unfair removal.

Understanding the legalities surrounding eviction is crucial for both parties. Why? For example, if you’re a landlord in the Prairie State, knowing the key situations where evicting a tenant is considered illegal can help keep you out of legal trouble.

Retaliatory eviction

State law prohibits landlords from evicting tenants in retaliation for exercising their legal rights. This applies to situations where a tenant:

  • Complains about code violations
  • Requests repairs
  • Participates in tenant organizations

The burden of proof lies with the tenant, but if they can establish a link between the protected activity and the eviction attempt, the court will likely rule in their favor. This protection encourages tenants to report issues and hold landlords accountable for maintaining habitable living conditions.

Eviction without proper notice

Eviction is a legal process with specific notice requirements. The type of notice a landlord must provide depends on the reason for eviction. For non-payment of rent, a 5-day “pay or quit” notice is typically required.

For lease violations or termination of a month-to-month tenancy, a 30-day notice is usually necessary. Failing to provide the correct notice period can lead to the eviction being dismissed, forcing the landlord to restart the process.

Eviction based on discrimination

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability. This extends to evictions, meaning a landlord cannot evict a tenant solely because of their membership in a protected class. For instance, a landlord cannot evict a family with children because they have a “no pets or children” policy, as this would be considered familial status discrimination.

Knowing your rights and obligations as a landlord in Illinois is crucial. If you’re a landlord who is contemplating evicting a tenant, you can seek legal help to understand your options and avoid breaking the law.