I have a situation that I could use some advice on. I just purchased a three flat in Chicago via an FHA loan so I need to move in. There is a month to month tenant in one of the units that I let know on April 28 that they needed to be out by June 15. I talked to them several times over the past month and they said they were still looking but would find a place. Now, I have left two messages over the past week and have not heard back from them.
I'm going to go over on the first to collect rent but can I legally start the eviction process on that day if they do not answer and pay? There is no written lease at all. I'm hoping to get this resolved without legal action but I would like to cover myself in case I need to.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Did you notify the tenant in writing that you want them out by June 15? If not, that should be your first step. Although now, you'll probably need to get them to agree to sign a document saying you told them on April 28 that you want them out on June 15. Getting that signature may be easy, or it may be impossible.
Still, the first step is to put something in writing. Either get the tenant to sign a letter like I mentioned above, or write a new document stating you want the tenant to vacate the premises in 30 days. Check you local laws to see if you can lessen that time, or if you must extend it. Some jurisdictions require a 45 or 60 day notice. Maybe someone with experience in Chicago will chime in with area-specific info.
Also, if the tenant does not pay by a certain date (day after due date in some cities, or the 5th day, or the 10th in others) you can then begin the eviction process. I believe Chicago starts off with a Pay Or Quit notice before actually filing for eviction, but again, someone from Chicago will need to speak on that.
Cook County has some of the most liberal laws protecting tenant in the US.As a result, Chicago, evictions are tricky. I'd recommend contacting a lawyer. Most of these tenants know there rights as good as the average attorney. I think you may also, need to make up your mind, are you collecting rent or are you seeking possession of your place? If you go over and collect rent for June, you may not be able to start the process until possibly August. Now where into the fall before you start the process and you know getting them out when its cold outside is very difficult. I've used Ebony Lucas at the Property Law Group in the past for evictions. Did you close your real estate transaction yourself. These things are oftentimes easier to resolve before you fork over your cash. Or you can sometimes have the title company hold money back from the seller until you gain possession. That gives you some additional leverage or at least pays for your legal fees and possibly your room and board...
I am not an attorney, but in Chicago, month-to-month leases require 30 days notice. Based on my knowledge of the RLTO, you cannot have the 30 days end mid-month-it must be on the first, so your notice of non-renewal that you gave will expire on July 1. Did you give it in writing? If not, you need to do it again before June 1 in writing and save a copy of the letter. While it is nice, you need not prove delivery. They still must pay for use and occupancy for June, so if they do not pay June's rent, that would be grounds for filing on June 7th (Since you cannot give a 5 day notice on the 1st of the month-only the 2nd and beyond.)
This is a tough call. They obviously do not have a new place, so do you file the case and risk facing an attorney who is going to show up and most likely throw 10 baseless counter-suits at the court hoping to get one to stick and which will require you disprove or pay them to go away, or do you wait on the tenant? Eviction court sucks and you should avoid it at all costs. Another possibility is that the tenant needs the money that they would normally give you in rent for a new place.
Maybe your best bet is to see if they pay June's rent or communicate at all with you. If you do not get either communication on their status or rent money, I would look at giving a 5 day and then having an attorney send them a letter. Sometimes that works too. I always file evictions as an absolute last resort, when all communication has broken down.
I can't imagine that HUD is going to coming after you when you are attempting to move in and documenting your attempts. You must follow the laws in Chicago-bottom line, and they understand that.
I recommend Larry Meyer for evictions in Chicago. 312-346-0875. I have used him for many years. He is very reasonable and does a great job.
Thank you for your responses. I hope I'm wrong but I have a gut feeling they don't plan on leaving willingly.
So is my safest option to give them a 30 day written notice today that I don't plan on renewing the lease for the month of July. Then going over tomorrow to get rent for June and if they don't pay then go back on the 2nd with a five days notice?
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