What Is an Eviction? Illinois Tenant Rights and Legal Resources.

What is an Eviction? Illinois Tenant Rights and Legal Resources.

What is an Eviction? Illinois Tenant Rights and Legal Resources.

The term “Eviction” can strike fear and uncertainty among tenants. However, understanding the intricacies of evictions, tenants’ rights, and the resources available can empower individuals to navigate these challenging situations more effectively. 

What is the eviction process in Illinois? 

An eviction is a court process that can result in terminating a tenant's right to live in a home. Landlords initiate evictions through a legal process to reclaim possession of their property. For an eviction to be legal, landlords must follow the eviction process as set out in Illinois Tenant Rights law. Landlords cannot forcibly remove tenants without following this legal procedure. The eviction process begins with a landlord serving a written notice to the tenant detailing the reasons for eviction. Following this, the landlord must file a case in court. It is only after a judge issues an eviction order can the Sheriff’s office, enforce the eviction. 

What are the reasons for a legal eviction in Illinois? 

In certain situations, landlords may have legal grounds to initiate an eviction. These include when a tenant does not pay rent or violates the terms of their lease agreement. Examples of lease violations include having a pet in a no-pet property, housing unauthorized individuals, disruptive behavior, or repeated noise complaints. 

When am I protected against an eviction?  

Landlords cannot evict a tenant for asserting their rights such as requesting that the landlord make repairs. A landlord also cannot discriminate against a tenant because of their immigration status, their disability, or their source of income.   

What are my rights during eviction in Illinois? 

Tenants have rights during the eviction process, including the right to raise defenses and the right to a fair trial. Tenants should be aware of these rights and seek legal counsel promptly when faced with an eviction notice.  

What should I do if I receive an eviction notice in Illinois? 

If a tenant receives an eviction notice, it is imperative not to self-evict. Tenants should contact a housing attorney as soon as possible. Eviction can happen swiftly and seeking assistance early can make a significant difference in the outcome. Evictions can have serious lasting consequences for a tenant, including becoming part of public records, winding up on background checks, and potentially impacting future housing opportunities. Once an eviction case is filed, it is public record and remains so even if the eviction case is dismissed or settled. To mitigate these effects, renters can sometimes have evictions sealed. NSLAC's housing legal practice stands ready to assist and support individuals facing eviction challenges.  

If you or someone you know is facing an eviction or housing issues in north suburban Cook County, IL, or Lake County, IL, please call NSLAC at 847-737-4042 or email info@nslegalaid.org. Interpreters are available upon request in all languages. Services are available regardless of immigration status. NSLAC also offers free legal services in the areas of immigration and domestic violence.

Illinois Immigrant Tenant Protection Act

On August 21, 2019, the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act was signed into Illinois state law. This act is aimed to protect tenants from the fear that their landlord may disclose their immigration status if they voice the concerns needed to maintain adequate living conditions. The Immigrant Tenant Protection Act explicitly prohibits landlords from disclosing or threatening to disclose the immigration status of a tenant with the intent of harassment, intimidation, or retaliation. The act also prevents landlords from making irrelevant inquiries about a tenant’s immigration status in civil court disputes over housing rights.

Illinois is the second state (after California) to enact legislation protecting immigrant tenant’s rights in this way. The passage of this act marks and important step in ensuring that all Illinois tenants, regardless of their immigration status, can exercise their housing rights.

6/6/2019: Statement on Proposed HUD Rule

The North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic Statement on Proposed HUD Rule

On May 10, 2019, Housing and Urban Development proposed a rule that would change their current policy and prohibit mixed immigration status families (even those who are of legal status with documentation) from living in public and other subsidized housing. The North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (the Clinic) opposes the proposed HUD rule.

As a nation, we must not turn our back on those in need of fair housing, especially children and those seeking to unite with their families who are legally living in our country. We concur with the findings that it would force more than 25,000 mixed status families in public housing and Section 8 programs to separate or face eviction. Over 108,000 individuals may be affected by this rule, 70% of them lawful residents/citizens, and 55,000 of them are United States citizen (USC) children. This proposed rule could be devastating and flies in the face of the intention of HUD, increases costs to the agency and ultimately the public. This is an attack on our immigrant families and would exacerbate the housing crisis facing our nation.

We encourage the public to join the Clinic in opposing the proposed HUD rule. Public comment is open until July 9. Electronic submission of comments may be made through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Commenters should follow instructions provided on the site.