If you are engaged in a residential property dispute with a tenant, it's helpful to know some of the defenses they may be able to use against eviction. Some of those defenses include:
- Not giving notice. If you follow the proper procedures for letting the tenant know about the eviction, they may be able to use it as a defense.
- Accepting rent. If you accept a partial payment for a rental period, you typically use your right to evict.
- Retaliation. You can't retaliate against a tenant for asking you to make required repairs or being a whistleblower by informing the authorities about a violation.
- Failure to maintain the property. If a tenant feels you aren't maintaining the premises according to your agreement, they may be able to use that as a defense against any eviction actions.
Tenants can gather evidence about the landlord not following correct eviction procedure and use it as a legal defense against the eviction, or buy more time before having to leave the premises.
All landlords across the country must follow the correct procedures to evict a tenant but Chicago and the surrounding area is known as a tenant-friendly jurisdiction, which means it's even more important here. In fact, a simple mistake could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
So if you're dealing with non-paying tenants and want to get an eviction, it might be in your best interest to speak with an attorney. An eviction lawyer can look at the details of your situation and help you choose the best option.