Squatting is when someone unlawfully occupies and uses another person’s property without their permission. Unfortunately, this is a common issue faced by homeowners and landlords in the state of Illinois. As a legal matter, squatters have certain rights that may pose challenges for property owners and landlords. In this document, we will discuss what actions you can take if you have a squatter in your home or rental property.
Understanding Squatters’ Rights in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, squatters are considered to be tenants-at-will. This means that they do not have a written lease agreement with the property owner but are occupying the property with their consent. As such, squatters have certain rights under Illinois law, including the right to receive notice before they can be evicted. This notice period is typically 30 days for residential properties and 10 days for commercial properties.
What Can You Do if You Have a Squatter in Your Home?
If you discover that there is a squatter in your home, the first step is to try and peacefully resolve the situation. You can do this by talking to the squatter and politely asking them to leave. If they refuse or are uncooperative, you can then proceed with legal action.
File an Eviction Lawsuit
Under Illinois law, property owners have the right to file an eviction lawsuit against a squatter. This involves going to court and obtaining an eviction order, also known as a “forcible entry and detainer” (FED) order. Once the FED order is issued, a sheriff will serve it to the squatter, giving them a certain amount of time (typically 5 days) to leave the property.
Seek Assistance from Law Enforcement
In some cases, squatters may become hostile or refuse to leave even after receiving an eviction notice. This is when you can seek the help of law enforcement. In Illinois, it is a criminal offense for a squatter to remain on a property after being served with an eviction notice. You can report the situation to the local police and request that they remove the squatter from your property.
What Can You Do if You Have a Squatter in Your Rental Home?
If you are a landlord and have a squatter in your rental property, the steps to take may be slightly different. As mentioned earlier, squatters have certain rights under Illinois law, including receiving notice before they can be evicted. This means that you cannot simply remove the squatter without following proper legal procedures.
Review the Lease Agreement
As a landlord, your first step should be to review the lease agreement signed by your tenant. If the squatter is not listed as an authorized occupant on the lease, you have the right to evict them. However, if they are listed as an authorized occupant or subtenant, you may need to pursue legal action against your tenant.
Consult with a Real Estate Attorney
Dealing with squatters can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is recommended to seek assistance from a real estate attorney who is familiar with Illinois laws and eviction procedures. They can advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation and ensure that all legal requirements are met.
In conclusion, having a squatter in your home or rental property in Illinois can be frustrating and challenging. It is important to understand the squatters’ rights and follow proper legal procedures when dealing with this issue. Remember, seeking assistance from a real estate attorney can help you navigate the process smoothly and effectively. So, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It can make all the difference in successfully removing a squatter from your property. However, remember to always approach the situation calmly and peacefully before taking any legal action. This will not only ensure a smoother process but also avoid any potential conflicts or complications along the way. By being aware of your rights as a property owner and following proper procedures, you can effectively handle the issue of squatters in your home or rental property. So, don’t let a squatter take over your property – take action and protect your rights as a homeowner or landlord in Illinois.