Landlord Tenant Lawyer

Serving Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Bucktown, Logan Square & throughout Chicago, IL.

A lease is a contract. Each party must carefully consider and agree to the terms of that lease before signing. As a landlord, you have the right to expect those terms to be met so you can get the benefit of your bargain. When tenants fail to do so or fall short on their rent, however, it may not only deprive you of those benefits but also cost you additional money.

At the Law Office of Michael A. Perez, we provide eviction, rent collection and other legal services to area landlords in a timely, cost-effective manner. Our goal is to protect your rights as we effectively resolve both problems with tenants and actions brought by tenants against you.


Here is a breakdown of the different phases of the eviction process in Illinois:

Phase 1: Determine Whether You Can Evict Your Tenant

Step 1: Tenant fails to pay rent or breaks rules in the lease and the landlord wants to replace the tenant with a better tenant.

Step 2: Determine if you can evict your tenant.

Step 3: Consider any legal defenses or counterclaims the tenant may have.


Phase 2: Give the Tenant Notice That You Will Evict Them

Step 1: Determine the written notice you need depending on the situation.

Step 2: Prepare the notice.

Step 3: Serve the tenant with the notice.

Step 4: Wait for the notice period to expire before filing an eviction case.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to work things out with your tenant.


Phase 3: Prepare the Court Documents and File the Case

Step 1: Prepare the Complaint and Summons.

Step 2: File the Complaint at the Courthouse.

Step 3: Serve the Tenant with the Complaint.


Phase 4: Landlord-Tenant Court

Step 1: Prepare and attend the first court date.

Step 2: If the tenant challenges the eviction, prepare for trial.


Phase 5: What Happens After Landlord-Tenant Court

Step 1: Give the Order of Possession to the sheriff and arrange a time for the             sheriff to meet the landlord at the property to evict the tenant(s).

Step 2: Meet the sheriff at the unit for the eviction.

Step 3: Change the locks and inspect the unit to determine damages.

Step 4: Determine whether to return Security Deposit.

Step 5: Collect money the tenant owes you for rent and property damage.


Effective Representation In Evictions, Collections And Other Disputes With Tenants

The State of Illinois and individual municipalities have a variety of regulations regarding residential and commercial leasing, which leaves many landlords at a loss for how to protect their rights and enforce their leases effectively. This is especially true for large landlords with rental properties in multiple locations. The Law Office of Michael A. Perez understands the issues and can move quickly toward a practical solution without undue cost. We assist landlords in a wide variety of landlord-tenant disputes, including:

  • Evictions based on lease violations or holdovers
  • Early termination
  • Collection of past-due rent
  • Compensation for damage to the property
  • Repair and maintenance disputes
  • Disputes over the rights of first refusal or rights to renew
  • Claims brought by tenants alleging lease violations, unlawful rent increases, code noncompliance, safety issues, uninhabitable conditions, failure to make required disclosures, failure to return security deposits and more


The landlord must serve the tenant with a 5-day notice, 10-days’ notice or termination of tenancy notice 30 days’ notice.

This notice of termination must have as an attachment the City of Chicago information regarding the Tenant’s Rights under the City of Chicago Covid-19 Eviction Protection Ordinance.

This Chicago ordinance gives the tenant 7 additional days to contact the landlord in writing and let them know that they have been affected by COVID-19. This writing can be a text or mail.

During this 12-day period the landlord and tenant must attempt to negotiate the outstanding rent. The ordinance allows for the tenant to repay the rent over a period, up to two months for every month of rent owed. If the parties cannot come to an agreement the landlord can proceed with filing the case.

The landlord can file an action for rent or possession or both.

Every residential eviction case that is filed will be screened by the court to see if the case can proceed.

  1. As of August 1, 2021, the Governor’s moratorium on evictions no longer prohibits the filing of new cases
  2. The screening process will determine if the defendant is covered by the State’s moratorium
  3. The Illinois Supreme Court temporarily stays, or puts on hold, on all new cases against a “covered tenant” unless that tenant:
    1. Poses a threat to the health and safety of the other tenants;
    2. Tenant poses an immediate severe risk to the property;
    3. The property is non-residential; or
    4. The plaintiff elects to present a motion to prove that the automatic stay does not apply to their case.

The Illinois Supreme Court and the Circuit Court of Cook County have instituted rules to control the expected high volume of evictions that will arise because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the end of local and federal moratorium preventing the filing of such cases.

The Supreme Court has mandated that the parties to an eviction case participate in the Early Resolution Program (ERP).

ERP is a program designed to provide limited legal aid services, mediation services and community support services to the parties. The parties can participate in the ERP without filing an eviction case. But all parties that file a case will be referred to ERP before their trial can proceed.

Every residential eviction case will be sent by the court to the early resolution program to meet with a trained person who will provide advice to the parties, mediate and negotiate to try and resolve issues and provide information on financial resources available to the parties and make every effort to get the parties into agreement and avoid an eviction.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement the case will be returned to the court and proceed to trial. There are built- in delays for the court process that start with an initial 30-day status date to determine if the defendants have been served. Once served the parties are referred to ERP and ordered to return to court 14 days to report back on the outcome of ERP. Only upon failure of the ERP, can a trial date be set.

The Law Office of Michael A. Perez also handles a full range of issues in real estate law, including the drafting of effective, enforceable leases, review of existing leases and negotiation of commercial leases. Should real property disputes involving title, boundaries, zoning or land use arise, we can represent you in negotiation, in alternative dispute resolution or at court.

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