Becoming a landlord has its own unique set of challenges and roadblocks that can pop up in your way. A tenant falling behind or refusing to pay their rent can be one of the biggest headaches and the most confusing issue a landlord can face.
Here are some questions that landlords may ask about the Chicago 5 Day Eviction Notice and some advice on how they can best navigate the complicated matter.
What Is A 5 Day Notice?
A 5 Day Notice is simply an eviction notice that is being served within Chicago. The name “5 Day Notice” comes from the regulation that states that a landlord may not file an eviction process unless the tenant fails to pay the outstanding rent within 5 days after service of a written demand for payment.
When Can I Use The 5 Day Notice?
As stated before, a 5 Day Notice may not be served unless the tenant of a Chicago apartment for rent has failed or refused to pay their what they owe within 5 days of a written demand for payment of all owed rent.
How Can I Serve The 5 Day Notice?
A 5 day eviction notice must be served in one of the following three ways: (1) by delivering a written or printed copy to the tenant, (2) by leaving a copy with someone age 13 or older who resides at the premises, or (3) by sending a copy to the tenant by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. (735 ILCS 5/9-211.) In instances where nobody is in “actual possession” of the premises, then posting the five-day notice on the front door will suffice.
It is important to note that if the tenant is still residing in the property but is often out of town or staying elsewhere, then the tenant is still deemed in “actual possession” of the rental property and the use of posting the notice on the door will not be permitted. The use of certified mail can be attempted but if this is unsuccessful the notice must be served in person.
Chicago is known as a heavily tenant friendly city and judges are likely to dismiss any eviction action towards a tenant if their notice was slipped under or posted on a door if the tenant is deemed to have been in actual possession. Even if the tenant received and is fully aware of the notice, a failure to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations regarding serving the notice will likely lead to the suit being thrown out in court.
What Happens Next?
Tenants who have been served a 5 Day Notice have the right to attempt to negotiate with their landlord to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, but be careful. Illinois law allows a landlord to accept partial payments of back rent without invalidating the 5 day notice or otherwise destroying an already-filed eviction action, provided that the 5 day notice includes specific language indicating that only “FULL PAYMENT” of all past due rent will “waive the landlord’s right to terminate the lease.” On the other hand, Chicago law, as embodied in Section 5-12-130(g) of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, provides that any acceptance of partial back rent by a landlord will operate as a waiver of the right to recover all remaining unpaid rent described in the 5 day notice or sought in the eviction action.
This part can get pretty tricky and this is where a real estate attorney that you trust can be your best friend.
Hopefully during your time as a landlord you never have to deal with a tenant failing to pay their rent specially when you’re already located in one of the most affordable places to live in Chicago. But if you do, know that there are laws and processes to protect you and your financial interests. Try using BrixBid next time to help you better screen potential renters and take some of the stress out of your Chicago rental.