Landlord Tenant rights

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Landlord Tenant rights

I have a roommate residing in my condo who has not paid rent for years. I have given him a written two week notice to vacate my premises, he is still there. Can I evict him myself by changing my locks so that he can’t gain access?

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If your roommate ever did pay rent, you might have a problem here.  The facts of each case are different, the law on this subject is different from one state to the next, and I'm not an Illinois lawyer.  One place you can find an attorney to help you with this is our website, http://attorneypages.com

When a person pays rent, with or without a written lease, that often creates a landlord-tenant relationship, which continues even after the written lease expires.  If the landlord stops collecting rent, that may not change the relationship.  Different rules sometimes apply to owner-occupied premises, or a boarding situation where the tenant does not have a complete dwelling unit (at a minimum, including a bathroom and kitchen facilities, usually) to himself.

Many states have special laws to protect tenants against wrongful removal, and making any removal at all without going to court wrongful for those purposes.  Mistakes of this sort can be very expensive, and seeing a lawyer first is usually the cheapest way through this.


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