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When Eviction is The Wrong Call

Stressed Lincoln Park Property Manager on the PhoneAs a Lincoln Park landlord and rental property owner, evictions are sometimes necessary. However, when you encounter a difficult tenant, eviction is not necessarily the answer. Evictions are not only time-consuming, but they can also be quite expensive for both you and your tenant. In fact, most of the time, neither the property owner nor the tenant benefits from the eviction process. Due to this, it could be that evicting a tenant is the less ideal thing to do. It’s quite likely that, in these circumstances, you and your tenant would do well to look for alternatives to eviction.

Your Otherwise Good Tenant Falls Behind on Rent

A good tenant is a key to owning a profitable rental property. Sometimes even good tenants can run into economic difficulties, lose a job, or otherwise find themselves unable to meet their rent payment. There’s no doubt that non-payment of rent is a violation of their lease. And yet, evicting a tenant for missing one or even several rent payments might prove to be a bit reckless. This is especially true if the tenant was previously paying on time and is doing a good job keeping up with cleaning and property maintenance.

Thus, it would be wise to look for an alternative to eviction. Perhaps confer with your tenant and discuss ways how they can catch up with missing rent payments. When you know that the tenant’s financial difficulties are temporary, extending this kind of grace to them will earn their heartfelt gratitude; and, you can avoid the expense of evicting and replacing your tenant! Taking a temporary financial hit in the short term will most likely allow you to recover all of the missing rent payments in the long term; and, you get yourself a good tenant, too.

You’d Rather Keep Your Money

An eviction process tends to be quite costly, even apart from the legal fees. Eviction means cleaning or upkeep of the property will come to a halt. Especially when the payments stop coming in because the tenant knows about the plan to evict him/her out of the rental home. This often leads to both lost income and higher cleaning and repair expenses.

Because of the expense and trouble of the eviction process, you can even think about just paying your tenant to move out. This type of “cash for keys” arrangement could enable a tenant experiencing financial difficulty to leave on good terms or urge them to be out of the property sooner. As strange as it sounds to offer money to someone who owes you money, but even a lump sum cash payment of several hundred dollars is far less than you’d spend forcing the tenant out through an eviction.

You Don’t Have Clear Legal Grounds

Lastly, there are situations when an eviction might not actually solve anything but provide legal problems, instead. This should be a huge red flag for any property owner. One reason is that there could be so much ambiguity in your legal grounds for the eviction. If your tenant has complained about the property’s habitability, either directly to you or the local housing authority, and you haven’t taken steps to address the complaint, your attempt to evict the tenant could be deemed retaliatory and dismissed.

Another very possible scenario is that the eviction will be viewed as discriminating against a tenant who is part of a protected class. Evicting a tenant based on their age, religion, skin color, family status, sexual preferences, and more is illegal, and you could end up getting sued by your tenant if you try to do so.

Finally, it would be wise not to accept partial rent payments before or after eviction for non-payment of rent. If you accept any amount of rent from the tenant, this could ruin any legal grounds you have for the eviction. This is because accepting partial payments creates an implicit agreement between you and your tenant that a judge will likely deem a continuation of your lease agreement, even if it isn’t in writing. To protect yourself from getting into trouble, don’t force an eviction if you know that the legal grounds for it are undefined.


One of the best ways to avoid evictions entirely is to find a good tenant with a strong history of on-time rental payments. The only thing is, how can you be sure that your next tenant is that kind of tenant? At Real Property Management Chicago Edge, we carefully screen all rental applicants to find only the best possible candidates for your rental property. Then, if any problems do arise in the future, our Lincoln Park property management experts can help guide you through the best course of action to take. To learn more, contact us online or call 773-904-7700 today!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.