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Tenant Law

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Real Estate Laws Applicable to Guest Vs Tenants

There are instances when a family member or friend is facing financial difficulty and is in need of a place to live for a few days. People tend to offer help by allowing them to stay at their home. However, when this temporary residing turns into a long-term stay and guest is not willing to move out, it can become quite problematic for a homeowner to remedy the situation.

Therefore, Illinois law offers protection to home owners in such instances by providing multiple courses of actions such as police assistance or legal eviction notice, to name a couple. However, these actions may depend upon the legal status of a person who is living in your home because there are separate laws applicable for house guests and tenants.

House Guest or Tenant: How to Determine?

In a scenario where a person is overstaying their welcome in your home against your will, he or she will be deemed as a house guest. Hence, in such instances, you can call the police and report them as a trespasser. Consequently, laws pertaining to trespassing will be applicable to your guest and they will be treated accordingly by the law enforcement agencies.

However, there are some instances where a guest may be considered as a tenant, even if there is no lease agreement signed between a homeowner and the tenant. If you have accepted money for letting a person stay or perhaps provided them with the consent to receive mail at your home address, you may have unknowingly created a landlord-tenant relationship.

Other signs which may imply that a guest has become a tenant:

  • Guest spends every night at your property
  • Guest has moved-in pets or furniture
  • Guest makes general maintenance requests

If these points are applicable in your case, then Illinois landlord-tenant laws are applicable providing legal protection to your guest. Therefore, a simple trespassing law would not suffice, but you need to follow strict procedures, which may include providing notice to the tenant, filing litigation, and lastly obtaining a final verdict from the court. In case of a successful claim, the eviction process will be carried out by a sheriff.

How Can A Real Estate Lawyer Help?

Fortunately, the duration of stay does not turn your guest’s status to a tenant; therefore, you can take precautionary steps before letting someone stay with you to ensure that you do not allow your guest to turn into a tenant. However, if you have not taken these precautions, then you should seek to obtain legal assistance from a skillful real estate lawyer.

Law enforcement officers do not have means to know whether your guest’s status is deemed as a trespasser or a tenant, therefore, they may be unable to remove the person. This restriction is in place to prevent abuse of trespassing law by homeowners who want to skip eviction process.

Therefore, hiring an experienced real estate lawyer can help you build a strong case and assist you to choose a suitable course of action. Moreover, they will be able to protect your rights and help you find a suitable solution while conforming to applicable state laws.

If you wish to get more information on this subject or want to schedule a free consultation with an experienced real estate lawyer, it would be wise to contact Cesario & Walker at 630-920-8800 to discuss your case.

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