Expect the Best. Prepare for the Worst. Capitalize on What Comes. – Zig Ziglar

Expect the Best. Prepare for the Worst. Capitalize on What Comes. – Zig Ziglar

Tom Stilp JD, MBA/MM, LLM, MSC

An eviction in Cook County can take more than six (6) months.  (Sources: https://www.chicagoeviction.com/2011/04/length-of-time-for-the-cook-county-illinois-eviction-processhttps://ipropertymanagement.com/laws/illinois-eviction-process.)  During that time, the property owner is required by law to continue to pay for heat, maintenance, utilities, mortgage and all property taxes to Cook County while receiving no payment from the tenant.

The Executive Director of Legal Assistance said: “If you think six months of free rent is bad, wait until we get 12.”  Huge publicly traded REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) that have the stock market behind them might afford the loss of rents, but what about the small, Ma- and-Pa operators?  A property owner of a two-flat worried that their entire life savings was tied up in the building and that all would be lost.  The Tenant moved after months of not paying rent.  The property owner was last contemplating how to address the foreclosure, losing all the equity and investment in the property.

Under the Illinois Constitution: 

Every person shall find a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries and wrongs which he receives to his person, privacy, property or reputation.  He shall obtain justice by law, freely, completely, and promptly.

Bill of Rights, Illinois Constitution, Section 12.

The federal law says about property:

The US Supreme Court stated: “[N]o matter how minute the intrusion, and no matter how weighty the public purpose behind it, we have required compensation” for a “property owner [who] suffers a physical ‘invasion’ of his property.”

Lucas v. South Carolina, 505 US 1003, 1015, 112 S.Ct. 2886, 2893 (1996).


According to the Supreme Court, “no matter how minute the intrusion,” compensation should be paid.

The Illinois Bill of Rights and the 5th Amendment Takings Clause made applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment, would appear to be violated by the actions that force property owners to pay for tenants who cannot, or sometimes, will not pay rent.

Several years ago, our firm worked with the Illinois General Assembly on amending the Eviction Laws.  We helped write Senate Bill 1934 which was signed into law by the Governor and is now part of the eviction process that helps both landlords and tenants reach a quick resolution in this difficult process.