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Existing Tenants and Rule Enforcement for New Landlords

 Posted on April 09, 2024 in Civil law

IL landlord lawyerBuying a multi-unit building that is already occupied is likely one of the simplest ways to become a landlord or expand your business. However, working with existing tenants can be challenging if the previous landlord was not so concerned with keeping the property well-maintained and enforcing policies set out in the lease. If you have found yourself in a situation where you have tenants who do not respect the terms of a lease you did not write but now own, you may be faced with backlash when trying to create a nicer community. Evicting existing tenants may eventually become necessary. A DuPage County, IL landlord representation attorney may be able to help you.

Common Issues When Working With Existing Tenants and When to Evict

“I know it is in the lease, but the old landlord never cared” is a phrase you may quickly tire of hearing. Problems you might encounter as the new landlord of an already-occupied building may include: 

  • Long past-due rents - The building’s previous owner may have been overly understanding when it came to tenants who were falling behind on rent. If you find that multiple tenants owe several months' worth of rent, some of that money may still be due to the previous owner. However, rent due going forward is likely owed to you. If you make it clear that you will not tolerate significantly late rent and your tenants disregard this notice, you may need to consider evicting them for nonpayment. 
  • Smoking indoors - Tenants who smoke cigarettes or marijuana in their units can create a noxious environment for others. If a legal notice states that all indoor smoking is to cease, you may need to evict those who continue anyway to protect your other tenants. 
  • Illegal activity - If the previous landlord never visited the building, he or she may have been unaware that tenants were engaging in illegal activities, like selling drugs, prostitution, or disruptive domestic violence. Swiftly evicting people who use your property for illegal activities may be the best course of action.
  • Lack of sanitation - New landlords of occupied buildings may wish to exercise their legal right to inspect units. If you find that some tenants are failing to maintain reasonably sanitary conditions in or around their units, you may need to demand compliance or evict those who allow the problem to persist. 
  • Pet violations - If the lease says “no pets,” and you find that tenants have them anyway, you may be able to demand that pets who are not protected as service or emotional support animals be removed. If an animal is causing major damage to the unit, such as because the owner does not clean up his or her pet’s accidents, you may need to consider evicting the tenants who have allowed this to go on. 

An attorney can help you determine when to try to work with your tenants to bring them into compliance and when to start the eviction process.

Contact a Naperville, IL Landlord Representation Attorney

Appelman Law LLC is experienced in working with landlords who have recently purchased occupied buildings and are struggling to enforce lease policies. DuPage County, IL landlord evictions lawyer Brett Appelman’s experience in criminal law has taught him strategies for dealing with troublesome tenants. Contact us at 630-717-7801 for a complimentary consultation.

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