SPRINGFIELD — The state announced last week that it approved a change to rules governing eviction proceedings that will simplify the process for both landlords and tenants.
The rule change mandates that property owners must file all related documents simultaneously when they file a complaint. That includes pertinent portions of a lease, a copy of the eviction issued by a landlord and proof the tenant received that document.
Property owners must now also prove their right to remove residents from the beginning of the proceeding, giving tenants the exact reason for an eviction, according to the rule.
“This new rule will help self-represented parties on both sides of eviction cases and also the judges hearing these cases by requiring key information at the outset,” Chief Justice Anne Burke said in a statement.
The Supreme Court also approved a standardized form for property owners to use in place of a notice, which explains the basis for an eviction.
According to a news release from the court, the rules are also meant to streamline such proceedings.
Tenants defending themselves will be better prepared for a court hearing and attorneys can more easily evaluate cases, the Supreme Court said.
According to a document presented to the court’s Rules Committee, notices a landlord is terminating a lease, which are “always a prerequisite” to filing an official court complaint, “generally” are not given to the court.
“The new rule is intended to crystalize the law, practices and procedures in eviction courts,” according to a news release issued Friday.
Members of court committees began working on the rule change “long before” the novel coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson said. It applies to all eviction cases filed on or after July 1.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s moratorium on evictions during the current public health emergency are still in place until July 26, at which time his latest disaster proclamation will expire. He announced in June that he plans to extend that deadline through the month’s end.
A state grant program will begin in August to help those behind on rent payments