Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Illinois

I let a co-worker use my driveway, on my lot that had an abandon trailer on it, so he would not loose his job for sleeping in his car on work property.

While I was at work each day he was moving in the abandon trailer no power or no water. He finally got the electric turned on, but no water.

Now, since I could not get him out of there over the past year, the law says he is a squatter and I have to serve him an eviction notice. I told the Deputy that came to my house after a dispute with him to get him to leave, but was told he could not do that. We never had a rental agreement. He got the keys off the Kitchen counter. He then offered to clean the place up if he could stay there till he found a place of his own, so I agreeded to that, but I never agreeded to him taking over the trailer rent free.

The squatter is now going to the police and telling them that the trailer needs condemned.

My question is, can I take the squatter to Small Claims Court for rent lost on the land, since the law says he has the right to stay there after a year, and can I charge him the normal rent that is charged in our area? Can the village have the trailer condemned? My son wants to fix it up for his family to live in, which is very doable.

Thank You

Asked on 4/13/11, 10:40 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

"I let a co-worker use my driveway . . . ." You say you had no rental agreement but the reality is that rental agreements don't always have to be in writing. In fact that's why many statutes govern oral tenancies. That's what you created, and the question is what are the terms of the arrangement. If you progressively allowed him use of your home and property in exchange for virtually no consideration, it would appear you created a gift. However, you may be entitled to "equitable" compensation (the law calls this quasi-contractual theory "quantum meruit"), but the question is whether this person is collectible (does he have any assets that you have a reasonable chance of getting to in order to satisfy the judgment). You really should see an attorney instead of relying on the police for legal advice. Upon proper evaluation an attorney may be able to help you out of this situation so that it is not considered an oral year-to-year tenancy (apparently what you have been told you have) but a shorter-term arrangement that you can terminate much sooner.

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Answered on 4/19/11, 7:07 am

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