Illinois evictions are governed by the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act (the “Act”). That Act is designed to deal with the termination of the relationship of landlord and tenant and must balance the rights of both landlords, who generally are relying upon the rental income of their properties to pay their mortgages, and tenants, who are using the landlord’s property for their home or business.
In balancing the interests of landlords and tenants, the Illinois legislature created an expedited proceeding, focused upon who has the right to possession of the apartment or commercial space. Because of this, the Act specifically limits issues which may be raised in defense of an eviction proceeding. Section 106 of the Act specifically provides that “no matters not germane to the distinctive purpose of the proceeding shall be introduced” in defense of the proceeding.
The bottom line of the limitation to matters “germane” to the issue of possession is that the Courts have prohibited eviction defendants from raising such issues as a claim that the landlord owes the tenant money for a contract dispute between the parties or that the landlord has violated anti-trust laws. On the other hand, the Courts have specifically permitted defenses based upon the habitable condition of residential premises, violation of Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance and racial or other discrimination having motivated initiation of the eviction proceeding.
Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.