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Law Pro
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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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We have signed a caretaker agreement for a person to live in

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We have signed a caretaker agreement for a person to live in a home we no longer live in while we go through the short sale/foreclosure process. The agreement was that they would make necessary repairs and vacate if the home sells or is rented. It looks like the bank will have a short sale agreement this week and the caretaker says they have no intention of leaving, plus they have told perspective buyers the furnace and sump pump don't work and they haven't fixed them. How can we make them leave?
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What does the caretaker agreement say about their leaving - how much notice do you have to give them?

Do/did they pay rent? If so, how often?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It says, "This agreement shall begin July 1, 2011, and continue until Owener notifies Caretaker of impending sale or rental."


The caretaker pays no rent. Has never given us a cent. It was part of the agreement.

OK, their taking care of the property is what the court would say is their rental payment.

Regretfully, to evict them you will need to file a complaint in court. This is called a forcible entry and detainer lawsuit.

A landlord cannot use the following procedures to force a tenant to leave (sometimescalled a constructive eviction) or to comply with the terms of a lease:
1) Locking the tenant out or changing the locks on the tenant's property.
2) Evicting the tenant, including removing the tenant's personal belongings, furniture, etc,without a court order;
3) Having the tenant's utilities (water, sewer, heat, electricity, phone) shut off ordisconnected.

Before you can start the process of eviction, you must send the tenant a 30 day notice to vacate (the 5 or 10 day notice is not applicable in your situation) and your intention to evict them. You can send the notice by certified or registered mail with a return receipt requested or you can leave it with the tenant or with someone who lives with the tenant who is at least 13 years old.

You then will have to wait 30 days before you can proceed with filing your eviction complaint.

The law requires you to file your complaint in the county where the premises you were leasing is located.

Go to the Circuit Clerk's office at the courthouse in your county and ask the Clerk for an eviction complaint form.

Using the instructions along with the complaint form you will need to complete the eviction complaint form. You must attach to the form copies of any relevant documents such as the lease, receipts, estimates, bills, or agreements - in your case the caretaker agreement.

Thereafter, if you don't complete the complaint form immediately - take the Complaint form to the Circuit Clerk and tell him/her that you wish to file your complaint. At this time you will have to pay a filing fee and if you want a jury trial, you must demand one now. If you do not request a jury, a judge will decide your case. You will have to pay an additional charge for a jury trial. (I don't believe you need a jury in your case - a judge will be fine to decide your case)

Then you will need to "serve" the tenant with your complaint by use of the sheriff.

The clerk will give you a hearing date.

As landlord, you carry the burden of proving your case. To get a tenant evicted, you must be able to prove that:
a) you have a right to the property you were leasing (you own it, you lease it yourself, etc.);
b) that the tenant violated the lease or stayed after the lease ended;
c) that you have sent the proper notice;
d) and that you have filed your eviction complaint and served the tenant in the proper form.

That's all there is to it and the judge will award you possession of the property.

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