Owning real estate in Illinois is a great way to earn some extra income, but such an investment of time and money proves more profitable when you adhere to the latest laws. Understanding business laws and regulations makes you a better landlord and better satisfies your tenants.

With help from HowStuffWorks, you have the groundwork necessary to stay on the right side of the law. Use these tips to set yourself up for real estate success.

Basic landlord rights

Decide whether to collect rent monthly, weekly or bi-monthly, noting it in each tenant’s lease. Also, note if you accept check, money order or electronic payments. You are within your rights to increase rent, but only after a tenant’s lease is up. Check to see if your building is rent-controlled.

Evicting tenants

There may come a time when you have to give problematic tenants the boot. Handle all evictions according to the latest laws and regulations, which often means you cannot change the locks or shut off utilities on tenants who fall behind on rent or break lease terms. Make copies of any eviction notices you send to renters, and gather evidence to strengthen your case if you have to go before a judge.

Avoid legal hang-ups

Before you start screening potential tenants, ensure your property is properly and fully insured. You also have to pay taxes on your rental building. Building authorities have standards in place that you want to exceed rather than meet the bare minimum of. Get into the habit of occasionally surveying the interior and exterior of your property for potential hazards that can harm your investment or your tenants.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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