You have just won a forcible entry and detainer action in court against your tenant in default. The tenant is still occupying the building. Are you immediately entitled to retake possession? Not so fast. Strange as it may seem, winning an eviction suit does not immediately entitle you to take possession of the property. Once the judge determines that you the landlord are entitled to possession your attorney must then enter an order or possession. 735 ILCS 5/9-110. Many times a judge will stay the entry of the order for a period of 30 days or more in order to give the tenant an opportunity to remove his things. Fortech, L.L.C. v. R.W. Dunteman Co., 366 Ill.App.3d 804 (1st Dist. 2006).
Once the stay period for the order of possession expires you then have 120 days to retake possession. 735 ILCS 5/9-117. If the tenant will not go peacefully it is very important that you do not use self-help as that can subject you to tort liability. Instead you must place the judgment with the sheriff who will then carry out the actual eviction.
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