Law enforcement would be given more authority to evict squatters who are illegally residing in other people’s homes under legislation heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee during the week.

The legislation targets situations where a person moves into a house while the occupants are out of town, then claims to have a lease triggering an expensive and lengthy process for the rightful owner to regain control of their home.

Senate Bill 3658 states that no person shall have a right or legal standing to occupy or remain on or in any real property, residence, or structure if the person has no written property interest under a written lease or rental agreement with the owner of the property listed in county tax records or the owner’s agent; has no documentation of payment of rent made to the owner of the property or the owner’s agent; and fails to provide any evidence of an oral or written agreement in which a property interest is claimed. 

The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Dave Syverson, was heard during an April 16 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Kenny Winslow, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and John Millner, representing the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, all testified on behalf of the proposal when it came before lawmakers. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-0 to advance Senate Bill 3658 to the full Senate for further consideration. 

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