Illinois Eviction Process

Illinois Eviction Process

Last Updated: August 12, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

In Illinois, all evictions follow the same process:

  1. Notice is posted to correct the issue/vacate.
  2. If uncured and tenant remains, complaint is filed and served.
  3. Court serves tenant with summons and complaint.
  4. Hearing is held and judgment issued.
  5. If granted, eviction order is posted.
  6. Possession of property is returned to landlord.

From start to finish, an eviction in Illinois can be completed in two weeks to five months. However, it can take longer depending on the reason and whether the tenant contests it.

Questions? To chat with an Illinois eviction attorney, click here

Florida Eviction Grounds   on iPropertyManagement.com

Grounds for an Eviction in Illinois

In Illinois, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 5 Days Yes
End of / No Lease ~30 Days No
Lease Violation 10 Days No
Illegal Activity 7 Days Maybe

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In Illinois, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give a 5 days’ notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

According to Illinois law, rent is considered late the day after it’s due, and grace periods (if any) are addressed in the lease agreement. For example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days) or exceptions for weekends or court-observed holidays.

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In Illinois, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving 30 days’ notice to move out.

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities

In Illinois, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Illinois landlord-tenant law. Tenant responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Paying rent on time
  • Keeping the unit clean and undamaged
  • Removing any hazards
  • Keeping the unit safe for occupancy
  • Performing minor repairs and maintenance
  • Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors

Regardless, the landlord must give 10′ days’ notice to cure the issue or move out before proceeding to filing an eviction.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Illegal Activity

In Illinois, a landlord can evict a tenant for illegal activity (i.e., possessing or selling illegal drugs). The tenant must be given a 5 days’ notice before the landlord can proceed with an eviction action.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

warning

Illegal Evictions in Illinois

In Illinois, any of the below is illegal, and if found liable, could result in damages up to $300 or a divided sum of $5,000 to all tenants, whichever is less.

“Self-Help” Evictions

No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:

  • Changing the locks.
  • Shutting off utilities.
  • Removing tenant belongings.

If a landlord shuts off a utility service, the landlord may be liable for the amount of a rent abatement for each month, and a prorated rent for each part of a month that the utility service was shut off.

A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

Retaliatory Evictions

It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include:

  • A tenant’s requests for habitability repairs
  • A tenant’s complaint to a governmental authority regarding a building or health code violation.

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Illinois by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

  1. Hand delivering the notice to the tenant.
  2. Mailing a copy of the notice via certified mail or registered mail with a return receipt requested
  3. Leaving the notice with someone who is 13 years or older who lives at the premises.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice. 

5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Illinois, the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. This notice gives the tenant 5 judicial days to pay the entire remaining balance or vacate the premises.

Notice period begins the day after you serve the notice. If the last day of the notice period is a Saturday, Sunday, or a court holiday, the notice period ends at 12:00 am the next day (that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or court holiday).

30-Day Notice to Quit

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Illinois, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 judicial days to move out.

However, for tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Amount
Week-to-Week 7 Days
Month-to-Month 30 Days
Quarter-to-Quarter 30 Days
Year-to-Year No Notice for Fixed Term

Notice period begins the day after you serve the notice. If the last day of the notice period is a Saturday, Sunday, or a court holiday, the notice period ends at 12:00 am the next day (that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or court holiday).

10-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate

In Illinois, if a tenant commits a minor violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities as a tenant, the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 judicial days to fix the issue or move out.

Notice period begins the day after you serve the notice. If the last day of the notice period is a Saturday, Sunday, or a court holiday, the notice period ends at 12:00 am the next day (that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or court holiday).

5-Day Notice to Quit

In Illinois, if a tenant commits illegal activity, the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 5 judicial days to move out without the chance to cure the issue.

Notice period begins the day after you serve the notice. If the last day of the notice period is a Saturday, Sunday, or a court holiday, the notice period ends at 12:00 am the next day (that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or court holiday).

Questions? To chat with an Illinois eviction attorney, click here

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court

As the next step in the eviction process, Illinois landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate Circuit Court. Filing fees may vary county to county, for instance, in McHenry County, the filing fee is $225. The complaint must include the notice, demand, affidavits of service and lease provisions.

The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by any one of the following: a sheriff, professional process server, or anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t part of the case, at least three days prior to the hearing.

The tenant may be served by any one of the following methods:

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Leaving a copy with someone at least 13 years old at the rental unit;
  3. Mailing via certified/registered mail with a return receipt; or
  4. Posting a copy on the rental property if all other methods fail.

Note, that the summons must be served at least 7 days prior to the hearing in Cook County.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com~3 days. The summons must be served at least three days prior to the hearing.

Eviction Summons Complaint Served   on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Serves Tenant with Summons & Complaint

According to the Illinois Rules of Civil Proceedings, hearings will be scheduled for 7-40 days after the date the summons was issued by the court.

In Illinois, tenants are not required to file a formal answer with the court prior to the hearing, and may contest the eviction at the hearing itself.

If the tenant does not appear at the hearing, the judicial officer may rule in favor of the landlord, ordering the tenant to move out by a certain date. This is called a default judgment. However, in Illinois, tenants can ask the judicial officer to vacate the default judgment. This must be done within 30 days of the date of the judgment in order for the tenant to appear at a hearing and make the case for why they should not be evicted.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com7-40 days. Depending on the court location and the judicial officer’s schedule. If a default judgment is vacated, the process could take longer.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 4: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgement

A hearing on the complaint shall be scheduled with 14 days. If the tenant did not contest the eviction, the landlord will need to prepare for the hearing by bringing the following:

  • A copy of the lease agreement;
  • The notice to quit or to pay;
  • The complaint and summons; a
  • Receipt that the complaint and summons were served to the tenant; and
  • Any evidence (i.e., photos of damage, billing statements, etc.) or witnesses to help prove the case in court.

Once the judge has enough information they will make a decision and enter an order. Regardless if the eviction was contested or not, if the judge rules in favor of the landlord, an Eviction Order will be subsequently issued and the process will proceed.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com~14 days. A hearing on the complaint shall be scheduled with 14 days.

Eviction Writ of Execution on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 5: Eviction Order Is Issued

The eviction order is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff returns to the property to forcibly remove them. An eviction order must be given within 7 days by the court.

In some court locations, tenants may have additional time to move before the sheriff or other law enforcement officer is allowed to forcibly remove them from the rental property, as noted in Step 5 below.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com 7 days. The landlord must request the eviction order, but it can be issued the same day as the hearing.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 6: Sheriff Returns Property to Landlord

For evictions due to illegal activity or illegal drug activity, the sheriff or other law enforcement officer must remove the tenant from the rental unit within seven days of receiving the order of eviction, or within seven days of the expiration of a stay of execution.

For all other evictions, tenants may be allowed up to 14 days to move out, depending on the court location.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com7-14 days. Depending on the reason for the eviction, once the order of execution has been issued/stay of execution has expired.

Questions? To chat with an Illinois eviction attorney, click here

Illinois Eviction Process Timeline

In Illinois, an eviction can be completed in as little as 2 weeks to 5 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

Below are the parts of the Illinois eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

Step Estimated Time
Initial Notice Period 5-30 Days
Court Issuing Summons ~3 Business Days
Court Serving Summons 7-40 Business Days
Tenant Response Period Not Required
Court Ruling 14 Business Days
Court Serving Eviction Order 7 Days
Final Notice Period 7-14 Days

Flowchart of Illinois Eviction Process

Illinois Eviction Process Flowchart   on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Illinois, please refer to the official state legislation, 735 ILCS 5/9-102 and ILCS 5/ 6-101-150 the Illinois Rules of Civil Proceedings, Rules 101 and 102, for more information.

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