Illinois Eviction Laws

Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Illinois and understand their responsibilities.

Quick Facts for Illinois

  • Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent & rental agreement term violations
  • Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 5-Day Notice to Pay Rent; beyond this, landlord may file Forcible Entry & Detainer suit
  • Notice Required to Terminate without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Vacate (for month-to-month tenants)
  • Notice Required for Lease Violations: 10-Day Notice to Remedy (applicable only in Chicago)
  • Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 5 days, via Unconditional Quit Notice

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Illinois?

As in most states, the question regarding how long it takes to evict a tenant in the state of Illinois has no one easy answer. An eviction is a multi-step legal process with many variables. In the state of Illinois, this process begins with a notice indicating the issue that exists between the landlord and tenant. The length of the required notice depends upon the situation. In the state of Illinois, the length of notice required will generally vary between 5 and 30 days depending upon the situation at hand. In rare cases, no notice is required before the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court.

The amount of time required to evict a tenant depends most heavily upon the willingness of the tenant to fight the eviction process.

Reasons for Eviction in Illinois

Illinois law has established two basic reasons that a tenant may be evicted. There are:

  • Failing to pay rent
  • Violating the terms of the lease or rental agreement

However a landlord may also need to follow the eviction process if a tenant refuses to vacate the rental property at the end of his/her lease.

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

In the state of Illinois, a landlord is required to provide a written 5-Day Notice to Pay Rent (735 Ill. C.S. 5/9-209). If the rent has not been paid in full by the time indicated by the notice, the landlord may consider the lease terminated. If the tenant remains on the rental property beyond the date indicated in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process and file a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court.

Eviction if Rent has Been Paid

In the state of Illinois, a landlord may evict a tenant regardless of cause when there is no written lease. Generally a landlord is required to provide a written 30-Day Notice of his/her intention to end the rental relationship (740 Ill.C.S. 5/9-207). If a month-to-month tenant has violated terms of their rental agreement or violated their basic responsibilities as established by state law, the landlord may be allowed to provide less notice before proceeding with the eviction process.

Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease

In Illinois, a landlord is required to serve his/her tenant with a written 10-Day Notice when terms of the lease or rental agreement have been violated (Ill.C.S. 5/9-210). This notice must include a general description of the violation in question. It should be noted that three is a slight difference in the eviction process when dealing with a lease violation between the overall law of the state and the particular rules regarding the city of Chicago. In Chicago, the tenant has the length of the 10-Day Notice to remedy the violation. Tenants living elsewhere in the state do not have the option to remedy the violation, but must move from the rental property by the end of the 10 days provided in the notice. In Chicago, if the tenant fails to remedy the situation within the time indicated, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court. If the tenant remains on the property after the date indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court.

Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior

In the state of Illinois, it is legal for a landlord to provide a tenant with a written 5-Day Unconditional Quit Notice when the tenant has used, sold, or stored, or made illegal drugs on the rental property (740 Ill.C.S. 40/11). In this instance, the tenant has no recourse but to vacate the rental property. If the tenant remains on the property beyond the time indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court.

How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?

In the state of Illinois, a landlord is not required to have a reason for evicting a tenant when no lease exists. However, a landlord is required to provide a month-to-month tenant with a 30-Day Notice (740 Ill.C.S. 5/9-207). If the tenant remains on the rental property beyond the end of the 30-days indicated in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court.

When dealing with a tenant who is renting for a fixed term, the landlord is not required to provide a notice to the tenant that he/she is expected to move at the end of the term. The landlord is within his/her rights to proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit with the court the day after the end of the term of the rental agreement.

When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Illinois?

There are some instances in all states where it is illegal for the landlord to evict a tenant. In the state of Illinois, it is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining about the condition of the property to a building inspection unless the report is false. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant due to his/her color, race, nation of origin, sex, disability status, religion, familal status, having recieved a dishonorable discharge from the military, military status, age, marital status, for being a protected party under an order of protection, or for his/her sexual orientation. A landlord is also unable to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent in the state of Illinois, if that tenant had to leave the property for some time due to domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence.

Once a Forcible Entry and Detainer Lawsuit is Filed

In the state of Illinois, a landlord is required to file a Forcible Entry and Detainer lawsuit in the county courthouse where the rental property is located. A hearing date will be scheduled, and the tenant will receive a copy of the suit and the hearing date from the court. The tenant may file a response in the courthouse or appear on the court date, if he/she intends to fight the eviction.

If the tenant fails to file a response or show to the hearing date, the judge will make a default judgement for the landlord. It is at this hearing that the judge will set the date upon which the tenant must have moved from the rental property. The judge will also determine the amount of rent and any penalties or fees owed.

Once Eviction Occurs

If the tenant continues to remain on the rental property after the date that the judge sets in his/her judgement, the sheriff will assist in evicting the tenant. The process a landlord must follow regarding any personal property left on the rental property after an eviction depends upon where the property is located.
When the rental property is located in Chicago, the landlord is required to store the items of a minimum of seven days. If the items aren’t reclaimed within seven days the landlord may dispose of the property as he/she sees fit. However, if the property is located anywhere within the state of Illinois other than the city of Chicago, the landlord is expected to take reasonable steps to inform the tenant of how to reclaim the property and to allow a reasonable amount of time to do so. If the tenant fails to reclaim his/her personal property, the landlord may dispose of it through public sale. Any profit from this sale can be applied to money owed to the landlord. Any money obtained from the sale of these items in access to the amount of money owed to the landlord must be held in trust for the tenant for a minimum of one year.

Make sure to read the 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 5/9-209210, and 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 40/11 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.

Eviction Process in Other States

Other Resources for Illinois Landlords & Tenants