Illinois
Eviction Process

The CDC issued a halt on evictions until Dec. 31 for qualifying renters. Click here

Timeline. Evicting a tenant in Illinois can take about 2 weeks to 5 months depending on the type of eviction and whether a stay of execution is granted, or a default judgment is vacated (read more).

Questions? To chat with an Illinois eviction lawyer online now, Click here

Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in Illinois.

Step 1: Notice is Posted

Landlords in Illinois can begin the eviction process for several reasons, including:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice must be served to give the tenant the option to pay rent in order to avoid eviction.
  2. Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, the landlord isn’t required give tenants an opportunity to correct the issue before pursuing an eviction.
  3. No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
  4. Foreclosure of Rental Property – If the rental property is foreclosed upon, tenants must receive written notice prior to eviction.
  5. Illegal Activity– If a tenant of the rental unit is engaged in illegal activity, the landlord must serve them with written notice before pursuing eviction procedures.
NOTES
  • Retaliatory Evictions. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining to the landlord or to the appropriate local or government agency regarding the property. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for joining, supporting, or organizing a tenant organization or union.
  • Evicting a Squatter If the individual occupying the property did not have the permission of the landlord when initially moving in, does not have a lease (or verbal agreement) and has no history of paying rent, then a landlord/tenant relationship may not be established. As a result, the normal eviction process may not apply (read more).

Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.

Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.

According to Illinois law, rent is considered late the day after it’s due, and grace periods (if any) are addressed in the lease/rental agreement.

Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a 5-Day Notice to Pay if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant the option to pay the past due amount in full within 5 days in order to avoid eviction.

If the tenant does not pay the rent due by the end of the notice period and remains on the property, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement

A tenant can be evicted in Illinois if they do not uphold their responsibilities under the terms of a written lease/rental agreement.

Illinois landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct a lease violation in these instances, but they must provide tenants with 10 days’ written notice prior to continuing with the eviction process.

Typical lease violations under this category could include things like damaging the rental property, having too many people residing in the rental unit, and having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy.

Note that illegal activity is not included in this category.

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

Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease

In the state of Illinois, if tenants “hold over,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord must give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.

Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.

The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy .

  • Week-to-week – If the tenancy is from week-to-week, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 7-Day Notice to Quit.
  • All other terms except year-to-year – If the tenancy is for any term less than one year but more than week-to-week, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Quit.
  • Year-to-year – If the tenancy is from year to year, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 60-Day Notice to Quit.

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

Eviction Process for Foreclosure of Rental Property

If a rental property is foreclosed upon, and the tenant’s tenancy will not be continued, the landlord/owner must provide the tenant with 90 days’ written notice in order to proceed with an eviction action.

The amount of notice is the same regardless of whether the tenant is week-to-week, month-to-month, or has a written lease.

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

Eviction Process for Illegal Activity

Tenants of a rental unit who are involved in illegal activity that constitutes a class X felony or other illegal activity must be given 5 days’ written notice before the landlord can proceed with an eviction action.

Class X felonies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm
  • Aggravated battery of a child
  • Home invasion
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking
  • Aggravated arson
  • Possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver

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

Questions? To chat with an Illinois eviction lawyer online now, Click here

Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

As the next step in the eviction process, Illinois landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate Circuit court. In McHenry County, this costs $225 in filing fees.

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 3 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
  4. Posting a copy on the rental property if all other methods fail

~3 days. The summons must be served at least 3 days prior to the hearing.

Step 3: Court Hearing and Judgment

According to the IL 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.

7-40 days, depending on the court location and the judicial officer’s schedule. If a default judgment is vacated, the process could take longer.

Step 4: Writ of Execution Is Issued

The writ of execution 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 the tenant.

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.

A few hours to a few days. The landlord must request the writ of execution, but it can be issued the same day as the hearing.

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

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 7 days of receiving the writ of execution, or within 7 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.

7-14 days, depending on the reason for the eviction, once the writ of execution has been issued/stay of execution has expired.

Questions? To chat with an Illinois eviction lawyer online now, Click here

Illinois Eviction Process Timeline

Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in Illinois. With that being said, these estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.

  1. Initial Notice Period – between 5 and 90 days, depending on the reason for eviction.
  2. Issuance/Service of Summons and Petition – ~3 days; must be served at least 3 days before the hearing.
  3. Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – 7-40 days after summons issued; longer if a default judgment is vacated.
  4. Issuance of Writ of Execution – A few hours to a few days.
  5. Return of Possession – 7-14 days, depending on the reason for the eviction and/or the court location.

Flowchart of Illinois Eviction Process

For additional questions about the eviction process in Illinois, please refer to the official state legislation, Illinois Compiled Statutes §§735 and 765, and the Illinois Rules of Civil Proceedings, Rules 101 and 102, for more information.