Read further to learn more about the eviction process in Illinois and how many days’ notice are required in which situations.
What’s an Eviction Notice?
An eviction notice is a legal form of disclosure that lets a tenant know that they are in clear violation of their lease agreement, and either need to correct the issue or vacate the premises. Sometimes, for a landlord, a tenancy doesn’t always work out, and when a tenant is consistently in violation of the lease terms by:
- Not paying the rent: This can include regular lateness in paying the rent or even being late for the current calendar month’s rent.
- Damaging the property: When a tenant, for whatever reason, causes damage to the property, this is grounds to begin the eviction process.
- Harming or harassing other tenants: If a tenant harasses or causes bodily harm to another tenant, then the lease terms are in violation.
- Not leaving the rental property after the lease period: in the state of Illinois, there are usually six-month, one-year, or two-year leases.
There are legal options to ensure that the owner can rectify the situation. One of the primary methods of ensuring that a renter either falls in line or vacates the premises is to file what is referred to as a “Notice to Quit.” This notice, if not obeyed or ignored, can be escalated to a “Writ of Possession” in Illinois, which will see that the property is returned to the owner and the renter made to vacate.
If obeyed, the renter can, once again, return to the good graces of the landlord, and the situation will be resolved. In any case, the terms for the renter to carry out are presented very explicitly so that there is no confusion, so the tenant will have options.
In this guide, the information will be present to help landlords understand the process of eviction more completely should there be a need to file a Notice to Quit for a troublesome tenant. As landlords, it’s crucial that the steps are followed so that the process can be done legally and according to state code.
When is Rent Considered Late by the State of Illinois?
In the state of Illinois, the landlord isn’t required to provide a grace period for renters. This means that, if rent is paid anytime after it’s officially due, it is considered late. While some landlords may provide a grace period for their lessees, this is entirely up to the individual. In many cases, the grace period, if the landlord opts to have one, is usually anywhere between five and 10 days.
Types of Eviction Notices
In the state of Illinois, there are two types of documents: the five- and 10-Day Notices to Quit. These are slightly different, but each is designed to provide ample warning to the tenant that their tenancy is at risk and that they need to correct any of the behavior that is causing the issue. Here is a breakdown of each:
A Five-Day Notice to Quit
With a five-day Notice to Quit, the document is designed to be submitted to a renter by the owner, and it is intended to present the tenant with the issues that are putting their tenancy at risk. This can be due to a lack of rent payment or violating the terms of the lease in some other way. This document is designed to present the renter with a choice: correct the issue or vacate the premises with all of the associated possessions of the renter. When presented with this document due to non-payment of rent, the renter is expected to pay all that is in arrears. If the renter opts to vacate and terminate the lease, they will still owe any remaining balance.
A 10-Day Notice to Quit
If the tenant defaults on the letter of the lease, then the landlord can opt to present them with a 10-Day Notice to Quit. Unlike with the five-day notice, the understanding is that the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy. As a result, the lessor has to sign and deliver the letter to the lessee. For this document, an Affidavit of Service must also be provided to indicate that the document was indeed sent out and received by the renter.
Unconditional Quit Notice
For those tenants that violate the law by selling or using drugs on the premises, the landlord can opt to evict them with a five-day notice. If the tenant does not quit the premises in the five days, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
Once one of the aforementioned documents has been provided, then the landlord will have to wait for a response. If the tenant opts to not respond, he or she will be in breach of the lease, which means that the landlord can then utilize the Local Circuit Court to pursue a judgment. A summons must be filed with the clerk of the court, and three copies must be made for the court, for the landlord’s records, and the sheriff. There is a filing fee associated.
The sheriff’s department will then be able to serve the Notice to Quit to the occupant, and there will be a small fee for this service as well. At this stage, the renter will be able to file an Answer Form with the same court.
Finally, a day in court will be scheduled, and if the tenant doesn’t appear, then the court may present an Order of Possession, which will set a date when the tenant will have to vacate the premises. Should the tenant opt not to move out, then the sheriff will carry out a forcible eviction.
How to Write a Notice to Quit
For one of these documents to be legal, it has to be very concise and have all of the appropriate information so that it’s compliant with the state laws of Illinois. Here are a few things that need to be included:
Have Copies of all of the Appropriate Paperwork
Items like the original lease agreement and any other associated documents that may have been generated during a tenancy are absolutely critical. These documents help to paint a picture that the renter is in violation of the lease terms.
The Intended Recipient
The first thing that should be noted at the top of the document is its intended recipient. Since this is a legal document, this ensures that the Notice is placed in the right hands. Ensure that the correct spelling is used as well as any pertinent information about the sublessees or subtenants.
Establishment the Property Location
The next section should state something along the lines of, “The premises herein referred to is located in the City of…” that indicates the precise location of the property. All of the facts about the property need to be exactly as they are in the lease. These should include the county, the zip code, and other info such as the street address, the building number, and the suite number.
Define the Rental Agreement
It’s essential to include the lease signing date so that it’s clear that the renter violates the original lease. This can be referred to as the signature date. After, “Lease agreement signed on…,” include the calendar day, month, and year in that precise order.
Define the Reason for the Notice
It’s essential that the subject of the notice is placed somewhere on the document. For this section, a landlord can include checkboxes or write in-depth details for why the Notice to Quit is being tendered. Some common reasons include:
- Nonpayment: If the tenant is behind in rent, then five days can be given in order to allow the tenant to pay what is owed to the landlord. It needs to be clearly mentioned that if the amount is not paid, then the tenant must vacate and return possession of the rental property to the landlord.
- Noncompliance: A tenant can be noncompliant when he or she:
- Has animals in a non-pet-friendly property.
- Damages the property.
- Harasses neighbors.
- Smokes in non-smoking areas.
Just about any violation of the rental terms established in the original document can be considered a form of noncompliance. The renter can opt to remedy any of the noncompliant behaviors.
- Illegal Activity: If a renter has violated a local, state, or federal law, then a Notice to Quit can be provided.
- End of Month-to-Month Tenancy: Month-to-month leases are very convenient for both the owner and the renter. With one of these, either party can end the rental agreement as long as they provide 30 day’s worth of notice.
At the base of the document, there should be a space for both the owner and the renter to sign and print their name. In addition, any sublessees should also be included. Finally, date the document after each and the Notice to Quit is complete.
Serving the Document
Whoever serves the document to the renter will need to report the date that the document has been placed in the hands of the tenant. In many cases, this is considered the “Certificate of Service” section, and it’s important to also include the name of the person that the Notice to Quit is being served to. In Illinois, this document may be delivered firsthand, to a family member, or even to a coworker. Finally, First Class mail may also be used.