Illinois eviction notices allow a landlord to warn a tenant that they have violated their lease agreement in some capacity and must either remedy the violation or vacate the premises. If the tenant does not comply with the demands of the eviction notice, they may file a complaint and summons with the county court in which the property is located to have them legally evicted from the property.
To avoid an eviction suit, which may seriously affect their ability to rent property again, the tenant should meet all the landlord’s demands in a timely fashion. A landlord also has the ability to terminate a month-to-month tenancy without cause, but they are required to give the tenant a longer notice period (thirty days).
5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – Used to notify a tenant that they will be evicted if they do not pay overdue rent within five (5) days of receiving this notice to quit.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity – Informs a tenant that they have committed an illegal act while renting their property and they must move out within five (5) days.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance – Notifies a tenant that their lease is terminated and they must vacate the premises within ten (10) days due to a violation of their lease.
30-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy – A lease termination letter that can be delivered to a tenant by a landlord who intends on terminating the lease agreement between them without cause.
- Grace Period (770 ILCS 95/7.10(a)): Five (5) Days
- Non-Payment of Rent (735 ILCS 5/9-209): Five (5) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance: (735 ILCS 5/9-210): Ten (10) Days
- Periodic Tenancy Termination (735 ILCS 5/9-207(b)): Thirty (30) Days
- Illegal Activity(735 ILCS 5/9-120(d)): Five (5) Days
- Intentional Damage to the Property: Not mentioned in state statutes.
Filing for eviction can be a long and costly endeavor. To make sure the process goes smoothly, landlords should follow these guidelines carefully. Commencing an eviction suit before a notice to quit period has ended could result in the landlord having to start all over from the beginning, allowing the tenant to maintain possession of the rented property for a longer period of time.
Step 1 – Serve Notice to Quit
An eviction suit can only be filed once a landlord has warned their tenant that they have violated their lease agreement and must vacate the premises. There are different notice periods provided to tenants depending on the nature of the breach of contract. Landlords can download and complete one of the following notices to quit to serve if they wish to terminate the tenancy:
- 5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
- 5-Day Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity
- 10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
- 30-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy
The notice must be served to the tenant in person, by posting it in a conspicuous place on the property, or by registered or certified mail. The landlord should keep a copy and complete the record of service portion on the bottom of the page for use in court later (if necessary).
Step 2 – File for Eviction
If the tenant fails to pay past due rent (if applicable) or vacate the premises in accordance with the demands of the notice to quit, the landlord can file for eviction. The landlord must visit the court clerk’s office in the county in which the property is located and obtain a Complaint form. The clerk will also present a Summons form to the landlord to complete. Once both forms are completed, the clerk will keep the originals and give the landlord copies of both forms. There will be a filing fee for the whole filing process. The Complaint and Summons must be served on the tenant by the county sheriff’s office. The Summons will have the date of the hearing on it plus any information relevant to the case.
Step 3 – Hearing
Both landlord and tenant must appear before the judge on the date and time of the hearing as set forth in the Summons. The landlord should bring copies of the notice to quit, the complaint, the summons, and the lease agreement. Statements and evidence from both parties will be presented to the judge for their consideration. If the tenant wins, they will be permitted to maintain possession of the rental unit. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will have to vacate the premises (typically within 14-21 days) and might be instructed to pay court costs and attorneys’ fees.
Step 4 – Eviction Order
An Eviction Order will be completed by the judge that contains the date by which the tenant must vacate the premises and the amount of money they owe the landlord (if any). This document can be presented to the county sheriff by the landlord if the tenant does not move out by the date included therein. The sheriff can then forcibly remove the tenant from the property so the landlord can regain possession.