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How To Evict A Tenant In Illinois | The Illinois Eviction Process Explained

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 1, 2019

In this article, we explain the Illinois eviction process and how to evict a tenant in Illinois.  We explain how to serve an eviction notice upon a tenant, how to file a complaint for eviction and serve it upon a tenant, and what to do if a tenant fails to vacate the property after an eviction order.  We also answer the questions "what notice is required to evict a tenant in Illinois?" and "what happens at an eviction hearing in Illinois?"

If you are renting property and would like to evict one of your tenants for non-payment of rent or for any other reason, you and your lawyer will be required to follow these steps:

What notice is required to evict a tenant in Illinois?

  1. 5 day notice:  A 5 day notice is used when the reason for eviction is failure to pay rent.  In the case of a 5 day notice, the tenant has 5 days after receiving the notice to pay their past due rent before the landlord can begin eviction proceedings.
  2. 10 day notice: A 10 day notice is used when the reason for eviction is violation of terms of the lease other than non-payment of rent.  The tenant usually does not have the opportunity to cure the violation, but has 10 days to vacate the property before the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
  3. 30 day notice: A 30 day notice is used when the landlord wants to terminate a month-to-month lease for a reason other than violation of the lease or non-payment of rent.  A landlord may terminate such lease for any reason or no reason at all.

How to serve an eviction notice upon a tenant

Once the proper notice is drafted it must be served upon the tenant in one of three ways:

  1. ‍hand delivery;
  2. certified mail return receipt requested;
  3. ‍posting the notice on the door of the property;

Once you have served notice of the eviction upon the tenant, the person who served the notice will have to complete an affidavit testifying to such service.

How to File a complaint for eviction and serve it upon the tenant 

After the time period for the particular type of notice that you served upon the tenant has passed, your attorney will file a complaint and summons in the appropriate court, asking the court for an order evicting the tenant.  A court date will be assigned by the clerk.  You will be required to serve the complaint and summons upon the tenant by personal service.  This is usually done by sheriff or special process server.

What happens at an eviction hearing in Illinois?

At the hearing date set by the court, you will be required to show that the tenant has been served with both the notice and the complaint, and that you have a good basis for evicting him.  If you successfully offer this proof to the judge, the judge will issue an order requiring the tenant to vacate the property, typically within 14 to 21 days.

What to do if a tenant fails to vacate the property after an eviction order

If the tenant fails to comply with the court’s order to vacate the property, you should notify the sheriff.  The sheriff will then physically remove the tenant from the property.

Allan Fogliolink 1/29/2017 09:01:21 am

There is an informative post that you share. I gather more knowledge that you provide. You should add more details like this. Thanks for sharing this article.

Reply Kevin O'Flaherty 2/3/2017 03:44:05 pm

Allan: Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked the article. You can find more articles, videos, and podcast episodes about nearly every area of law at: 

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