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Kevin O'Flaherty

Imagine being a landlord who discovers that your tenant has not been paying rent for months or has been conducting illegal activities on your property. On the other hand, picture being a tenant who receives an eviction notice but believes it’s unjust. Both parties need to understand the intricacies of Illinois eviction laws 2023 to navigate these challenging situations. In this blog post, we will guide you through the eviction process, legal grounds for eviction, notice requirements, and more. By the end, you will be better equipped to handle any eviction situation that may arise.

Illinois Eviction Laws and Process Overview

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Eviction is a legal process in which a landlord removes a tenant from their property due to reasons such as non-payment of rent or violation of the lease or rental agreement. In Illinois, the eviction process starts with the landlord issuing a written notice and waiting for the notice period to expire.

There are five steps to the eviction process in Illinois:

  1. Delivering the notice
  1. Counting the notice period
  1. Affidavit of service
  1. Filing a complaint
  1. Attending the court hearing

Each step plays a significant role in facilitating a smooth eviction process.

Landlords must be mindful of the specific regulations when serving notices, particularly in Cook County. In Cook County, landlords should pay close attention to the spelling of all tenant names and include the phrase “and all known occupants” on the notice. This is to maintain the validity of the rental agreement and eviction process. Serving eviction documents to a tenant in Illinois can be done through court officials, professional process servers, or individuals aged 18 years or older who are not involved in the case. Giving proper notice is a key factor for a successful eviction.

Tenants in foreclosure must be given 90 days’ notice of any alteration to the lease, renewal, or termination. This tenant’s proper notice period allows tenants to make arrangements to pay rent or find alternative housing. If a tenant submits a Motion to Vacate Judgment and can provide evidence of an unjust eviction, inadequate notification, or a contract with the landlord that was not honored, the eviction can be reversed.

Legal Grounds for Eviction in Illinois

In Illinois, eviction can be based on several grounds, including:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Breach of lease
  • Illegal activities
  • Expiration of lease term

Landlords must serve notices through various methods, such as certified or registered mail, to ensure the tenant receives the eviction notice. For non-payment of rent, a five-day notice is typically given. If the tenant fails to address the issue or vacate within the specified time frame, the landlord may proceed to initiate an eviction lawsuit.

A 10-day Notice to Vacate is issued for lease violations, providing the tenant with ten calendar days to vacate the premises without the opportunity to resolve the issue. Illinois state law does not allow a person to correct or fix an issue within 10 days of receiving a notice. This means that there is no legal right to extend the period specified on the notice. Thus, landlords should comply with the proper notice requirements to circumvent potential legal issues.

In cases where the tenant is engaging in illegal activities, a 5-day Notice to Quit is issued. This notice is also used when a tenant is late on rent payments. Landlords must give tenants at least 60 days of notice when cutting off a year-to-year lease agreement. However, no more than six months’ notice is allowed. Landlords need to provide appropriate notice for the eviction process to be successful.

If a tenant is without a lease or on a month-to-month lease, a 30-day Notice to Vacate is required. This notice is also applicable for non-renewal of a lease in Illinois. Understanding these legal grounds for eviction and the respective notice requirements is vital for both landlords and tenants to protect their rights and interests.

Notice Requirements for Illinois Evictions

The notice requirements for evictions in Illinois differ based on the cause of the eviction. Here are the specific notice requirements:

  1. Non-payment of rent or lease violation: A 5-day notice is required.
  1. Lease violations: A 10-day notice is required.
  1. Tenants without a lease or on a month-to-month lease: A 30-day Notice to Vacate is required.

It is important for landlords to comply with these notice requirements for a seamless eviction process.

When issuing a 5-day notice for non-payment of rent in Illinois, landlords should include the following information:

  • The date the notice was issued
  • The property address and unit number
  • The day the lease will terminate
  • The amount due from the tenant

If the tenant pays the rent within the five-day period, the landlord must accept the payment, and the eviction case cannot be filed.

The notice period begins the day following the service of the notice and ends at midnight on the final day of the notice period. The notice period is extended to the following day if the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday. This is done in order to ensure sufficient time for all necessary actions. Giving appropriate notice is key for a successful eviction process in Illinois.

The Eviction Timeline in Illinois

The eviction timeline in Illinois typically ranges from two to five months. Factors such as the rationale for eviction, tenant compliance, and judicial timetables can influence the timeline for eviction. Understanding the approximate timeline for eviction can help both landlords and tenants better prepare for the process.

A hearing can be scheduled 7-40 days after the summons was issued by the court. The hearing must be scheduled within 14 days of filing an eviction lawsuit in Illinois. Once the eviction order is issued, the tenant has 7 to 14 days to vacate the property. The timeframe for a tenant to vacate the property after the landlord wins an eviction case in Illinois typically ranges between 7-14 days, depending on the type of eviction.

During the eviction process, both landlords and tenants must strictly follow the required notice periods and court procedures. Failure to do so can result in delays or even dismissal of the eviction case. Knowing the eviction timeline in Illinois can help both parties make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls in the process.

Filing an Eviction Lawsuit in Illinois

To initiate an eviction lawsuit in Illinois, landlords must follow these steps:

  1. Provide appropriate notice to the tenant.
  1. Once the notice period expires and the tenant has not addressed the issue or vacated the premises, file a complaint with the local circuit court where the property is located.
  1. Pay the required filing fees. For example, in McHenry County, the filing fee for an eviction lawsuit is $225.

The eviction complaint and summons are crucial documents in the eviction process. Here are some key points to remember:

  • The complaint initiates the eviction case.
  • The summons notifies the tenant of the case.
  • The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant a minimum of three days before the hearing.

When filing a complaint, landlords must include the following documents:

  • Notice
  • Demand
  • Affidavits of service
  • Applicable lease provisions

Making sure all necessary documents are correctly filed is a key component for a successful eviction process in Illinois.

Attending the Eviction Court Hearing

During an eviction court hearing in Illinois, the process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Both the landlord and tenant present their evidence.
  1. The judge decides the case based on the facts presented.
  1. The tenant must be given 3 days’ notice prior to the eviction hearing. This allows them time to prepare for their hearing.

The process for eviction typically involves the following steps:

  1. The landlord will proceed to a hearing.
  1. If the hearing is successful, an eviction order is issued.
  1. If the tenant fails to attend the court hearing, the court will render a decision in the landlord’s favor.

It is vital for both parties to attend the court hearing and present their evidence for a just outcome in the eviction case.

Enforcement of Eviction Orders

In Illinois, the sheriff is responsible for enforcing eviction orders. This includes:

  • Physically removing the tenant from the property if they fail to vacate within the stipulated timeframe
  • Executing the Order for Eviction
  • Ensuring that the eviction process is carried out legally and efficiently

If a tenant refuses to vacate the property even after the eviction order has been issued, the landlord should contact the sheriff to facilitate the tenant’s removal. This guarantees that the eviction process follows Illinois law and that the tenant is legally removed from the property.

Tenant Rights and Defenses in Illinois Eviction Cases

In Illinois, tenants have the right to:

  • Dispute the reason for eviction
  • Prove improper notice
  • Demonstrate that the eviction is retaliatory or discriminatory in nature
  • Present proof of payment or assert that the landlord failed to uphold the property to dispute allegations of non-payment of rent
  • Show that they did not breach the lease agreement or that the landlord did not address maintenance matters to defend against eviction for lease violations.

Tenants may have a valid defense if they can prove that the eviction is in response to exercising their legal rights, such as reporting code violations or membership in a tenant organization, or if the tenant violates their rights by being discriminated against based on protected characteristics, like race, religion, or disability.

Understanding their rights and defenses can help tenants better navigate the eviction process in Illinois.

Prohibited Eviction Practices in Illinois

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In Illinois, certain eviction practices are prohibited, such as:

  • Self-help evictions, where landlords attempt to forcibly remove tenants without following the legal process
  • Retaliatory evictions
  • Evictions based on discrimination

Landlords must adhere to the legal eviction process to protect their rights and avoid potential legal repercussions.

Retaliatory evictions, which occur when a landlord attempts to evict a tenant for exercising their legal rights, such as reporting code violations or participating in a tenant organization, are also prohibited in Illinois. Additionally, evictions based on discrimination are not allowed. Landlords cannot evict tenants based on factors such as:

  • race
  • religion
  • gender
  • sexual orientation
  • other protected characteristics

Both landlords and tenants in Illinois should be aware of and avoid these prohibited practices.

Tips for Landlords and Tenants Navigating Illinois Eviction Laws

To navigate the complexities of Illinois eviction laws successfully, both landlords and tenants can benefit from a few essential tips.

First, keep accurate records of paying rent, lease agreements, and notices to help resolve any disputes that may arise during the eviction process.

Second, familiarize yourself with the specific notice requirements for various eviction reasons to avoid any legal complications.

Finally, seeking legal advice when necessary can help you stay informed and ready for any eviction situation.


In conclusion, understanding Illinois eviction laws is crucial for both landlords and tenants to navigate the eviction process effectively. By following the appropriate legal procedures, providing proper notices, and being aware of tenant rights and defenses, both parties can ensure a fair outcome in eviction cases. Remember to keep accurate records, understand notice requirements, and seek legal advice when needed to successfully handle any eviction situation in Illinois.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a landlord have to evict you in Illinois?

In Illinois, a landlord must serve a written eviction notice of 5, 7, 10, or 30 days to the tenant, depending on the legal issue. If the tenant does not pay the rent within the notice period, the landlord can file an eviction case in court. The landlord also has the option of giving a tenant ten days’ notice to vacate if they are in violation of the terms of their lease.

Can landlords evict in Illinois right now?

Landlords in Illinois are currently able to evict tenants with proper notice and a complaint filed in the local circuit court.

Can a landlord evict you without going to court in Illinois?

In Illinois, a landlord must follow the court process and obtain an Eviction Order before evicting a tenant, including having the sheriff remove the tenant from the unit and changing the locks.

What are the main legal grounds for eviction in Illinois?

The main legal grounds for eviction in Illinois are non-payment of rent, breach of lease, illegal activities, and expiration of the lease term.

How long does the eviction process typically take in Illinois?

The eviction process in Illinois typically takes between two to five months, depending on the particular circumstances.

While we serve most of Illinois, if you’re in the Elgin, IL area and are looking for an experienced eviction attorney to assist you, please feel free to reach out to O’Flaherty Law at:

O'Flaherty Law of Elgin

16 N Airlite St., Unit 3A, Elgin IL 60123

(847) 385-2766

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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