The Eviction Process in Illinois

With the world creeping back to normal in regard to the pandemic, eviction laws in Illinois are as well. During the pandemic emergency laws were passed, stalling all evictions. In Illinois specifically, Governor Pritzker signed an executive order making it harder to evict. The order was issued to expire June 30th but has been extended. There are numerous reasons why a landlord may decide to evict a tenant. Tenants should be aware that their landlords must issue them a notice prior to eviction.

Date: June 10, 2021

By: Attorney Andrew J. Mertzenich

Reasons for Eviction in Illinois

Evictions for Missing Rent Payments

First and probably the most common reason for eviction is missing your rent payments. In short, landlords are allowed to evict their tenants if they miss rent payments. Rent is considered late, the day after the payment was expected under Illinois law. So, if your rent payment is late, your landlord will be required to serve you with a 5-day notice prior to eviction. In addition, this 5-day notice gives the tenant 5 days to come up with their payment. Lastly, if you do not make your payment within this time, your landlord may evict you. Even if you pay after the fact, your landlord may still evict.

Evictions for Violating a Lease

When you sign a lease, it is your duty to uphold your side of the agreed upon lease. Tenants should be aware that landlords are not required to allow correction. With that being said, under certain circumstances, your landlord may allow corrections. In this situation a landlord must supply their tenant with a 10-day notice. Aspects which are considered are things like having too many people in your home or having a pet when it is not allowed. If a tenant fails to leave the property after the notice was given, landlords may evict.

No Lease or End of Lease Evictions

In Illinois, if a tenant stays beyond their lease agreement it is known as “holdover”, the landlord can evict them. Similarly, to other eviction types, a notice will be required of the landlord. This form of eviction almost always transpires from individuals who are at the end of their lease. In addition, tenants should know that landlords can choose not to renew your lease. Lastly, notices are still required from landlords.

  • In cases where tenants pay weekly, landlords must provide a 7-day notice to quit.
  • A 30-day notice to quit will be applied to any type of tenancy, besides year-to-year.
  • In year-to-year leases a 60-day notice to quit is required.

Evictions on Foreclosed Rental Properties

In this instance a landlord must give their tenants a 90-day written notice. Evictions involving foreclosed rental properties do not consider any specifics regarding lease. In other word, a 90-day notice is required regardless if payments are week-to-week, month-to-month, or year-to-year. 

Filing & Serving Complaints

The next step in the eviction process is for landlords to file a complaint in the appropriate circuit court. The filing fee to do so in Illinois is 225 dollars. Prior to a hearing, landlords will want to file their complaint with a sheriff for example. This must be done 3 days prior to your initial hearing. You may serve your tenant in any way that follows. 

  • Giving a copy to the tenant in person.
  • Leaving a copy with someone at least 13 years old at the rental unit.
  • Posting a copy on the rental property if all other methods fail.

Court Hearing

Under Illinois law, in relation to the rules of civil proceedings, a hearing will be scheduled 7-40 days after the summons is filed. Tenants in Illinois do not have to file an answer to the court before the hearing and can argue the case in court. If tenants do not show up to their hearing, a judge will likely side with the landlord. 

Writ of Execution

First, the writ of execution is a tenants last notice that they are being evicted. The writ of execution allots tenants time to clear the property of their personal belongings. In the event tenants do not clear out their place, a sheriff will likely be sent to escort you off the property.