How to Evict a Tenant in Illinois


Understanding Tenant Eviction in Illinois: A Landlord’s Guide

Evicting a tenant is never an easy process, and in Illinois, the laws are designed to ensure that both landlords and tenants are treated fairly. Understanding the legal steps involved is crucial to navigate this challenging situation effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or new to the real estate market, this guide will help you understand how to legally proceed with an eviction in Illinois.

Eviction Process in Illinois 

  1. Landlord serves a five- to ten-day eviction notice. 
  2. Landlord files an eviction lawsuit with the court. 
  3. Court serves the tenant a summons. 
  4. Landlord and tenant attend court hearing and receive judgment. 
  5. Tenant gets seven to 14 days to move out. 
  6. Sheriff arrives to forcibly remove the tenant. 

Know the Grounds for Eviction

Before initiating an eviction, it’s important to have a legitimate reason. In Illinois, common legal grounds for eviction include:

  • Non-payment of rent: This is the most straightforward reason for eviction.
  • Violation of lease terms: This could include things like damaging property, having unauthorized pets, or illegal activities on the premises.
  • End of lease term: If the lease has expired and the tenant has not vacated the premises, you can file for eviction.
  • No lease/rental agreement: If the tenant is renting month-to-month without a formal lease, they can be evicted for reasons that would normally violate a lease.

The Eviction Process in Illinois

The eviction process in Illinois is structured to protect both parties’ rights and ensure that the eviction is justified. Here’s how it typically unfolds:

Provide Proper Notice

The first step in the eviction process is to provide your tenant with a written notice. The type of notice will depend on the reason for eviction:

  • Five-Day Notice: For non-payment of rent, a landlord must give the tenant five days to pay before filing for eviction.
  • Ten-Day Notice: If there is a lease violation, the tenant has ten days to remedy the violation or face eviction proceedings.
  • Thirty-Day Notice: For month-to-month lease terminations or no lease situations, a thirty-day notice is required.

These notices must be served properly to the tenant, either by personal delivery, leaving a copy with someone of suitable age at the residence, or by certified mail.

Filing an Eviction Suit

If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the next step is to file an eviction suit, formally known as a Forcible Entry and Detainer Action, in the appropriate county court. You will need to provide all relevant documents and evidence supporting your claim. There will be a filing fee, and you may want to hire an attorney to help navigate the court system.

Court Hearing and Judgment

Once the case is filed, the court will set a hearing date. Both landlord and tenant will have the opportunity to present their case. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment will be issued, and an order for possession will be granted, allowing the landlord to regain possession of the property.

Eviction Enforcement

The final step is the physical eviction of the tenant, which must be performed by a sheriff or other authorized official. Landlords are not allowed to personally remove the tenant’s belongings or change the locks without this order.

How much does an eviction cost in Illinois?

The cost of an eviction in Illinois can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the location, attorney fees, and court costs. Here’s a general breakdown of potential costs involved:

  1. Court Filing Fees: These can range from $100 to $400 depending on the county. Larger counties may have higher fees.
  2. Attorney Fees: If you hire an attorney to handle the eviction, legal fees can range significantly. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for eviction services, while others may charge an hourly rate. Typical attorney fees for eviction might range from $500 to $1,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the case and the length of the court process.
  3. Service of Process Fees: You must legally notify tenants of the eviction proceedings, which typically involves a process server. The cost for this service can range from $50 to $100.
  4. Additional Costs: If the eviction case is contested or if there are delays, costs can increase due to additional court appearances or legal consultations.
  5. Loss of Rent: While not a direct out-of-pocket expense, the loss of rental income during the eviction process, which can take several weeks to months, is also a significant financial consideration.

Overall, you could be looking at basic costs ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, not including potential lost rent. It’s wise to consult with a local attorney to get a more precise estimate based on your specific situation and locality in Illinois.

How long does it take to evict someone in Illinois

Action Duration 
Eviction notice period 5-10 days 
Issuance and service of summons to tenant Varies 
Eviction hearing  7-40 days after filing 
Service of eviction order <120 days after judgment 
Time to quit after writ is posted 7-14 days 
 Total  1-5 months 

How Tony Buys Homes Can Help

Dealing with troublesome tenants can be a drain on your resources and peace of mind. If you’re a landlord in Illinois tired of the hassles of property management, We Buy Houses Chicago can provide an alternative solution. Tony Buys Homes offers cash for houses in any condition, and we can close quickly, allowing you to avoid the lengthy and costly eviction process. Selling your property can be a straightforward way to free yourself from ongoing landlord responsibilities while ensuring you get a fair price for your investment.

Evicting a tenant in Illinois involves several legal steps and adherence to specific laws. It’s important for landlords to handle evictions carefully to avoid legal repercussions. If the process becomes too overwhelming, selling your property might be the best option to consider. Contact Tony Buys Homes today to explore how selling your property for cash could be the solution you need.

Court Documents 

Additional Resources 

  • Illinois Rules on Civil Proceedings in the Trial Court – These are the specific rules of civil procedure and court policies in Illinois. 
  • Illinois Court Forms – This page provides links to the various forms required in landlord-tenant court, all of which have been approved by the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and must be accepted in all Illinois courts.