The duration of the eviction process in Illinois varies in two ways. First, the initial notice period depends on the reason for eviction. Second, the court process often takes longer in reality than in theory. For example, in unpaid rent cases, the entire process could theoretically take only around three weeks. In practice, the process is likely to last at least 10 weeks.
Notice to Evict
As with most states, Illinois landlords must give notice to begin the eviction process. There are four notice periods reflecting different reasons for eviction.
In cases involving unpaid rent, the notice period is five days. Paying the outstanding rent in full during this period puts an immediate halt to the eviction process.
In cases of the tenant breaching a lease condition, the notice period is 10 days. State law does not give the tenant the option to correct the breach and end the process, although some ordinances (local jurisdiction rules) do allow this.
When a landlord wants to end a month-to-month tenancy without the tenant being at fault, the notice period is 30 days.
When a landlord wants to end an annual tenancy without the tenant being at fault, the notice period is a minimum of 60 days and a maximum of six months.
Calculating Notice Periods
The notice period starts with the day after the notice is served: A five-day notice eviction served on the 1st ends on the 6th. If the notice period end date falls on a weekend or public holiday, it is counted as ending on the next working day.
Summons and Hearing
Once a notice period expires, a landlord can file a complaint in court. This leads to a summons for the tenant to appear at a hearing. The time between the summons and the hearing varies. In Cook County, for example, it can be two to three weeks in districts covering Chicago, but longer in suburban counties.
Once a court rules in favor of the landlord, it will issue a judgment for possession. This could have immediate effect, but the court usually stays the judgment (puts it on hold) for two to three weeks to allow the tenant to challenge the judgment or make arrangements to move.
Once the judgment takes effect, the Sheriff's office can forcibly evict the tenant. Theoretically this can happen immediately, but backlogs mean it can take between one and two months.
Read More: How to Stop Sheriff Evictions
The length of the eviction process in the state of Illinois varies, but typically takes between three and 10 weeks.
A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.