Eviction Procedures in Illinois

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Failure on the part of the tenant to pay rent or adhere to any rules or regulations set forth by a landlord regarding his property can lead to eviction. Landlords cannot just throw people out, however—they must follow a certain protocol. The state of Illinois has a procedure that outlines the process of eviction and regaining possession of the property in question. Because local laws and regulations regarding public or federal housing may require different actions, both landlords and tenants should consult with a lawyer or other knowledgeable party regarding eviction procedures.


The landlord must provide adequate notice to a tenant regarding his intent to evict; the amount of notice depends on the reason for eviction. Some leases waive a right to any notice.

The landlord must provide five business days' notice for failure to pay rent--notice starts from the day after the tenant receives it. The tenant has the opportunity to pay the rent and resolve the issue.

Other violations of the lease require the landlord to notify the tenant 10 days before the proposed eviction. Under Illinois law, you cannot cure this type of notice—meaning that, unlike the right to settle past due rent, the landlord does not have to give the tenant an opportunity to remedy the problem—though there are some exceptions to this rule, according to Rentlaw.com.

If the tenant has a month-to-month lease, the landlord can legally evict her with 30 days' notice regardless of the circumstances. A week-to-week lease requires seven days' notice while a yearly lease requires two months' notice.

Summons and Trial

If a tenant fails to leave or remedy the problem when applicable, the landlord can file an eviction suit against the tenant in the county court. A sheriff or process server will serve the tenant the summons stating the date and time of the tenant’s court appearance. If the tenant does not respond, the judge will usually order an eviction and order of payment against the tenant—who might be forced out that same day. The tenant has a right to a trial to offer a defense.


Illinois law allows tenants to ask the court to reconsider the eviction order or appeal to the Appellate Court—they have 30 days from the rendering of the order. A landlord has the right to contact the sheriff to enforce the eviction should the tenant stay past the date in the eviction order. Landlords have a right to collect back rent if the tenant does not pay the court but certain restrictions apply—the law does not allow garnishment of either take-home wages under $360 weekly or money from public assistance. An attorney can offer guidance on other restrictions.


About the Author

Kelli Cooper has been a writer since 2009, specializing in health and fitness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers University and is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise.

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