The Illinois thirty (30) day notice to quit, pursuant with 735 ILCS 5, is reserved for month-to-month or “at-will” tenancies. Although there does not need to be a specific reason for terminating a month-to-month tenancy, the tenant must still be notified of the lease termination and given the proper amount of notice (30 days). If the tenant does not move out after thirty (30) days, you can begin the eviction lawsuit process. How to Write Step 1 – Download the notice here (.PDF format). Enter the current date in the “Notice Date:” field, and then enter the full address of the rental unit (include
The Illinois ten (10) day notice to quit, in association with 735 ILCS 5/9-210, is for landlords to use when a tenant has committed a lease violation. Note that the ten (10) day notice only applies for violations that are “curable” (i.e. can be fixed), if the tenant has committed unlawful acts within the rental unit, a five (5) day notice to vacate should be issued. The ten (10) day notice should state the specific violation(s) of the tenant, as well as instructions on how to rectify them. Serve the notice personally, or through certified mail. The notice can be
The Illinois five (5) day unlawful action notice to quit, reflecting the laws in 740 ILCS 40, can only be used when a tenant has been convicted of a Class A felony that was committed on the premises of the rental property, or was using the rental unit for unlawful activity related to controlled substances (740 ILCS 40/11). The tenant has five (5) days to vacate the rental unit. If the tenant fails to move out within that time frame, the landlord can immediately file an eviction lawsuit. How to Write Step 1 – Download and then print the form out.
The Illinois five (5) day notice to quit, per 735 ILCS 5, is used when a tenant has failed to pay the rent. The notice states that the tenant has five (5) days* to either pay the rent or vacate the rental unit. If the tenant fails to do either, the landlord can begin the eviction lawsuit process in court. The notice should be served to the tenant personally, however if that is not an option the notice can be sent via certified mail or left at the rental unit with a resident who is at least 13 years old. *The day
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
Step 1 – There are four overall steps to evicting a tenant in the State of Illinois. The first major step in the eviction process is to serve the tenant a notice declaring how much rent is owed and when it is due by (generally anywhere from five to thirty days from the date of initial notice). Five (5) day notices are typically used when a tenant fails to pay the rent or has committed a non-curable lease violation. The Ten (10) day notice is used when a tenant has committed a curable lease violation. Thirty (30) day notices are used for month-to-m0nth or “at-will” tenancies. If the tenant is in violation of the lease agreement, the notice must state the specific violation(s) as well as give instructions how to “cure” (i.e. fix) the violation(s). The notice must state in plain terms that if the tenant fails to pay the rent/cure their violation(s), the lease agreement will be terminated and they will be required to vacate the rental unit.
Note: After the notice has been served, you are required to complete a “Certificate of Service” form. The form essentially explains how you served the notice to the tenant. You must sign your name on the form in the presence of a notary (notary services are available at many banks and financial centers). If the certificate of service is not valid or your signature was not notarized properly, the court might invalidate your notice (essentially causing you to restart the eviction process all over again).
Step 2 – If the tenant fails to adhere to the notice, the next step is to file an eviction lawsuit (aka “Forcible Entry and Detainer Action”). In order to file the lawsuit, you will need to have a copy of the Complaint, Summons, and original notice. The Complaint/Summons are separate forms that must be filed individually at the court. The clerk’s office at the court you are at will help you to fill out these forms. After the forms have been filed and the fees have been paid, the Sheriff will be sent a copy of the Complaint/Summons. The tenant will then be served with the Complaint/Summons by the Sheriff at least three (3) days before the “return date” (i.e. the date when both you and the tenant are required to appear in court).
Note: When filing the Complaint/Summons, be sure to include all of the names of anyone residing in the rental unit (over the age of 18). If there are unknown tenants over the age of 18, add “Unknown Tenant(s)” as defendants. Filing fees range from $234 to $439 (depending on how much rent is due and whether you are filing a joint action lawsuit or for possession only).
Step 3 – On the day of the return date, go to the court and be sure to bring along copies of the Complaint/Summons, the notice that you served to the tenant, as well as a copy of the lease agreement, payment stubs, and any other relevant documentation that could be used to support your case. If there are any witnesses that could help your case, bring them to the court. If the tenant fails to show up on the return date, the judge will enter an Order for Possession.* The judge will most likely give the tenant seven (7) to fourteen (14) days to vacate the rental unit.
If the tenant does show up on the return date; settlement, mediation, continuance**, and a jury trial are all possible options. It’s best to try and settle the case with the tenant. If that is not an option, or the defendant (i.e. tenant) is not easy to work with, the judge may request that both parties go into mediation. A third-party mediator will be present during this, and will work with both you and the tenant to try and come to an agreeable solution. If the tenant files a “Jury Demand” the case will be continued for up to one (1) week, and a new return (or status) date will be issued to both parties. A status date is not the same thing as a hearing/trial date. If the tenant does indeed file a Jury Demand, the case will be prolonged and become much more complicated. At this point it is recommended to hire an attorney to represent you/your business.
* Before you leave the court, ensure that you have complete the Order for Possession.
**The tenant can request a continuance on the first return date. The judge will typically grant one continuance, allowing the tenant up to seven (7) days to find an attorney.
Step 4 – If a ruling has been made in your favor, the judge will issue an Order for Possession. Fill out several copies of the Order form, including the names of each tenant as well as any unknown persons (“unknown tenants”). If the tenant fails to move out within the court-ordered time frame, you will need to go back to the courthouse and get your Order “certified.” After it has been certified, give the Order to the clerk. The fee for having the Sheriff evict the tenant(s) is typically $60 (which is paid at the court). The Sheriff will call you one day before the eviction is scheduled to take place.