How to Evict a Tenant in Illinois

••• Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you are a landlord, there may come a day when you have to evict your tenant. In the state of Illinois, you can go through the eviction process without an attorney. When doing so, you must follow the proper eviction procedures in order to ensure that you win your case and succeed in getting your tenant removed in a timely manner.

Serve the tenant with an intent-to-evict notice. You can either serve a five-day notice, a 10-day notice, or 30-day notice. The type of notice you serve will depend on the reason for the eviction. Once you have determined which type you will serve, you can obtain the eviction notice form from the county clerk's office, or online at Illinois Pro Bono.

Send notice of your intent to evict. You can send this notice by certified or registered mail, or you can leave it at the home with the tenant or any other resident who is over the age of 13. If the tenant has already moved, you can attach the notice to the front door.

Wait for the notice period to expire. The notice period starts the day after the notice is served. If the last day of the notice period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, that day is excluded. If you send your notice by mail, the notice period starts the day after the tenant actually received the notice.

Obtain and complete both a complaint form and a summons form. You can obtain these forms at the clerk's office in the county where the premises are located, or online at Illinois Legal Aid. Complete the forms according to the instructions.

File the complaint with the county clerk's office. You should file in the county where the premises are located. You must pay a filing fee at the time of the filing. If you want a jury trial you would ask for one at this time for an additional fee.

Take a copy of the complaint and summons to the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office is located in each county courthouse. You may have to pay a fee to the sheriff's office depending on how far sheriff's deputies must travel to serve the tenant.

Prepare for your court hearing. Gather any documents, pictures, receipts, and statements you will need for your case. If you have any witnesses, let them know the date of the hearing so they can attend.

Attend the hearing. As a landlord, the burden is on you to prove your case to the judge or jury. You must prove that you have the legal right to remove the tenant from your property, and you may use your documents and witnesses to do so.

Wait for the tenant to leave. When the judge grants you the eviction, he will give your tenant two to three weeks to vacate.

Ask the sheriff to remove the tenant. This is only necessary if the tenant does not vacate in the time allotted by the judge.There may be a small fee to place the eviction on the sheriff's calendar, but this fee is refundable at any time before the sheriff removes the tenant from the premises.


  • You would serve a five-day notice in the event that your tenant fails to pay the rent on time. The notice states that if the tenant does not pay the rent due within five days from the date of the notice, you will proceed to evict the tenant.

    You would serve a 10-day notice in the event that your tenant violates any terms of his lease. The notice would state the terms violated and the dates on which the violation occurred.

    You would serve a 30-day notice in the event that the lease is an oral or written month-to-month lease. You can terminate it by giving a 30-day notice to your tenant without giving any reason. You still must take the tenant to court in order to evict her.