Illinois Eviction Laws: 2024 Step by Step Process & Costs

Understanding the eviction laws in Illinois is essential for both landlords and tenants, as these regulations play a pivotal role in shaping the landlord-tenant relationship. These laws not only protect the property rights of landlords but also safeguard the rights of tenants, ensuring a fair and legal process is followed in the event of eviction. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Illinois' eviction laws, highlighting their importance in maintaining a balanced and respectful rental environment.

In Illinois, eviction laws are carefully designed to balance the needs and rights of landlords with those of tenants. For landlords, these laws provide clear guidelines on how to legally proceed with an eviction. For tenants, these laws offer protections and a framework for understanding their rights and options when faced with the possibility of eviction.

Whether you are a landlord dealing with a problematic tenant situation, or a tenant trying to understand your rights in the face of a potential eviction, this guide will walk you through the key aspects of Illinois' eviction process. From legal grounds for eviction to the step-by-step procedure, this article covers essential information for navigating the complexities of eviction laws in Illinois.

Understanding Illinois Eviction Laws

Eviction laws in Illinois are designed to provide a fair process for both landlords and tenants, ensuring that evictions are carried out legally and justly. These laws set the framework for how evictions should be handled, establishing the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Key aspects of Illinois' eviction laws include:

Illinois eviction procedures are governed by the Illinois Compiled Statutes. These statutes outline the acceptable reasons for eviction and the legal process that landlords must follow.

Grounds for Eviction

Common legal grounds for eviction in Illinois include non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms, and conducting illegal activities on the property. Each ground for eviction has specific criteria that must be met for the process to be lawful.

Notice Requirements

Illinois law requires landlords to provide tenants with proper notice before proceeding with an eviction. The type of notice and duration vary depending on the reason for eviction, and proper service of this notice is a critical step in the eviction process.

Understanding these laws is crucial for landlords to manage their properties effectively and for tenants to protect their rights. Landlords must ensure they adhere to these legal requirements to avoid invalidating the eviction process. Tenants should be aware of these laws to understand their rights and how to respond if faced with eviction.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the specific grounds for eviction, the required notices, and the detailed eviction process in Illinois.

Grounds for Eviction in Illinois

In Illinois, landlords must have a legitimate legal reason, or ground, for evicting a tenant. Understanding these grounds is essential for both landlords and tenants. Here are the primary reasons for eviction under Illinois law:

Non-Payment of Rent

This is a common ground for eviction. If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord can initiate the eviction process, starting typically with a 5-day notice to pay or quit.

Lease Violations

Tenants who violate specific terms of their lease, such as unauthorized pets, excess noise, or damaging property, can face eviction. Landlords must provide a notice, usually 10 days, allowing the tenant a chance to remedy the violation.

Illegal Activities

Conducting illegal activities on the property, such as drug manufacturing or other criminal acts, can lead to immediate eviction proceedings.

End of Lease Term

A landlord can decide not to renew a lease at the end of its term. For month-to-month leases, a 30-day notice to vacate is typically required.

Health and Safety Violations

Actions by the tenant that significantly jeopardize the health and safety of other tenants or the property can be grounds for eviction.

It's important for landlords in Illinois to strictly adhere to these legal grounds and follow the proper eviction procedures, including serving appropriate notices. Tenants, understanding these grounds can help in maintaining the lease terms and responding appropriately if faced with the possibility of eviction.

Notice Requirements for Eviction in Illinois

Proper notice is a crucial component of the eviction process in Illinois. The type and duration of the notice depend on the grounds for eviction. Understanding these notice requirements is essential for both landlords and tenants. Here are the key notice requirements in Illinois:

Non-Payment of Rent

For evictions due to non-payment of rent, landlords must provide a 5-day notice to the tenant. This notice gives tenants five days to pay the overdue rent or face eviction proceedings.

Lease Violations

If a tenant violates the lease terms, the landlord is typically required to provide a 10-day notice to cure the violation or vacate the property.

Illegal Activities

In cases of illegal activities, landlords may proceed with immediate eviction without a standard notice period, depending on the severity and legal considerations.

End of Lease Term or No Lease

For month-to-month tenancies or at the end of a fixed-term lease, landlords usually must provide a 30-day notice to terminate the tenancy.

Health and Safety Violations

If a tenant's behavior poses a significant health or safety risk, the required notice period can vary based on the specific circumstances and lease terms.

It's important for landlords to follow these notice requirements carefully, as failure to do so can lead to legal challenges and potentially invalidate the eviction. For tenants, understanding these notice requirements is critical as it provides a timeframe to respond to the eviction grounds, whether by paying overdue rent, correcting a lease violation, or preparing for relocation.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Eviction Process

The eviction process in Illinois is a structured series of legal steps that must be followed to ensure a fair and lawful eviction. Understanding this process is crucial for landlords who need to evict a tenant and for tenants who may be facing eviction. Here’s a detailed overview of the steps:

The landlord must have a valid legal reason for eviction, such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, or illegal activities.

2. Serve the Appropriate Notice

Based on the grounds for eviction, the landlord must serve the tenant with the legally required notice, such as a 5-day notice for non-payment of rent or a 10-day notice for lease violations.

3. Wait for the Notice Period to Expire

After serving the notice, the landlord must allow the specified time to elapse, giving the tenant a chance to remedy the issue or vacate the property.

4. File an Eviction Lawsuit

If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit, known as a forcible entry and detainer action, in a local court.

5. Court Hearing and Judgment

A court hearing is scheduled where both parties can present their case. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment for eviction will be issued.

6. Enforcement of the Eviction

The final step is the enforcement of the eviction, typically carried out by a sheriff or law enforcement officer. The landlord cannot personally remove the tenant from the property.

7. Handling Tenant’s Belongings

Illinois law may have specific provisions on how to handle a tenant's belongings left behind after an eviction. Landlords should be cautious and follow these rules to avoid legal issues.

Each step in the eviction process in Illinois must be meticulously followed to ensure the eviction is legal and valid. For landlords, strict adherence to legal procedures is essential. For tenants, understanding this process can help them navigate their rights and options at each stage of the eviction.

Costs Associated with Eviction in Illinois

The eviction process can involve various expenses for both landlords and tenants. Being aware of these costs is important for effective financial planning and decision-making. Here are some of the key costs associated with the eviction process in Illinois:

For Landlords

Court Filing Fees

These are the fees required to file an eviction lawsuit in court. The amount can vary based on the county and the specific details of the case.

Attorney Fees

If a landlord chooses to hire an attorney for the eviction process, the costs can be significant, depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney's rates.

Lost Rental Income

During the eviction process, landlords may lose rental income, particularly if the tenant stops paying rent.

Property Maintenance and Repairs

After an eviction, landlords might incur costs for repairing any damages to the property and preparing it for the next tenant.

For Tenants

Tenants may incur costs if they choose to hire an attorney to defend against an eviction.

Moving and Relocation Expenses

If evicted, tenants will face costs associated with finding a new place to live, including moving expenses and potentially new security deposits and application fees.

Impact on Future Rentals

An eviction can affect a tenant’s rental history, potentially making it more challenging and expensive to rent in the future.

Cost Type Average Cost ($) Description
Court Filing Fees 150-300 Varies by county and complexity of the eviction case.
Attorney Fees 500-2500 Depending on case complexity and attorney rates.
Lost Rental Income Varies Depends on rental value and duration of the process.
Property Maintenance 100-2000 Costs for repairs and preparation for new tenants.

This table provides an overview of the average costs that might be incurred during the eviction process in Illinois, including court filing fees, attorney fees, lost rental income, and property maintenance costs. The costs are approximate and can vary based on specific circumstances.

Both landlords and tenants should consider these potential costs when navigating the eviction process. For landlords, it's crucial to assess whether the cost of eviction is worth the potential benefits. For tenants, understanding the financial and long-term implications of eviction is important.

Strategies to Mitigate Evictions

Reducing the likelihood of evictions is in the best interest of both landlords and tenants, as it promotes stability and can save both parties time and resources. Here are some strategies that can help mitigate evictions in Illinois:

For Landlords

Thorough Tenant Screening

Careful screening of potential tenants, including background and credit checks, can help identify individuals who are less likely to default on rent or violate lease terms.

Clear Lease Agreements

Drafting detailed and clear lease agreements ensures that tenants are fully aware of their responsibilities, which can reduce misunderstandings and potential lease violations.

Effective Communication

Maintaining open communication with tenants can help in resolving issues early, potentially avoiding the need for eviction.

Flexible Payment Options

Considering flexible payment arrangements for tenants facing temporary financial challenges can prevent evictions due to non-payment of rent.

Regular Property Maintenance

Keeping the property in good condition can prevent disputes over property conditions and contribute to a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

For Tenants

Understanding Lease Terms

Tenants should thoroughly understand their lease agreement and adhere to its terms to avoid potential grounds for eviction.

Prompt Communication

Tenants should communicate any issues or concerns with their landlord promptly, especially those that might lead to eviction.

Seeking Assistance

If facing financial difficulties, tenants should seek assistance early, through community resources, legal aid, or by negotiating with the landlord.

Respect for Property

Taking good care of the rental property and adhering to the lease terms can prevent evictions based on property damage or lease violations.

By employing these strategies, both landlords and tenants can work towards reducing the likelihood of evictions and maintaining a stable and respectful rental environment.

Landlord Responsibilities and Tenant Rights

A well-functioning rental relationship in Illinois is based on a clear understanding of the responsibilities of landlords and the rights of tenants. These legal obligations and entitlements are critical for ensuring a fair and safe housing environment.

Landlord Responsibilities


Landlords are responsible for providing a safe and habitable living environment, which includes necessary repairs and maintenance to keep the property in good condition.

Respect for Privacy

Landlords must respect tenants' privacy, adhering to laws that require proper notice before entering a tenant’s dwelling, except in emergencies.

Lease Adherence

Landlords must comply with the terms of the lease agreement and adhere to all relevant state laws in their dealings with tenants.


Landlords are obligated to follow fair housing laws, which prohibit discrimination against tenants based on race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, and other protected classes.

Security Deposit Management

Landlords must handle security deposits in accordance with state laws, including returning them within the stipulated time frame after the tenancy ends, minus any legitimate deductions.

Tenant Rights

Right to a Habitable Environment: Tenants have the right to live in a safe, sanitary, and habitable property, as defined by state and local housing codes.

Privacy Rights

Tenants are entitled to reasonable privacy, with landlords required to provide notice before entering the rented premises, except in emergency situations.

Lease Protections

Tenants are protected by their lease and state laws, including the right to a fair eviction process and protection from unlawful rental practices.

Protection Against Discrimination

Tenants have the right to equal treatment in housing matters and protection from discrimination.

Security Deposit Return

Tenants have the right to have their security deposit returned in a timely manner, less any deductions for damages or unpaid rent that are accounted for in accordance with state laws.

Understanding these responsibilities and rights is vital for landlords and tenants in Illinois to ensure a legally compliant and mutually respectful rental relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to evict a tenant in Illinois?

The eviction process in Illinois can vary in length, often taking several weeks to a few months, depending on the reason for eviction, court schedules, and any legal defenses presented by the tenant.

How do I delay an eviction in Illinois?

To delay an eviction in Illinois, a tenant can request a continuance in court, challenge the eviction on legal grounds, or negotiate with the landlord. However, these methods depend on the specific circumstances and are not guaranteed to delay eviction.

How long does a landlord have to give you to move out in Illinois?

The notice period in Illinois depends on the reason for eviction; it's typically 5 days for non-payment of rent, 10 days for lease violations, and 30 days for month-to-month lease terminations.

Can a landlord give you a 5-day eviction notice in Illinois?

Yes, a landlord can issue a 5-day eviction notice in Illinois for non-payment of rent, allowing the tenant five days to pay the rent in full or face eviction proceedings.

Do I have 30 days to move after an eviction in Illinois?

If you receive a 30-day notice for a month-to-month lease termination, you have 30 days to move out. However, if evicted through court proceedings, the actual move-out time may be shorter, as determined by the court.

How long do evictions stay on your record in Illinois?

Eviction records can stay on your credit report for up to seven years in Illinois. The record of the court judgment (if one is made) typically remains for seven years from the filing date.

Need Help With The Illinois Eviction Process? Eviction Services Are Available

Between the day-to-day demands of property management and time associated with eviction suits, Hemlane can help. We offload things like rent collection, legal notices, and retaining counsel.

Receive the rent you’re owed while minimizing costly court fees. Explore our eviction services and on-demand delinquency management today.

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