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Evictions in Illinois: Understanding Illinois Eviction Laws

System - Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Property Management Blog

Did you know that 77% of people in the United States prefer to rent instead of buying a home? If you own a rental property, you have a pool of potential prospects to choose from.

What happens if you choose the wrong tenant who ends up violating the rental agreement terms? You can get rid of them through a legal evictions process.

Keep reading to learn about evictions in Illinois.

Understand Legal Grounds for Eviction

Illegal evictions can get you in a lot of trouble and likely ends in an expensive lawsuit. In Illinois, there are legal grounds for eviction that landlords can use as reasons to start the eviction process.

The most common reasons to evict someone are:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Lease/rental agreement violation
  • Illegal activity on the property
  • Rental property foreclosure
  • Purposeful property damage

If you have proof of a bad tenant doing any of these actions, you can begin the eviction process.

File a Complaint

The process to evict officially begins with appropriate written notice. You have to give the tenant enough notice time before filing for eviction.

An eviction notice must detail the reason for eviction and how long the tenant has to respond.

After providing notice, you can file for eviction with the justice court that which the rental property belongs. You'll have to pay a fee to file your formal complaint.

Serve the Tenant

Eviction laws in Illinois state that documents have to be served at least 3 days before the hearing. A court official will deliver the summons along with the complaint to the tenant.

The different methods available that an official might use to deliver the summons are:

  • Personal service
  • Substituted service
  • Mailing
  • Posting

Personal service refers to giving the documents to the tenant in person while substituted service provides someone living with the tenant the documents as long as they are over the age of 13.

The landlord and the landlord's lawyer aren't legally allowed to serve these documents to the tenant in this step of the eviction process.

Asking for Possession

During the hearing, the landlord must provide evidence to back up their claim against the tenant. If the tenant fails to show up to the hearing, the landlord wins by default.

Evidence can include the following:

  • Copy of the lease
  • Rent receipts and ledgers
  • Witnesses
  • Bank statements
  • Physical documentation of the violations

Keep in mind that a reply from the tenant isn't necessary for a hearing date to be scheduled in Illinois.

Gaining Possession

If you win your tenant eviction case, a Writ of Execution is issued within a few days. This gives the tenant up to two weeks to vacate the property depending on the type of eviction.

If you evict a tenant for illegal activity, they only have 7 days to vacate the property.

When a tenant refuses to leave, a landlord cannot forcibly remove them. Only the sheriff or another authority figure can remove the tenant by force.

Evictions in Illinois: Knowing the Laws to Stay Compliant

Dealing with a bad tenant is never an easy thing. However, to legally evict them and stay compliant with the law, you need to follow the above evictions process.

Landlords should stay up to date on changes made in eviction policies in the state of Illinois. Doing this is easier with the help of a property management company.

Contact us today to see what we can do for you.