As a landlord, when can I evict my tenant?

The first step to the eviction process is to prepare the appropriate eviction notice and serve it upon the tenant. Depending upon the reason for the eviction, the notice may be for 5, 10, or 30 days.


Do I need to give notice before I evict my tenant?

Yes. There are different types of eviction notices that the landlord must serve the tenant depending on the circumstances in each case.

Five-Day Notice: If your tenant fails to pay the rent on time, you can serve the tenant a five-day written notice. The tenant can pay the rent owed within the next five days and stop you from evicting them. If the tenant does not pay the rent within those five days, you may proceed to evict the tenant. Note that some local laws may require more than a five-day notice for nonpayment of rent.

Ten-Day Notice: If your tenant violates any terms of the lease, except for payment of rent, you can serve the tenant a ten-day written notice. The notice must have the terms violated and the dates on which the violation occurred. Under Illinois state law, your tenant does not have a right to cure the violation.

Thirty-Day Notice: If the lease is a month-to-month lease, you can terminated it by serving a 30-day notice to your tenant without giving any reason. The last day of the 30-day notice period must be the last day of the lease period. Also the landlord must serve the tenant written notice 30 days prior to the termination of a one year lease. Otherwise, the tenant may remain for an additional 60 days on the same terms.


What should the notice say?

  • Describe the premises well enough so that it can be identified;
  • If it is a five-day notice, have the amount of rent due and to whom the amount should be paid;
  • If it is a ten-day notice or thirty-day, have the terms of the lease that have been violated;
  • Say that the tenancy will come to an end at the end of the notice period;
  • Be signed by the landlord.


How do I give my tenant the notice of eviction?

  • Serve the notice personally on your tenant; or
  • Serve the notice on someone at your tenant’s home who is at least 13 years old; or
  • Mail the notice to your tenant by certified or registered mail with a return receipt from the tenant.
  • You will need a copy of the notice and the affidavit of service when you file your lawsuit.


How do I file a lawsuit against my tenant?

You cannot evict a tenant without going to court and getting a court order to do so. You should go to the Circuit Clerk’s office and obtain an eviction complaint form and a summons form. Once you have filled out the forms, file them with the Court Clerk’s Office. After the forms are filed, take two copies of the summons and complaint to the Sheriff’s office (or private process).  There is a fee which you have to pay when filing the eviction complaint and a Sheriff’s fee.

If your tenant does not leave when the time set by the court is over, you can go to the Sheriff’s department and ask to have your tenant evicted. Only the Sheriff has the authority to evict the tenant; you as the landlord cannot do it on your own.