If you are being evicted in the state of Illinois, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Illinois can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Illinois and how long each step will take.
Before your landlord can move forward with the eviction process in Illinois, he or she must give you proper notice. An eviction notice in the state of Illinois must be served to you and tell you the reason that you are being evicted, as well as any possible way that you might be able to remedy the situation and continue living in your residence.
If you have failed to pay rent on time, your landlord will give you a five-day notice that specifies the amount of late rent. If you pay the rent within the five day period, the eviction process in Illinois stops immediately.
If you have breached your lease, your landlord may evict you only after giving you a ten-day notice that specifies the breach and gives you an opportunity to correct it if possible. For instance, if you are keeping an unauthorized pet, you may have to pay a pet deposit or re-home your pet within 10 days to avoid the landlord initiating the eviction process in Illinois courts.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not respond to your landlord's eviction notice within the specified amount of time, your landlord will file a complaint and summons with the district courthouse. The sheriff will serve you with a copy of the complaint and summons, which include a hearing date for your eviction hearing and a reason for the eviction.
You are not required to appear at the hearing, but if you fail to appear, the judge will enter a default judgment in favor of your landlord. You may be able to fight eviction by showing that your landlord has breached your lease agreement, but you should check with a landlord/tenant lawyer with experience with the eviction process in Illinois.
Order of Eviction
If you fail to appear in court on your hearing date, or if you lose at trial, the next step in the eviction process in Illinois is for the court to issue an order of eviction. After this order has been issued, you will have a set amount of time (usually around two weeks) to vacate the premises or be forcibly removed by the county sheriff. This notice will be posted on your property.
Your landlord may not forcibly evict you personally, but must use the sheriff instead so that legal procedures are followed. Your landlord is not allowed to shut off your utilities, change your locks, threaten or harass you in order to force you to leave.
If you leave possessions behind while being evicted, your possessions will usually be put on the curb and considered abandoned. In some counties, like Cook County, the sheriff will require your landlord to store your property and allow you to retrieve it after paying storage fees.