In Illinois, every forcible entry and detainer case or “eviction” must have a lawful basis from which to start. One of the main reasons for which a landlord has a right to terminate a tenancy and to evict a tenant is for the tenant’s non-payment of rent. When a tenant who holds possession pursuant to an oral or written lease is not current in the payment of all rent due, the landlord can serve a “Demand for Rent” pursuant to Section 735 ILCS 5/9-209 which reads in part:
A landlord or his or her agent may, any time after rent is due, demand payment thereof and notify the tenant, in writing, that unless payment is made within a time mentioned in such notice, not less than 5 days after service thereof, the lease will be terminated. If the tenant does not within the time mentioned in such notice, pay the rent due, the landlord may consider the lease ended, and sue for the possession under the statute in relation to forcible entry and detainer, or maintain ejectment without further notice or demand.
Basically, this means that a landlord has a right to serve a notice on the tenant demanding that the tenant bring the rent due current. If the tenant does not make payment in full within the time provided in the notice, the landlord can initiate an eviction procedure in the circuit court. If the tenant offers the correct amount of rent due during the notice period, the landlord must accept it.
Normally, the notice required is a proper “5 day notice“. Many leases will change the notice time, so it is important to always consult the lease to determine the length of time a tenant has to pay and to adjust the notice provided accordingly. In Chicago, if a landlord accepts any rent after the expiration of the five day notice, the notice will be invalid and the landlord will have to start the process over.
After the service of the five day notice is made, if the tenant does not make payment in full, the landlord will have the right to initiate a lawsuit. If you need help with the drafting of a notice for nonpayment of rent or with the eviction process, please contact us or give us a call at 773-399-1122 to see if we are a match for an engagement to represent you!