Illinois Tenant Eviction Process for Tenant Not Paying On Time

Eviction for nonpayment of rentIn 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!


4 thoughts on “Illinois Tenant Eviction Process for Tenant Not Paying On Time”

  1. My tenant stopped paying rent because he said my house is in foreclosure. I’ve been working with my bank on a loan modification and I was offered monthly payments from my mortgage company. If I’m unable to pay these payment I will lose my home. I delivered the five day notice and filed eviction papers at District 5 in Cook County. My tenant has not been served by the Sheriff and my court date is Jan 23rd. I live out of town and have to fly in for my court date. Is it possible to have someone appear in my place until they serve my tenant?

    • Kathy, its not hard to see how trying this situation is. An attorney can always appear in court on behalf of a client. In addition, if there is no service, sometimes process servers have attorneys who work with them who can appear for you to have a process server appointed and an alias summons to issue.

      As you may know from reading our blog, we don’t get involved in cases once they have been filed (it is just our firm’s policy). There are many attorneys who will though. While we are not able to assist you, I advise that you consult with a landlord’s attorney as soon as possible.

  2. I hope I am near the end of a process to evict a tenant in a property I own in the City of Chicago. I have received an order of possession from the court. The tenant has remained in the unit past the date the judgement was stayed. I have filed with the Sheriff to evict and have received a letter from the Sheriff indicating they will evict the tenant soon.

    I have received conflicting information on whether I need to provide the tenant access to the building following their eviction by the sheriff to retrieve their property, and whether I need to hold on to their property for a certain period of time to allow them to retrieve it. I would like to know the law in the City of Chicago.

    • The rule of thumb is for tenants to remove their property within 24 hours. After that, a landlord can move the property to the curb. Certainly, a landlord does not want to be exposed to a claim that they stole property from a tenant or that the tenant had property that was of such value that a bailment was created, so landlords need to act carefully and consult with their attorney on the facts specific to their situation.

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