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Eviction

This Dial-Law with information on eviction. It will describe eviction procedures and some of the tenant's defenses against them. All of the information applies to Illinois law only. If your property is not in Illinois, we suggest you contact the local county bar association where the property is located.

A landlord may seek to evict a tenant if the tenant fails to pay the rent when it is due, if the tenant fails to perform certain obligations in the lease, if the tenant's lease expires and the tenant does not move, or if there is a month-to-month lease and the landlord serves a 30-day notice terminating the tenancy. The law provides that if the tenant does not move voluntarily at the expiration or termination of a lease, the tenant can only be removed from the premises through a court-ordered eviction.

In the case of nonpayment of rent, the landlord may serve a written notice demanding payment of the amount due within five days. If the tenant pays within the five days, the landlord is required to accept the payment. If the tenant does not pay within the five days, the landlord may file a suit for eviction.

In the case of the tenant's failure to comply with material terms of the lease, the landlord may serve a written notice demanding compliance within a fixed period of time(usually ten days). If the tenant does not comply within the fixed period of time, the landlord may, as in the case of nonpayment of rent, file a suit for eviction.

At the trial of any eviction proceeding, the landlord must prove a valid claim and that the landlord has followed the proper procedures. In the case of nonpayment of rent, the landlord is required to prove that a certain amount is due, that the landlord served the required five-day notice on the tenant, and that the tenant did not pay within the five-day period.

The landlord may sue for eviction or for both eviction and the amount of rent due. The tenant, however, may be able to raise several defenses to postpone or block the eviction. For example, the tenant may prove that he or she did not receive a notice, or that the tenant offered to pay the rent within the five day period and the landlord refused to accept it, or that the landlord demanded more than was properly due. Also, substantial non-compliance on the part of the landlord with material provisions of the building code or material provisions of the lease are defenses available to the tenant.

If the landlord is successful in proving grounds for eviction, the judge will issue an order of eviction and usually allow the tenant a certain number of days to voluntarily vacate the premises. If the tenant fails to move within the time allowed by the court, the sheriff can forcibly evict the tenant and remove the tenant's belongings.