I’m an Illinois landlord with a difficult tenant. I’ve given the tenant the proper Illinois notice, but he still won’t leave. What next? What is the Illinois eviction process?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 13, 2020

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If you have already served the tenant with any one of the available Illinois termination notices (or if no notice is necessary in your particular circumstances) and the tenant still will not leave, you may begin a lawsuit by filing a summons and eviction complaint with the Court Clerk’s office in your county (a fee will be charged). You will then be required to take copies to the Sheriff’s office for service to the tenant (another fee will be charged). Depending on the county, the first court date may not be the trial. Instead, it may simply be an “appearance” where the tenant either accepts or denies your claim. If denied, then there will be a trial. At trial, after considering all the evidence brought both by you and the tenant, the judge will decide whom to grant possession of the property and what costs will be awarded. If the landlord wins, the judge will typically grant the tenant 14-21 days to move. If the tenant does not leave after the period granted by the court, you may go to the Sheriff and have the tenant evicted (a fee may apply). If at any time you think you are in over your head, you can always seek the advice and counsel of an Illinois evictions attorney.

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