Notice of Termination of Tenancy: It is every landlord’s daunting task to evict their tenant but it is necessary. To start the eviction process, the landlord or his or her agent must serve a Notice of Termination of Tenancy.
In Illinois, there are several notices of termination of tenancy. The 5 Day Notice, is for nonpayment of rent. The 10 Day Notice, is for a breach of the lease agreement. The 30 Day Notice, is for nonrenewable or termination of the lease agreement. Each notice must contain the address of the Tenant, the correct spelling of the tenant (s) name and the reason for the notice. For this article, I will focus on the 5 Day Notice. The 5 Day Notice must contain specific language including “partial payment must be in writing”, “the lease will terminate not less than 5 Days from the date of service if the full amount of past due rent is not paid.” Check your local county rules because some counties require more than 5 Days for the tenant to pay. Be aware that 5 days does not necessarily mean five days. Sometimes holidays and weekends and may extend the timing of the notice. Types of Service: The notice must be served on the tenant by: (1) Personally serving the tenant, (2) Substitute service by leaving the notice with a person over the age of 13 years old, residing on or in the possession and sending a copy of the notice to the tenant by certified mail, (3) Certified mail, return receipt and (4) Posting. Posting is very tricky and I would strongly advise you to seek legal counsel prior to posting. The Eviction Lawsuit: Once the notice matures and the tenant has not paid the balance, you must file a complaint and summons with the court and pay the appropriate court fees. To properly start the lawsuit, you have to determine whether you are suing for past due rent and possession which is called a “Joint Action” lawsuit or just possession “Single Action” lawsuit. Service: Prior to your first court date, contact the Sheriff’s Office to determine whether your tenant was served. If so, you can inform the judge on your upcoming court date that you are ready to proceed to trial. The defendant, if present, may also ask for time to get legal counsel. The judge will probably grant a short continuance. If the defendant has been served and does not attend court, you can elect to proceed with trial. Have all your necessary documents to prove up your case, especially the 5 Day Notice. Have the 5 Day Notice notarized.If you determine that the tenant has not been served by the next court date asks the judge to appoint a special process server. You must hire a special process server to attempt to serve your tenant. Once served, you can proceed to trial at the next court date. Defendant Files a Jury Demand: If the defendant attends court and asks for a jury trial, the case will be transferred to a jury courtroom for another court date for case management intake. At the case management intake, you and the defendant will set a pre-trial, trial and discovery schedule. Discovery may include: Interrogatories, Request for Production and Request for Admissions. At this stage, you are strongly advised to seek an attorney.