How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant In Illinois?


How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant In Illinois

When you’re a landlord, you make an effort to try to find tenants that will be respectful towards your property and pay on time.

However, things don’t work out, even when you do your best to vet potential renters. Renters and landlords both have rights that need to be protected. That’s why Illinois has strict guidelines on how to legally evict a tenant in Illinois.

It can take a serious amount of time to evict a tenant in the state of Illinois. The shortest possible time it can take for an eviction to occur is a total of three weeks. However, the actual practice can take 10 weeks or more.

Knowing what to expect in terms of timeframe is important with an eviction, especially if you are worried about having to plan out repairs to your apartment. This guide will give you the information you need.

How Long Does It Take To Evict A Tenant In Illinois?

Tenant evictions usually take around 10 weeks to be fully enacted, but your specific timeframe can vary depending on a wide range of factors.

These include:

  • Tenant Defenses. If your tenant has ample evidence that leads a plausible defense for an eviction, your court date can last longer.
  • Notice Dates. Illinois law dictates that the notice to evict can be given within 10 days if the tenant breaches the contract. However, if the tenant isn’t at fault and has an annual lease, you may need to give them as long as six months.
  • Court Dates. Clogged courts can cause delays in evictions. There has been a serious backlog throughout most of Illinois’s courts as a result of current events.
  • Judgment Stays. If your tenant has been given judgment for possession, the official eviction process has finished. Though it’s possible to have an immediate judgment following a court date, most courts will give a two to three-week stay (freeze) before the tenant is forced out.

Can You Ask Your Tenant To Leave Without An Eviction Notice?

Absolutely. Most landlords never want to have to go through a legal process if they can avoid it. The same can be said for tenants, since they know that an eviction record can cause serious difficulties in finding a new tenancy.

If you want to approach your tenant and ask them to leave, by all means do. However, it’s important to note that you cannot try to force them out by changing their locks, throwing out their goods, or making the apartment inhospitable. This is considered to be an illegal eviction and is punishable by law.

What Are The Fastest Ways To Get The Tenant Evicted?

The first and most important step to the eviction process is terminating the tenancy. This is called giving them a notice of eviction, and it often is one of the more substantial parts of the eviction process in terms of timeframes.

Illinois is unique in the way they handle evictions, primarily because fault and cause for eviction play heavily into the timeframes that a notice for eviction can happen.

There are four main notice timeframes in Illinois law, all based on the cause:

  • The longest eviction processes are reserved for tenants that have annual contracts that are not at fault for the eviction. The minimum notice for eviction period that landlords need to do is 60 days, however it can take up to six months in some cases.
  • Tenants that are on a month-to-month rental basis can be given a minimum of 30 days, assuming they’re not at fault. Some courts may ask for a slightly longer time, depending on local laws. Week-to-week renters are given only seven days’ warning time.
  • Tenants who are found guilty of a contract breach are given 10 days’ notice. A contract breach (such as subletting in a no-subletting apartment) is deemed valid reason to shorten notice to 10 days.
  • Failure to pay rent is a five-day notice. Did your tenant bail on paying rent? If so, then you are allowed to give them a five-day notice.

Special Eviction Cases: Timeframes For Notices

Though the “main four” constitute the majority of Illinois evictions, there are some special cases that can also lead to expedited or unique timeframes. These include

  • Illegal Activity. If illegal activity or illegal drug use occurred at the apartment, then police will most likely be involved. Apartment owners have the right to evict people after seven days’ of given notice.
  • If there’s no lease showing the relationship between the squatter and the landlord, it may be hard to get an official eviction underway. Since this is an extreme and rare circumstance, eviction lawyers are usually involved and it can be difficult to get a timeframe on courts.
  • At-Will Tenancy. If you are doing a day-to-day tenancy, then you don’t have a set timeframe that you need to abide by. As long as you give them written notice, you can move forward with the eviction.

Does The Notice Mean That Your Tenant Is Evicted?

Not quite. Issuing out the notice means that you’ve given your tenant time to find a new apartment. If they choose to continue to stay there after the notice expires, you are given the green light to start the eviction process.

From there, you will have to file a complaint and schedule a court date. If the eviction is granted, a writ of execution is posted and the property is returned to the landlord.

How Long Does A Court Hearing Take?

Illinois has been suffering from a backlog of court dates, so it can take anywhere from three to four weeks to get a hearing. From there, you will have to explain your case to the judge, who will issue a judgment.

If tenants disagree with the decision, they have the right to ask the judge to vacate the default judgment. They’re given 30 days from the hearing’s date to file this appeal. If the judge still stays by the initial decision, then residents will be legally forced out.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done To Speed Up An Eviction?

Unfortunately, there isn’t. Eviction processes have to be followed to the letter, and the courts are already stressed as they are. There are no special appeals to speed up the eviction process, so acting as soon as you can is the best tactic you should attempt.

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most landlords are able to get bad tenants to leave faster by simply asking them to go. Using tact and offering to give them more time than a notice would allow usually works in simple situations.

Our Final Take

Eviction is never a speedy issue, primarily because this legal proceeding can put peoples’ shelter security in danger. In Illinois, a legal eviction process usually takes about 10 weeks to fully enforce—but it can take as long as six months in some cases.

If you want to shorten your tenant’s move-out date, the best way to do so is to ask them if they’d leave. In many situations, tenants will agree to do so in order to avoid an eviction on their records.

Isaac Atia

I am a home improvement enthusiast who enjoys sharing my tips and latest projects with other homeowners. When not working on the house, I enjoy playing soccer, hiking, traveling, and retail therapy!

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