Length of time for the Cook County Illinois eviction process

How long does it take to remove a tenant in a Cook County forcible entry and detainer case?

Landlord tenant disputes and evictions come in all shapes and sizes.  In the end, there are only two legal ways for a landlord to get possession of rental property back from a tenant: (1) turnover of actual possession by the tenant or (2) an eviction order from a judge (known as an order for possession) executed (aka enforced) by the county Sheriff.  If the tenant cannot be persuaded to turn over possession and the landlord has grounds for eviction, the landlord’s only remedy is to take the tenant to court.  So how long does the court process take?

Before I get to that, a bit of perspective first.  In my practice, I advocate that landlords use any and all methods available to avoid the eviction courts.  A forcible entry lawsuit is costly, it takes a good deal of time (sometimes lots of time) and the eviction system, as it is currently set up, does not, usually, do “justice” to any party.  No landlord leaves the eviction process anxious to do it again.  But sometimes a tenant gives a landlord no other option but to enforce the landlord’s rights in court.

After the landlord has determined the appropriate basis for the eviction, prepared and served the appropriate notice of termination of tenancy, and waited the appropriate time period without the tenant taking advantage of any right to cure a default, the landlord can begin the actual court process.  So what is that process and how long does that process take?

In Cook County, the process begins with the preparation and filing of a summons and complaint.  Where is the case filed?  All Cook County evictions in Chicago must be brought in the first district of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  For suburban Cook County evictions, a landlord has the option of bringing the action in the first district (downtown at the Daley Center) or at the local Cook County district courthouse (ie. Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Maywood, Markham) serving that particular suburban area.

When a case is filed, the court provides the plaintiff with a “return date”.  In the first district, this return date can be as soon as two weeks from the date the case is filed.  When a case is filed in the outlying districts, the first available return date is usually farther out (sometimes as many as 30 days, but this varies depending on the courthouse and their current caseload).

After the return date is established, the plaintiff has the circuit court issue a “summons” which is a legal document requiring the tenant to appear in court on the return date.  In Cook County, all eviction plaintiffs must allow the Cook County Sheriff to attempt to make service (in other words to deliver a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint to the tenant) on the tenant.  The Sheriff has until one week before the return date to deliver the paperwork to the tenant in order for there to be “proper” notice on the tenant.  In the event that the tenant is not successfully served (unfortunately, this is not uncommon), the case will not move forward on the return date.  Instead, the landlord will have to appear in court and obtain a new court date, have a new summons (known as an alias summons) issued, and attempt to have the tenant served again (this can be done by the Sheriff or the plaintiff can motion that the court appoint a private process server to help with service).  Until the tenant is served, the court has no “jurisdiction” over the matter and the case cannot proceed.

Once the tenant-defendant is finally served, the case will have an initial hearing on the return date listed in the summons.  What happens on that date really depends on the tenant.  Anything ranging from a continuance all the way to a trial in front of the judge can happen.  If the tenant does not appear and the landlord’s paperwork is in order, the court will issue an order for possession and possibly a money judgment against the tenant.  If the tenant appears and asks for time to get and attorney or to get paperwork in order, the court is likely to grant a continuance to satisfy that request.  Judges are fairly lenient with continuances the first time a case comes before them and they are likely to give the tenant the “benefit of the doubt” and time to put their case together.  These continuances are usually granted for one or two weeks.  If a tenant appears and is prepared to have a trial, a “bench trial” can take place right then and there in front of the judge.  At the end of the trial, the judge will make a ruling and a prevailing plaintiff will get an order for possession and possibly a money judgment.  A tenant also has the right to request and receive a jury trial.  In the first district, this procedure will result in the case being assigned to a new judge and the case being continued for one week where it will be heard before the jury trial judge and will proceed on a much different procedural timeline (this topic is beyond the scope of this post).

After the entry of a judgment against a defendant, a judge will impose a “stay” of eviction on the order for possession.  This is basically an amount of time during which the landlord will not be able to enforce the order for possession.  The stay period is usually at least one week, but, under certain circumstances, a tenant can be granted more time.  After the stay period expires, the process can proceed to the Sheriff’s office where the landlord can “place” the order for possession with the Sheriff to be executed (that is where the Sheriff goes to the property and removes the tenant).  At any given time, the Sheriff could be out as soon as three or four weeks and it is not unheard of in the history of the Sheriff’s department that it could take twelve or fifteen weeks.

In total, how long does a First District Cook County eviction process take?  From the time of filing, a landlord should expect, at a minimum, that the process will take about thirteen weeks.  It will rarely be better than that.  Every time the process server “misses” getting service on the defendant, a landlord will experience a minimum of an additional two week delay.  Every time the eviction court grants a tenant a continuance, the landlord will experience a minimum of an additional week delay.

So far, I have only discussed the best case scenario available to a landlord.  The process can take much longer and can get bogged down in much more procedure and delay.  If there are evidentiary problems that require additional witnesses, the court could require an additional continuance.  If the tenant files a formal answer, the court will likely provide the tenant with a few weeks time to prepare the answer.  If the parties engage in discovery or a jury trial, the case could add additional months of time (yes, months).

As a result, I advise all of my landlords to think long and hard about how long and hard the Cook County eviction process can be.  The system does not move tenants out overnight.  Many landlords get caught up in extreme frustration over the snail’s pace of the process.  They can’t believe that a tenant who does not pay rent can stay for free in a rental unit without someone from the government getting upset and coming over to throw the tenant out.  The reality is that the eviction process is not perfect.  The eviction process attempts to take each case as it comes and judges each tenant on his or her own merits.  Because of this, each tenant gets a certain benefit of the doubt in the process and this leads to delays.  Could the system be reformed?  To a degree, yes.  However, in an age where Sheriffs are lauded for ignoring a judge’s order to evict, I don’t think landlord favorable reform is coming (in fact, right now, proposed tenant favorable legislation far outweighs proposed landlord favorable legislation).

The real “trick” to navigating the system is to proceed promptly in a straightforward fashion.  The process must run its course.  With the assistance of an experienced attorney, a landlord can navigate the system in a smart and straightforward way.  An eviction lawyer can help a landlord set reasonable expectations about the eviction process and provide insight and counsel about the court procedure and help explore alternative options like settlement with a tenant.

If you are a tenant, please click here.  If you are a landlord facing the possibility of an eviction and need some guidance, give us a call (773-399-1122) or contact us and we can discuss how we might be able to help.

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218 Responses to Length of time for the Cook County Illinois eviction process

  1. armando lazario says:

    I dont have a reciept number and i was told -and read the Sheriffs Office wont give info. about a property without one; Is there anyway to decipher what address or town the evictions are being done? I see the Cook County website schedule but i cant decipher which districts are which?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The first number of the evictions being done on any particular day is the Sheriff’s district number. The second number will be specific to your case. In most cases, the Sheriff will mail the receipt that contains the district number and receipt number a few weeks after the order for possession is placed with the Sheriff and the fee is paid.

    • mary says:

      go to the cook county sheriff eviction schedule and the number (or part of it)is the last 3 numbers of your zip code, and with it you can see when they have scheduled to evict you.

  2. Ami says:

    My tenants were supposed to be out today. I have to go pay the fee now for physical removal. Are you saying it’ll be a few weeks before they actually remove them?

  3. Dan says:

    Hi Richard,

    I had a quick question for you, but first wanted to say I really appreciate these posts you have written about eviction cases. I stumbled across your posts while doing some research on the eviction process and at the same time realized that my friend’s brother is part of your law firm (Ciprian).

    I am in the middle of an eviction right now and have already had two court dates continued on count of the tenant first asking for more time for an attorney, and two, to send the case to a jury. Based on what you wrote about jury trials, I might be a little bit worried, however I think my situation may be a little bit different.

    I filed a complaint for an order of possession, but am not asking for any money at this time. The tenant has not paid any rent for two months now, so is there anything I should be worried about at this point? I find it very difficult to believe he could approach a jury and ask that he remain in this apartment when he has not paid any rent for two months and I am not asking for any money from the complaint. What’s your take on this?

    Sorry for the long post, but this has been bothering me for some time now!

    Thank you!


    • Richard Magnone says:

      Dan, I obviously don’t have a full grasp of the facts of your case, but, unfortunately, a jury trial will take lots of time. The participants in the jury trial are also expected to understand and navigate the legal process of a jury trial (jury instructions, pre-trial briefs, etc.). At a minimum, you are in the middle of procedural complexity. Jury trials in Cook County take lots of time to get to trial. Could a tenant just use the jury demand to stall and delay? Yes. Could the defendant have other tricks up their sleeve? It is possible. Landlords covered by a municipal ordinance who are not in compliance (such as landlords governed by the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance) can find themselves the subject of a counterclaim. These can be costly and can result in further delay and complexity in the case. Are there things a landlord can do to combat a tenant with a jury demand? Sure – the landlord can bring a motion for use and occupancy, can engage in discovery to assist with trial, or can even file, if appropriate, a motion for summary judgment. None of those procedures, however, are easy to navigate without experience and an understanding of the process. Is a jury demand insurmountable? No, but it is never good news. In general, juries do not like landlords and tenants who understand the process enough to know to request a jury trial usually know “what they are doing”. You could be dealing with a professional tenant.

  4. Pete says:

    I’d like to ask about Foreclosure, if the auction sale is done, how long the tenants will have? Also, if the bank/new owner starts eviction process, how long will the tenants have? Do tenants have to be served or appear in court?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      There are a number of different laws – both State and Federal – that apply to and affect the tenant’s rights in a foreclosure. Generally, a tenant is entitled to some notice of proceedings and has certain other rights before a foreclosing bank can remove a tenant, but the rules are very fact specific (see the Federal Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act and the Illinois code at 735 ILCS 5/15-1701(h)(4) for examples of possible tenant protections). Look for a blog post on this issue shortly.

  5. Bernard says:

    Hello Mr. Magnone.
    I have a 21 year old son residing with me whose name is not on my lease. He refuses to leave and continually brings his friends over during the wee hours of the morning. It is a 1-bedroom apartment. We have discussed this and he is always combatant. I am a 59 y/0 man recently unemployed and although he works, he pay only $200 amonth out of a $800 a month rent (that does not incude the other household bills i.e. com ed, food, cable/internet/phone). I am about to lose my place and could save it with the help of friends but they refuse to help out with him here. How can I get him evicted? Thanks for your time.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      I can’t provide legal advice specific to your situation, but “roommate” evictions can be tricky business. If you want to discuss this matter further and the possibility of our firm representing you, please feel free to contact us at 773-399-1122. I will be doing a blog post on roommate evictions soon.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Hi my question is this. I tried to serve the tenant through the shriffe dept, but wasn’t successfull. Can I simply just mail the summons via the postal service?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Service of process must be effected in accordance with the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. A summons and complaint cannot be served via mail in an eviction. Commonly, a landlord will have an alias summons issue and try the Sheriff again or try a special process server after having one appointed. The law on this is particular and I can’t give you any specific legal advice for your situation. You should contact an attorney to represent you if you have questions.

  7. Brenda Myles says:

    7/6/11 at 9:42 p.m. Hello Attorney Magnone, I have a family of squatters living in my rental property in the Roseland Area of Chicago. They moved in 5/7/11, pd May rent and a one mo. security. She paid late on June 14 with a bad check written on a closed account per my banker that bounced and messed up my bank acct. plus my finances. She came up with $1,000.00 cash for June, but has a balance of $500.00 plus fees. I went to get my money and to serve a 5 day Notice on her 6/24/11 and I was verbally assaulted and threatened by this tenant and her momma, both “Big Girls” They were both arrested and I have a court date 7/28/11. I served her with a 5 day notice today for the June balance and July rents. What can I expect?? Can you help me?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Brenda, the comments section of this blog is not the best place to discuss these issues! Give us a call to see if we can help. I will say here, however, that tenants who were allowed into a property on an oral or written lease and who paid some rent but have now fallen behind are NOT squatters! When tenants fail to pay rent, they need to be served with an appropriate notice to pay rent or quit (usually a five day notice) and, barring the mutual agreement of the parties, must be evicted. I won’t lie about it – the eviction process is not quick, it is not cheap, and it is not easy. Not for real world landlords who have bills to pay and properties to manage. You can expect a highly technical process that is time consuming and sometimes tedious. We guide landlords through this process regularly. Please give us a call and we can discuss the services we can offer and see if we are a match for an engagement.

  8. Mike says:

    Hi my tenants were supposed to be out by july 19 if i go file the order if posession today how long before the sheriff can remove them?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Mike, there is really no way to know. Based upon my current experience, the Sheriff is running anywhere from 8-12 weeks to come out. Every situation is different and I believe part of it depends on the volume of other evictions in your Sheriff’s district.

  9. Mike says:

    Thank u for responding i live in the bridgeport area any way to know what the timeframe is for that area?

  10. Mike says:

    How do u find out what sheriff division i live in?

  11. Rebecca says:

    Hello I have a question. My lease was up in August 2, 2011. My landlord has not mentioned anything about renewing the lease. I have been behind on my rent several times. No late fees or any type of verbal warnings for my being late has been given to me. He simply tells me it is okay to just give him what I can afford. This past Firday the 9th I gave him $600. He said my balance was $2500 and that would bring it to $1900 I still owe him.. I told him I would pay $400 the following week and in two weeks give him another $800 and he accepted the $600 but he said he could not provide a rent receipt becuase he forgot to bring them with him. Well this Monday the 12th I receive a call from him complaining that someone broke into the washing machine and dryer downstairs and asked if we had knowledge of the damage or if it was us who damaged the coin operated machines. We are not the only tenants in the building. There are three tenants in the building total. When I told him no, he said he wanted to give us a five day notice to evict premises because of damaged coin operated machines and past due rent. DO we have to vacate in five days? I have a family of four children and two adults. What are my rights?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      We are a firm that represents landlords in eviction cases. We sometimes help tenants with respect to security deposit cases under the CRLTO. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to enter into an attorney client relationship with you or provide you with any legal advice.

      I can speak generally about landlords and five day notices. When rent is due, a landlord has a right to serve a five day notice (assuming the notice time is not changed or waived depending on the lease and local law). Absent some valid argument that there was some agreement to extend in return for partial payment or some waiver (such as in a CRLTO covered tenancy), a landlord can proceed with an eviction.

      The above is not an application of the law to your specific facts. You need to find a tenant’s side attorney. There are many really good ones who handle Illinois eviction defense. One of them can help you learn your rights.

  12. Christy says:

    I am in the process of evicting a tenant that is 6 months behind in rent. As their lease is ending at the same time as they are supposed to be evicted, I’m not as worried about getting the tenant out of the place as I am about recovering the rent.

    If I get a judgement from the court for the money owed, does that offer any kind of guarantee that they will actually pay?



    • Richard Magnone says:

      A money judgment from an eviction is just that – a judgment. The court makes an order that says a defendant owes money to a plaintiff. After obtaining a judgment, a plaintiff must take further steps to “enforce” or collect upon the money judgment. There are a number of procedures that could be employed to do this: wage garnishment, non-wage garnishment, or a citation to discover assets are all possible means of collecting. Judgment debtors (the defendant against whom the judgment is against) do have certain rights and there are certain assets and/or amounts of assets that are protected from collection actions. This topic (Illinois collection law) is beyond the scope of our eviction blog and any plaintiff with a judgement should consult with an attorney on collection issues. The hardest part about collection issues is that sometimes a tenant/defendant is just not “collectible”. That is, the tenant may have no assets to actually collect.

      I can’t comment on the specific facts of your case as we do not have an attorney client relationship, so none of the above constitutes legal advice. I do wish you luck.

  13. tony says:

    hi,i realize you are a plaintiff/landlord atty.but i have a unique problem.i bought a house on land contract from a seller wh o did not tell me house was in foreclosure.for that matter already sold at sherrifs sale.for the past year or so i have been fighting bank of new york concerning the order of posession that was granted by a cook county judge in june 2011.the sheriff came out to evict my family but i had file a b.k. already.the left the residence and we this have posession.my question is how can i continue to fight to keep and stay in our home?and also we have an adult son home from school that we rent a room to.we have a lease with him.it is my understanding that the sheriff will also have to serve him upon finding out there is someone else in the home not named in the eviction case.there was no judgement made against me.the service just noted my name and any unknown occupants.so should my lease with my son be before or after we were served with eviction papers?lot more to story but please respond best you can with info tendered.thanks for your answer.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Tony, your question is well beyond the scope of what we can help with. You have a serious issue that requires the assistance of an attorney who can handle the forcible entry aspect of your case as well as the mortgage foreclosure aspect. You need this immediately. Don’t hesitate. Get help from an attorney who practices in those areas.

  14. Lynn says:

    I would like to add to some of the postings on how long it takes for sherrif to come out.. Well it took two weeks for us and I live in chicago, Il.. Cook county is Not 10 – 12 weeks behind…

  15. Michelle McDougall says:

    Do landlords have to serve the 30 day notice to the tenant in person, or can they just leave it on thier door, send it in the mail, etc?

    Also, I heard a rumor that Cook County does not eveict in the winter months (after Oct. 1st). Is this accurate?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Good questions. First, as I posted a few months back, when it comes to service, the case Figuero v.. Deacon indicates landlords must follow the statute. Personal service or certified mail return receipt requested (and received by the tenant who signs the green card) are proper when a tenant is in possession. Posting is only available when a tenant is not in possession (this does not mean when the tenant is not home – it means when the tenant is not living in the property). Because of the negative consequences and risk of a wrongful eviction suit, landlords should tread lightly – with the advice of legal counsel – before proceeding on a posting.

      As for the winter months, the Sheriff of Cook County has certain rules that go into place in the winter months that slow the eviction process. They do not evict during the days around Christmas and the New Year. They do not evict when the weather is inclement. They do, however, evict when they can. Thus, the waiting list for an eviction can and sometimes does get backed up in the winter months.

      • Carol says:

        Question my eviction for my house goes to court on the 1st of April, do I have 30 days to vacate automatically or do I need to file an appeal with the court. I live in Cook county Il

        • Richard Magnone says:

          We do not represent tenants. I cannot assist you with this. Evictions are a very serious matter. Contact a tenant’s rights attorney at once to learn and protect your rights.

  16. April R says:

    Have a question (of course!). I am the agent of the landlord and have put into place a verbal lease with a tenant. There were certain provisions of this verbal lease including rent, signing of a written lease and a deposit. The tenant has not fulfilled any of these provisions. I have served a 5 day notice. Since they never paid or have anything in writing will there be issues with having them removed?

  17. April R says:

    Sorry left something out of the last post! There is also other people living in the property that we have no agreement with. If the leaser is evicted does the other people have to leave too?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      That’s a complex set of facts and because there is no written lease. I don’t have enough facts to comment directly on your situation, so I’ll speak generally. When there is no written lease, it is not difficult for a landlord or tenant to testify to different “lease terms”. If those terms do differ, it may come down to a judge making a call as to which party the judge believes. This can put a case or the pleadings or notices in jeopardy. Also, in general, when there are people occupying a property who are not know to a landlord, the landlord should name “unknown occupants” as a party to the lawsuit. Failing to do so can lead to a delay in eviction enforcement.

      April, specifically, you should consult with and engage an attorney to represent you and to properly advise you of your specific rights.

  18. Shanee says:

    My lease expired in April and I have been on a month to month rental agreement. In November my landlord signed a copy of a new agreement and put it under my door… Two week later I recieved a 5 day notice to pay 860.00. I went to get a frental assistance form for her to sign. That evening I recieved a 30 day notice to vacate the apartment. (Now the 30day notice was the next day after I recieved the 5 day notice.) I called her and left a message that I will pay the month of november and the month of december before my 5 day notice has expired. She then wrote a letter stating that she doesnt want my money that she want me to leave and she will not fill out the rental finacial assistance forms. Now she refusing to take my money and wants me to vacate on 12/31/2011. What can I do to keep my apartment? 2. Can she put me out my apartment or does a Sheriff has to remove me? Whats going to happen after the 30 day? And also she stating that im still on a month to month .. But I do have a copy of the new lease. Can she remove me personally from the apartment if it is a month to month lease?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Shanee, you have a complex problem that can’t be properly explored or answered via this blog. You need to consult with a tenant’s rights attorney as soon as possible to understand and protect your rights.

  19. Gerry says:

    Hi my name is Kim. My tenant is a little different, she pays her rent on time but she has another person (a man) who visits everyday and I think lives with her. She contacted me when her lease was up 9-2011 and I told her no because she has a man staying with her, she said that he does not live with her but I see himm everyday that I come over to the apartments. She was truly upset and we agreed that she can pay me for the days she stays so 10-12011 thru 10-15-2011 she paid 400.00. the rent is 800.00. on 10-25-2011 i asked for the balance she said on the 30th. i gave her a 5 day. on the 11-1-2011 she place the 400.00 for oct 2011 in deposit box. I did not get it but she has a copy of thee money order and reciept from currency exchange. I filed 11-1-2011. she offered nov. and a las i said no. Am i going to have a problem in court?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Certainly, any time there is a factual dispute, it can cause trouble in court. I can’t predict your outcome, I don’t have enough facts from your message to give any legal advice except to say that you should seek legal counsel. Unfortunately, once a case is filed, our firm has a policy of not jumping into cases.

  20. Peter says:

    My home was foreclosed in March. The bank bought it back (auction was cancelled because they hadn’t followed proper procedures) and it has been owned by FannieMae since May. They offered the “cash for keys” but I wasn’t able to move out in time to take advantage. A realtor comes by every week to check the “occupancy status” and leave a note on the door. Most times I am here and he just says hi to me, etc. and doesn’t leave the note. I have seen another man parked in front of the house on two occasions, writing something. I have not received anything from the sheriff. Is there any possibility that I will be evicted during the holidays? I’m packing, but would still like to try and enjoy the holidays with my children without worrying about being evicted.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Without knowing more about your specific case, I can’t comment on whether or not the Sheriff will evict you. At a minimum, I will say that it is a real possibility. You should consult with an attorney (quickly) on this issue.

  21. Peter says:

    I know I’ll be evicted at some point. I just don’t know how long it will be. Like, does the sheriff send you a letter first, giving you some specific amount of time, or the date that they will be coming? Is this a set amount of time, like to they give you 7 days or something like that? Also, is there a way to see what homes they have scheduled in a given month or week? Or do they really just surprise you?

  22. Tiffany says:

    How can a person determine their district and reciept number if they are scheduled for an eviction?

  23. Rosemia Boyd says:

    Been thur the eviction process with my tenant….They requested a motion to stay and it was granted. They now have to be out by Dec.21st. I heard form another tenant that they are not planning to move until the 23rd of Dec. I also know that in Illinois the sheriff’s don’t evict after a certain time this month. What are my options if they don;t moved when the stay is up?.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Any landlord with a stay that expires during the holiday eviction moratorium should certainly consider placing that order with the Sheriff for enforcement. As I understand it, the Sheriff loosely enforces evictions in order depending on geography (ie. by district). If other people are still getting in line for evictions and a landlord delays in getting in line, that line will be longer once the landlord does jump in.

      As I am not your attorney, I can’t advise you on what to do in your particular situation.

  24. Daisy and Peter says:

    I received an eviction notice 2day. I wasn’t home so the notice says I have a minimum of 7 days because they couldn’t determine occupancy. My daughter is 20 and lives here. She is not named. Can she apply, with the documents confirming her residency, that she has the right to occupy? This would delay or cancel the eviction. I really just want to get past the winter. I’ll be packed and ready to go by March.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Except in cases of security deposit recovery, our firm does not generally provide advice to or enter into engagements with tenants. You should contact one of the many excellent tenant’s rights attorneys in the city as soon as possible so as not to lose any of your rights. I wish you the best of luck.

  25. Richard Granger says:

    I have a question from the flip side.
    It is I whom is being evicted and am looking for some advice regarding counter claims against the property owner.
    I have been working on a building for 17 months and have been living in one of the vacant units during the remolding of the building.
    Now through a break down with the property owner, I have been given a 5 day notice claiming I owe $17,000.00 back rent.
    I have received only partial payment for the work I have done.
    Can I place a counter claim against the landlord / property owner for my back wages or do I have to file a separate suit and would your firm be interested in handling my case?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Richard, our firm does not handle tenant defense and you should consult with a tenant’s rights attorney to understand and protect the rights you have. I can’t consult with you or provide legal advice.

      I can speak generally about counterclaims in forcible entry cases. Section

      At 735 ILCS 5/9-106, the Forcible Act provides that “[n]o matters not germane to the distinctive purpose of the proceeding shall be introduced by joinder, counterclaim or otherwise.”

      This means that non-germane counterclaims are not allowed. However, there are many counterclaims that are allowed when they are related to the tenancy.

      It is important that you speak with a tenant’s attorney to assist you in this matter. Best of luck.

  26. Jajuan says:

    I was mailed an eviction letter it was dated on Jan.4th and i got it by mail on the 11th, it stated I have 24hrs to vacate the premises by the time of the dated letter and I was suppose to be out the apt by the 2nd per court order, so I needed more time to pack up and leave and plus it’s winter time so can I file a motion at the Daley center to get longer time in apt cause the weather??, and can the sheriffs come during below 50degree temp. To evict you??

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Jajuan, I don’t have enough facts to even begin to advise you and our firm does not represent tenants (except in certain special circumstances). You should speak with a tenant’s rights attorney at once to advise you of your rights and options.

  27. noneya says:

    can I take possession without the sheriff after the 7 day stay if the tenants have physically moved but still have stuff left in the property?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      I would advise against it. A landlord cannot re-take possession. There are only two ways to get possession of a property back to the landlord: 1) the Sheriff takes it back forcibly and 2) the tenant returns possession to the landlord. The transfer of possession by the tenant is a question of fact. A landlord should look for facts such as the tenant affirming that they are turning over possession, a tenant turning in keys, and a tenant removing all property.

      Too many times, a hasty landlord will re-take possession before a tenant is fully “out” of a property and the landlord can be subject to claims of wrongful eviction or illegal lockout. It stinks – I know, but the potential downside of taking back possession (especially after going through the time and expense of doing an eviction the right way through the court) is not worth the risk.

      I don’t know your particular facts, so I can’t give you any legal advice. Be sure to consult an attorney before acting.

  28. Crystal says:

    I currently live in a house that went into forclosure and was sold. I found a letter from a law office at the end of october that I had 90 days to vacate on my door ( I do not own the property I am a renter). Today someone came and gave me another letter from the same law office stating to vacate imidiately. My question is Am I suppose to get served by a sheriff? How do I find out if they have started the process for the eviction?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Crystal, there are many laws that affect the landlord tenant relationship when foreclosure is involved. There is a federal law (the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act), an Illinois law related directly to foreclosures and tenants, the general foreclosure law, the forcible entry statute, and general landlord tenant law. I would need to know many more facts to evaluate what notice must be served and when. There are some notices that must be served by the Sheriff or a process server and others that may be served by anyone, so it is hard to know from your question where you are in the process. You should consult with a tenant’s rights attorney immediately to assist you.

  29. shirley conners says:

    Hi, I have a question, I entered into a rent agreement with my landlord to give him $500 twice a month until i got caught up with past due rent… I defaulted on the agreement for 2 weeks but started back….the landlord has filed eviction proceedings against me but he is still collecting the money i’m sending him twice a month…..Will the judge still allow eviction and he is still collecting money?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Shirley, I am not your attorney, so I cannot answer your question directly.

      Your inquiry does raise an interesting question though. What happens when a landlord accepts payment after tendering a notice? The answer to that question may depend on the lease and the location of the property. My post from March, 2011 may shed some light on the topic.

      Shirley, I don’t know all of the facts of your case and you have not engaged me to represent you, so this is just general information and is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney before acting. Do this quickly to preserve your rights.

  30. Alex Fulford says:

    I went into a lease purchase agreement with a down payment of 5000 that would go towards the purchase. I have since found out that the property is not worth the amount that i agreed upon and a bank will not finance me for the amount. The seller does not want to drop the price. I feel that he took advantage because i didn’t know the steps i should have take. Now i lose my moey because if i can’t get a mortgage he keeps my earnest money. Am i just out of luck. i just found out that the womam who was there before had the same situation and lost her money as well.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Alex, without looking at your paperwork and discussing the facts with you, I can’t give you a complete answer. If you are interested in a consultation to discuss your situation, please feel free to give me a call and we can set up an appointment for a consultation and to see if we are a match for an engagement.

  31. Dulce says:

    Hi! my question is, I when to curt the 26th of January and set a date whit the lawyer that represented the company that now owns my house (it was set up to March 26) I had received a notice of 90 days to leave the properly on september of 2011. the lawyer said that I can stay there about two more months after the 26 of march because the sheriff takes a long time to come. How many times does the sheriff comes before he can have the right to take my things out of my house? I have a new born baby and my husband just found a job a week ago after been unemployed for almost a year.
    thanks for your time. God bless you.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Dulce, first, you have a very serious situation on your hands. Second, our firm does not represent tenants in evictions and we do not represent you in this matter. You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney to advise you at once.

      In general, once an order for possession is entered and the stay expires, after the order is placed with the Sheriff for execution, the Sheriff will come out ONE time and evict the tenant. There is no advance warning and while it sometimes takes the Sheriff a while to get out there, at any given time, it is impossible to know how soon that will be. (This is not legal advice, but just general information).

  32. joanna freslley says:

    Morning I have a question could the cook county sheiff come out and the winter if so how long is the procedure

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The Cook County sheriff does evict in the winter. The Sheriff’s office and the courts have a procedure where the Sheriff does not evict during a certain part of December and January (the moratorium period) and the Sheriff adheres to certain rules to suspend evictions in certain inclement weather. It is not correct to say that the Sheriff does not evict in the winter. You should consult with an attorney (this is not a consultation and we don’t represent you at this time) to find out your rights as they relate to your particular fact situation.

  33. Sophie says:

    I am currently living in a home owned by my uncle. He allowed me to live their after they moved out and told me not to pay him rent. I have lived there for 14 months. I recently found out that the mortgage has not been paid the entire time I have lived there. All his mail still comes to my address and a couple of months ago he was given paperwork that I recognized as foreclosure proceedings from a previous experience with my ex. But he simply said that he didn’t know what was going on yet. Then I found out he and his wife met with a bankruptcy lawyer and began proceedings to file for bankruptcy. To my knowledge the foreclosure was never completed. He has not heard back from the lawyer about the bankruptcy filing either (he started that Feb 7) . Does a foreclosure in process continue if a bankruptcy filing is entered as well? Or will the bankruptcy take over? I am not getting any answers from my family about how fast I should leave the home, or at what stage they are in with everything, and would prefer not to be blindsided by a 14 day or 30 day notice when I get home one of these days. I agreed to this arrangement with him so I could go to school and am working limited hours and cannot afford to move on the fly. Thank you!!

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Unfortunately, every situation is different. Without knowing more about the bankruptcy or the foreclosure, it is impossible to say what kind of time you have left. You should consult with a tenant’s rights attorney who might have some thoughts on how to proceed.

  34. Scott says:

    I am buying a foreclosure that is still occupied by the former owner. Once I close, can I give notice for them to vacate the premises or would you recommend going to the sheriff to start eviction?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The procedure related to a foreclosure eviction is highly fact specific. The answer will depend on what happened in the foreclosure case, whether the occupants are owners or renters, whether there is a lease, what kind of order was entered in the foreclosure case, and what kind of notice was given to the occupants. It is impossible from the facts you provided to give any sort of accurate answer.

  35. cXnX says:

    It’s notably charitable of you to provide this advice in response to general inquiries during what is presumably your free time. Cheers and a happy easter!

  36. p. norman says:

    Are defendants notified by the sheriff’s office prior to a forcible eviction? Is there a posting on the building? I have a tenant who will not leave – she’s waiting for the sheriff to contact her first. Is there a way for them to find out when the sheriff will arrive at their door days prior in advance?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Usually, the Sheriff sends a postcard to the property indicating that they will be out soon. Some people claim not to get them, but the Sheriff usually sends them.

  37. Jesse says:

    Hi, I was served a 10 day notice eviction letter by my landlord which is a big management residential complex owner. Happens to be that my neighboor below me (i am on the second floor) always complained to the office about disturbance and noise such as loud music according to him. I have been living in this unit and complex for almost 7 years now nad the office manager toldme there have Been 10 complains filed against me from this same neighboor below but no other neighboors filed any complaints ever ..I’m current with my rent and
    Do not owe any money. This neighboor who complained about me always has been living in there less years than me.
    Can I avoid going to court and getting evicted and stay at this unit for the rest of my lease ? Please any advice will be appreciated .

    me imo

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Speak with an attorney who handles tenant related landlord-tenant law matters. We represent landlords in eviction (we do a bit of security deposit recovery work under the CRLTO but little else on the tenant’s side). 10 day notice cases can be tricky because they usually involve the facts or, in actuality, the facts that can be proved to a judge. Act quickly.

  38. aida says:

    Hello I”m a tenant and i hope you would answer my question. My landlord filed an eviction back in febuary 2012 we went to court and it was in his favor. we came to an agreement and we paid him and continue on living there,well we didnt pay for the month of may but tried to make arranements with him but we couldnt come up with an agreement. Can he have a sheriff come and evict us or would he have to take us to court again and start the process all over? Please need help

  39. Derrick says:

    I have a question.

    My landlord is calling me every day asking for rent when she knew that I was in-between jobs. I have answered every phone call, returned every message. I am in no way avoiding her. I promised to get her money to her for June by the end of the month, now that I am working again. She verbally agreed that it was ok. Now she calls me and says her husband doesn’t want it by the end of the month and that he wants it by this weekend or they’ll start the eviction process. I don’t get it. I’m on my third lease with them. But because I was in-between jobs now I’m being harassed every day and being threatened when I have agreed to make due on my debt. Is there a time when the phone calls can be considered harassment and can she go back on her word like she did this past weekend on when I can pay it off? I feel like they’re being bullies!

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Derrick, evictions are always serious business and tenants, especially in Chicago, usually have many rights. I could not begin to go into all of those based on the facts you provided. Unfortunately, we do not defend tenants in eviction cases, so I can’t assist you here. You should, however, contact a tenant’s rights attorney at once to get some answers.

  40. Nikki says:


    I am currently going through the eviction process in Chicago. I received a judgement for possession but the tenants were given a 6/15 stay date. They have yet to move so I filed for a sheriff eviction. The same day that I filed, they filed a motion requesting more time. I haven’t been served or anything but I received a “courtesy” call from some agency letting me know that I have to go to court on 7/3. I asked her for the grounds of this motion and she said because he needs more time. I doubt that the sheriff will come before this court day, but if he does, will this motion stop him from doing the eviction? Do I need to be served?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Generally, once a motion is filed in an eviction case, the Sheriff will not come out to evict. Instead, the Sheriff will send a postcard indicating a motion has been filed to the plaintiff in the case. Once the motion is disposed of, the landlord must go back to the Sheriff with proof of disposition (usually a certified copy of the court order disposing of the motion) to be placed back in the Sheriff’s system.

    • p. norman says:

      I just went through this process. As I say in my blog named after my tenant from hell, a judgement is a diploma a landlord receives for surviving the initial stages of eviction. What your tenant is doing is delaying the eviction by sheriff date. The defendant can file any number of “orders” to… over turn the judgement… say that you overcharged them… within a 30 day period following a sheriff eviction order. During this time period, you’re not even on the roster for an eviction date if an order need be disposed. Your tenant may not even appear in court. In my case, they were on the 6th floor filing another motion while I was on the 14th floor waiting for the judge to dismiss the first one – we actually ended up in the same line: I was paying the court fees for motion #1 while she was paying to file motion # 2
      If your interested in reading my recommendations as a fellow victim of the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance, check out my blog: http:// treviankutti.com
      Take a proactive stance and call the sheriff for updates and call your alderman for support.

  41. ta says:

    hello im a tenant and went to court and judge gave me til july 11 2012 to be out my landlord showed up 2day and i told him my brother got hurt moving my stuff and i still had a few more loads but cant do anything as i am a mother of a 11 yr old and a 1 yr old grandson i cant move the rest without help or a truck my landlord said he would help me get my stuff out well that was nice of him but i still have no truck to get my stuff to where it is going so he(landlord) said he can call shieff’s and remove me asap i am afraid to leave my home and come home to my things outside what can i do as i ask him for few more days and he is refusing

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Evictions are always serious matters with important rights – like your right to remain in a property and to protect your possessions – at stake. Unfortunately, we do not defend tenants in eviction cases, so I can’t assist you here. You should, however, contact a tenant’s rights attorney at once to get some answers and to protect any rights you may have.

  42. Manifesto says:

    Hey Richard,

    I’m wondering what could provoke a “stay” of eviction. We have tenants who have been ordered out of the building by August 11. What circumstances exist that would cause them to be able to stay longer — notably, if they had utility issues and we didnt fix them (in a hurry), could they go to the judge and say, “hey, we have issues with our utilities…we wanna stay longer.”


    • Richard Magnone says:

      Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to anticipate what might cause a tenant to file a motion to extend a stay. It could be something as simple as “I need more time”.

  43. Jennifer says:

    I have a problem. My sister was incarcerated for 372 days. Once she was given probation, I allowed her to come and stay with me until she got on her feet, this was March of 2012. She moved out May 23, 2012 and asked July 20, 2012 could she move back in. I refused to let her come back to live. Her daughters spent the night at my home and my sister’s boyfriend dropped all of her clothes off in my front yard and my niece brought them into the house so that they wouldn’t be outside. Since my sister was on her way to my house to pick up her children she was to pack her clothes up properly and leave. My sister and I got into a huge argument that resulted in the police to be called. unbenounced to me, her probation was still at my address which establishes residency. Now I am forced to EVICT her from a property that she evacuated 2 months ago. What can I do?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      It can be argued that your sister had established a “tenancy”. You might argue that she moved out, but, because local police are usually hesitant to get involved in what they consider a “civil matter”, her previous tenancy seems to have backed them off. Likely, if the police won’t find her a trespasser, you will probably have to evict her. I don’t know all your facts, so this is not legal advice.

  44. GENE GRECO says:

    I have a tenant that hasn’t paid rent since march 1st 2012
    the judge ordered a order of possession for august 20, 2012 after i provided 5 day notice 30 day notice proof of service by barry savage special process server
    can the tenant file a motion after court order given and i am going to sheriff 8/20/2012
    I also am going to use your services for a property i rent . It has been way too much and i wish i had retained you for this case .Looking forward to your answer

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Tenants can file all sorts of motions after the order for possession is entered but before the Sheriff comes out to evict. Those motions, even if unsuccessful, can still delay things a bit.

  45. Diana Mallett says:

    I have a tenant to whom I filed a 5 day notice and still did not receive the rent. I filed the motion with the Court and they have already set a trial date. What is the procedure if the tenant does not make it to the trial hearing? Should I be worried about the tenant filing a motion after the judge has made a ruling during the trial call? What possible rights does this tenant have if they were to miss the court date? Finally, is there any way to determine if an appearance has been filed by the tenant?

    • Diana Mallett says:

      Am I also entitled to give the tenant back the security deposit if I asked for a monetary judgement in my complaint as well as possession of the unit? Or will the security deposit be used to offset the monetary judgement?

      • Richard Magnone says:

        Whether or not the landlord must give the tenant the deposit back depends on a number of factors. The amount of the deposit, the amount of the judgment, and the wording of the lease among them. Without seeing your lease or knowing more facts, I can specifically answer your question, but, In many cases, a landlord can apply a security deposit to a judgment for back rent.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      In an Illinois eviction trial, if a tenant fails to show up to court after being properly served and the landlord’s paperwork and proof is in order, a default order for possession will be entered. Tenants, like all litigants, even if they don’t come to court, have a right to file post-trial motions. If a tenant has filed an appearance in a case, it is possible that this filing might be reflected on the Court’s computers.

      As with all legal situations, I don’t know your specific facts and the above is general information only and not legal advice, so you should consult an attorney before acting.

  46. RAI says:

    I am waiting on the sheriff to remove the tenant and all unknown persons out of my property. How long do they have to remove their items out of the apartment and what is the procedure for removing their items if they do not? Am I responsible their things?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The procedures for residential and commercial evictions when it comes to the Sheriff’s enforcement of the order are now identical.

  47. getting fed up says:

    I filed my eviction on 8/13/2012, with a return date of 8/27. The “tenant” was not served by the sheriff, so I he tenant still hasn’t been served and I have the affidavit from the process server with his “progress”. What is next? He says he will try again after If I can get another return date, and I want to continue with this server. I really need this deadbeat off my property, so I was wondering if it is possible to have 2 process servers working for me to deliver the summons and complaint?
    Also, since I am working pro se, do I have to file the affidavit before my return date, or can I take it with me on 9/10?
    Thank you

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The rules for process service depend on your facts. In Cook County, the Sheriff must be used for service the first time up. If the Sheriff is unsuccessful, the Plaintiff can ask for a special process server to be appointed and an alias summons issued for a new return date. If the special process server fails to get service, a new alias can be issued or, depending on the extent of the landlord’s due diligence, a Sheriff’s posting may be allowed (although only in rem jurisdiction can be obtained).

      Since we have not been retained to assist you and because I don’t know all the facts of your case, I can’t provide you with any legal advice.

  48. Outoflucktenant says:

    I rented an apartment and after 6 months I found out the property was in foreclosure since 5/17/2011. I have been served to appear in court and I really don’t know what I’m suppose to do. I have a 12 month lease and have the last two months of rent that is due. Any help or direction as what is actually going to happen will help.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You have a very serious issue on your hands. Some municipalities, like Chicago, give you a right to break your lease if there is not proper notice (see CRLTO 5-12-095). I don’t, however, know about your facts and we don’t represent tenants in matters such as these. My best suggestion is to contact a tenant’s rights attorney or Mark Schwartz at Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing to get some legal advice as soon as possible.

  49. keila santana says:

    I just receive a summons for trial because I own 600 dollars of rent and 200 of deposits. What happens if I don’t show to court day on October 2? How long would it take for me to be evicted?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Keila, you need to get someone to represent you. Eviction matters are serious for tenants with money and possession of property at stake.

      I don’t know all of your facts and I have not seen your complaint, but in general, when a tenant fails to appear in court and the landlord’s paperwork is in order, then the landlord is usually granted an order for possession and possibly a money judgment. Once the stay of the order for possession expires, it is just a matter of time until the Sheriff comes out.

  50. getting fed up says:

    If a defendant has an attorney, can the process server serve the attorney the complaint and summons if the tenant is being elusive?

  51. Chicago Resident says:

    My tenant is living in my property for over 3-months now. He has paid rent on time so far but he is a very irritating tenant. Today we discovered that the bathroom drain is blocked because of a block caused by either cement or something of that sorts. We are slapped with a huge bill by plumber. Can we ask our tenant to pay this? If he denies, can we get an eviction?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You have an interesting situation. When a tenant is paying all of their rent on time, a landlord cannot evict the tenant unless there is some other material breach of the lease. One example would be if the tenant was doing damage to the rental property. A well drawn lease is going to make the tenant responsible for any damages caused by the tenant. Keep in mind that it can be extremely difficult to prove an accusation that a tenant did the damage (does the tenant admit to the damage? did they deny it? what is the plumber’s opinion? what did the tenant say?) A termination can be effected via 10 day notice in some circumstances.

      I don’t have nearly enough information to give you any legal advice specific to your situation (and, we have not been retained to represent you), so my best suggeestion for now is to contact an attorney to evaluate your situation.

  52. brittany brown says:

    i moved in my apartment april 2011. in dec. 2011 i been complaining about raining in my kitchen, they claim someone came out and fix it but still not fix. on 7-28-2012 my roof craved in i have pictures the hold is very big and landed on my kitchen table and broke it, and any day my ceiling in my bedroom is going to come thru too since they promised to fix now it oct still nothing, before all this i was behind on my rent a month in a half because i had surgery and was off from work, and at the beginning of the year file bankruptcy but im making payments every two weeks but now im thinking about not paying at all and save my money to move, i dont have a lease im on a month 2 month with 2 kids what should i do i dont want to be put out on the street.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Brittany, as you might know from reading our blog, we don’t represent tenants in eviction cases. However, we do take tenant’s rights seriously and the possession of your property or damage to your possessions are serious matters. You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney IMMEDIATELY to learn about and protect your rights.

  53. fed up says:

    Does a defense attorney have to file an appearance in a landlord-tenant case and pay an appearance fee? I have filed an eviction and the deadbeat tenant got a lawyer, and she stood in for her to ask for a jury trial. Now I find that she never filed an appearance as her attorney. Thanks

    • Richard Magnone says:

      They are supposed to file an appearance. There are times that a filing can be a “no fee” filing, but in either case, an attorney representing a tenant should file an appearance.

      • fed up says:

        Thank you. Also, can I ask for a use and occupancy motion at the status call for the jury trial?

        • Richard Magnone says:

          In Cook County, the jury trial judge will usually entertain a motion for use and occupancy if leave is requested to file such a motion.

          • fed up says:

            Thank you for your help Richard. I finally got my order for possession 10/19!! The stay is until 10/26.
            My question is if the “tenant” contacts me and tell me that they are turning over possession, do I still have to contact the sheriff to enforce the eviction if she surrenders the property to me or a representative?

            Thank you in advance once again!!

          • Richard Magnone says:

            The turnover of possession is a question of fact. If the tenant “turns over” possession (like by telling you the tenant has vacated via email or phone), you have a real good argument that the facts support possession being turned over without the need to contact the Sheriff. Every situation is different, so I can’t give a blanket answer.

          • fed up again says:

            Hi again,
            I went to file the eviction paperwork today with the sheriff. I got my order for possession on 10/19. The staywas for a week. So I go today and it se ems that a motion was filed on 10/26. No one can tell me what is content of the motion. I pulled my file and the motion wasnt there. On 10/19, the defendant nor her attorney bothered to show up. So what kind of motion could have been filed

          • Richard Magnone says:

            I don’t know. What I do know is that when a motion is filed, the Sheriff will not evict until the motion is disposed of. You need to find out the nature of the motion and need to go to court on that day. My best advice is to obtain the services of an attorney to help you and to let you know your rights. At our firm, we don’t jump into cases “in the middle”, so we can’t assist but I believe you should be able to find an attorney to help.

          • getting fed up says:

            Thank you again

          • Richard Magnone says:

            You are welcome

          • fed up says:

            Oh, p.s…

            After me making 7 appearances, “tenant” 1 appearance, “attorney” 1 appearance, requests for continuance, motioned for jury demand, etc..
            She, nor her “attorney” didn’t even show up at the status hearing, so my possession complaint and prayers were answered.

  54. Fedupwife says:

    I have a unique situation – I have two tenants that are not paying me. I am the director of the trust. I realized this summer that my husband was collecting partial rents a month in advance for the month’s rent. Since then, I have since had an attorney write a letter that tenants are to pay me as I am the lawful director of the trust and landlord – these two tenants are not paying me so I have served them with a 30 day notice of eviction plus they have not renewed their lease and it is expired.
    I will be going to court at the end of the week for the eviction. My big problem is I don’t know if they are paying partial rents to my husband still and if so, will they be allowed to stay on even without a lease. Also, then what will I have to do about my husband as he had agreed and told me he was not collecting rent. He has often lied to me. Thank you.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      That is a complex problem, no doubt. I don’t think I know enough facts (you may not either) to give you any meaningful direction. It sounds like you are already represented and my best advice is to discuss the matter with your attorney.

  55. Worried says:

    I signed a contract with the landlord from the department of family services clearly stating that the landlord was not supposed to take me to court until I receive a letter determining whether I would get rental assistance or not. I told the judge about it he still made a judgement and I received the letter one week after the judgement. It was decided but because of the contract should the landlord have waited?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      “Worried”, you need to get a tenant’s rights attorney to help you right away. We handle the landlord side of things here and you have a situation that requires quick action by a tenant’s attorney.

  56. Losing Landlord says:

    I have a building in foreclosure and I have a Judgement for Forclusure and Sale that has been issued. I have been given until 1/30/13 to redeem or there will be an auction. I have tennants who are behind in rent. There is no lease. I did not renew them because of the foreclosure. We since then had verbal rent agreements. I issued a 30 day notice via US mail (certified). Can I now file for eviction and posession? If I lose the property before the sherrif serves them what happens? How likely will a judge be in favor of me filing for eviction when I am in foreclosure? My amount for redemption on my property is 187,000 with around 75 days left to redeem.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The intersection of foreclosure and eviction law is a complex one and I don’t have nearly enough facts to give you any legal advice upon which you can rely. However, I can speak generally. Assuming that a foreclosure has not been “completed” and you remain the owner and a proper notice was served correctly, you have a right to proceed with an eviction. From your message, it sounds like there could be some confusing facts about the terms of the lease and I don’t have a good understanding of whether or not service was proper. However, once you no longer own the property (and it seems that this could happen during the pendency of the eviction case), you will not longer have the right to seek possession. You should most definitely consult with an attorney to know your full rights.

  57. dw says:

    Atty. Magnone,
    I enjoyed your article and all the comments….was wondering if you could answer a foreclosure question? My past condo was sold at auction to bank on 9/11/2012, the sale was approved by judge 10/15/2012, an order of possession was granted by judge on 10/15/2012 allowing a 30 day period before sheriff takes it….? I had a renter who stopped paying me last March 2012…she is squatting with no lease (as it expired 4-30-2012 and a non-renewal letter was sent to renter 3-20-2012) and is still occupying the condo. Will she be kicked out? I just dont want the squatting renter to play the system on some other landlord. The condo is in the Beverly area Chicago.
    Thanks for your reply and time.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      I’ll be a bit brief and general with these comments, as the issue of tenants and eviction is a broad one and I cannot do it justice in a comment reply. (Needless to say, this is not legal advice).

      People often suggest that tenants are “squatting” because there is an expired lease. Actually, even when a lease is expired, a tenant, even one who does not pay anymore, continues to maintain a tenancy and is not considered a squatter.

      Once a foreclosure sale is confirmed (subject, of course to any attempt to vacate the order within 30 days, etc.), the foreclosure buyer (usually the foreclosing bank) is the new owner.

      There are a number of state and federal laws that give tenants rights in a foreclosure. After all, a tenant should not be evicted just because the landlord who owned the building failed to meet their loan obligations, right? As a result, unless the bank took the steps required to name and serve the tenant in the eviction process, it is unlikely that the bank will seek to evict the tenant based on the order entered at a sale confirmation (this is heavily fact specific and to advise anyone on this, I would need to see the order entered in the foreclosure case and examine the notices served during the pendency of the foreclosure!).

      Instead, depending on whether the State law or Federal law applied, the tenant could have from 90 to 120 days after getting an appropriate notice (assuming the tenant meets certain requirements of the law) before being forced to vacate.

      Foreclosure evictions are a special animal and anyone with a situation involving a tenancy and foreclosure should seek the advice of legal counsel before acting.

  58. Bobby li says:

    Is. The. Sheriff department still 10 weeks behind as of Nov 2012

  59. Rod says:

    Hello I have a question I’ve been paying rent to a landlord for nine months but come to find out she doesn’t own the building. I was on a month to month lease. The new management has taken over but has taken over in August of this year . The property they said was in foreclosure since March of this year. What’s a rights do I have as a tenant as far as evictions.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      There are probably many rights you have. Your lease is a good place to start. Local law (like the Evanston or Chicago landlord tenant ordinances) may give you extra rights. In addition, tenants in Illinois have some protections with respect to foreclosure and federally, the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act gives tenants a number of rights. You should consult with an attorney that represents tenants to know and understand your rights.

  60. Nick says:

    Hi Richard! Thank you for all your help to us landlords.

    I own several houses in Chicago and would definitely want to hire you in my next eviction (hopefully, of course, that doesn’t happen that frequent).

    I have a tenant that did not show up in court. I had successfully received an order of possession and money judgment from the judge. However, within the period of stay, the tenant filed a motion requesting for “more time.” The tenant gave me a copy of the motion after I ordered the sheriff to evict them. I now have a subsequent court date for his request for more time.

    1. Can the judge overturn his previous order of possession?
    2. What basis can the judge grant “more time” to this tenant? Economic hardship should not be a basis right?
    3. How much time can the judge (usually) give the tenant?


    • Richard Magnone says:

      Nick, tenants can file all kinds of post-judgment motions after you get an order for possession. They can ask for an extension of the stay period, they can ask the judge for a reconsideration of the facts, or any other number of requests. Depending on the facts and circumstances, the judge may or may not find the motions valid, so, in some cases, a judge may overturn an order for possession. The Sheriff will not enforce any eviction until the motion is disposed of. I have seen situations where a judge grants more time and where a judge denies more time, although merely asking for more time creates a delay all by itself. I don’t know that a judge has any “limit” on how long they can give. Obviously, your situation will depend on your specific facts and you should consult with an attorney if you want some more specific thoughts on this.

  61. Losing Landlord says:

    I posted something 1-2 weeks ago but never got a reply???

    • Richard Magnone says:

      We try to reply to most of the messages posted on our blog. Sometimes we can’t. Sometimes the messages are not on topic. Sometimes the questions are too convoluted to handle in an email. Sometimes, the questions contain personal or other information that we don’t want to make public. We will be doing a series of posts on landlords and the foreclosure process soon.

  62. Renee says:

    I just went to court for a summon I got frommy landlord for back rent. It was a Civil court Summons in Cook County. I did with hold rent on legal advice. My landlord was not been paying there Association fees and I was serves a summons to appear in court. The land lord has signed possesion over to the Association next month. They are trying to get me out this month. I have not recieved any type of termination notice. Can they have be forcefully removed?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Renee, you have a bunch of issues going on there – a landlord who is not paying dues, a summons for back rent (I assume this is an eviction for nonpayment), withholding rent based on legal advice, and an association taking over control.

      Can you be forcefully removed? Maybe. I don’t have enough facts to know, but the end result of an eviction case is usually an order for possession against the tenant. You mentioned that you had received legal advice. As you may know, we don’t represent tenants in evictions, so we can’t help. However, you should contact an attorney who handles tenant-side evictions asap to preserve your rights! Good luck.

  63. Adrian says:

    Hi, Richard,
    I have an Order of Possession entered on 10/01/2012 with a stay until 10/30/2012. My question is: how long is a Order of Possession valid for? and how long do have to file a motion to extend it?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The law on eviction judgments can be found at 735 ILCS 5/9-117. I have attached it below. Because I don’t know all of your facts, I can’t provide a specific answer.

      (735 ILCS 5/9‑117) (from Ch. 110, par. 9‑117)
      Sec. 9‑117. Expiration of Judgment. No judgment for possession obtained in an action brought under this Article may be enforced more than 120 days after judgment is entered, unless upon motion by the plaintiff the court grants an extension of the period of enforcement of the judgment. Plaintiff’s notice of motion shall contain the following notice directed to the defendant:
      “Your landlord, (insert name), obtained an eviction judgment against you on (insert date), but the sheriff did not evict you within the 120 days that the landlord has to evict after a judgment in court. On the date stated in this notice, your landlord will be asking the court to allow the sheriff to evict you based on that judgment. You must attend the court hearing if you want the court to stop the landlord from having you evicted. To prevent the eviction, you must be able to prove that (1) the landlord and you made an agreement after the judgment (for instance, to pay up back rent or to comply with the lease) and you have lived up to the agreement; or (2) the reason the landlord brought the original eviction case has been resolved or forgiven, and the eviction the landlord now wants the court to grant is based on a new or different reason; or (3) that you have another legal or equitable reason why the court should not grant the landlord’s request for your eviction.”
      The court shall grant the motion for the extension of the judgment of possession unless the defendant establishes that the tenancy has been reinstated, that the breach upon which the judgment was issued has been cured or waived, that the plaintiff and defendant entered into a post‑judgment agreement whose terms the defendant has performed, or that other legal or equitable grounds exist that bar enforcement of the judgment. This Section does not apply to any action based upon a breach of a contract entered into on or after July 1, 1962, for the purchase of premises in which the court has entered a stay under Section 9‑110; nor shall this Section apply to any action to which the provisions of Section 9‑111 apply; nor shall this Section affect the rights of Boards of Managers under Section 9‑104.2.
      (Source: P.A. 96‑60, eff. 7‑23‑09.)

  64. Confused says:

    I was taken to court by my landlord and the judge granted my eviction twice because it stated i violated my lease agreement. yes the management did not take possession of the apartment. the first time and the judge granted it a second time because their lawyer claimed that it was the judges fault they could not obtain possession of the aparment. so granted them another 120 days to regain possession.The reason my lease was violated was because i had my kids on my lease which was low income housing and they attended school out of state. i didnt know that you cannot have your children on your lease, if they attend school in another city. i was told by the management office that i cannot let them be on my lease if i wasnt going to transfer them to a school where i lived.i ask to have them removed from my lease and the management told me very rudely it was to late and i was being evicted…and now im confused and not sure what happen. the sheriffs office mailed me papers to move out on 12/14/2012. I was told that the sheriffs office dont evict you if the weather is 35degrees or below and i want to know if that is true?. and how long do it take for them to come and set your possessions out?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Here is a link to our article about the general order from the Circuit Court of Cook County regarding evictions in the winter of 2012-13. As you may know from reading this blog, we don’t represent tenants in evictions. You should take an order for possession seriously and should consult with a tenant’s attorney about your rights.

  65. Maria says:

    I am a landlord who has a tenant that is 3 months behind on rent because she was arrested and put in jail for selling drugs to minors. Once she was out I served a 5 day notice on her. During her incarceration I was in contact with the police department whom stated that I could lose my building if she was not evicted immediately. I had informed the police of her suspected illegal activity 3 months before her arrest and they said that did not matter. I have a court date and in my complaint I stated that she was arrested for illegal acticity as well as behind on rent. Additionally, her roomate moved out when she was incarcirated and the police and I believe she has abandoned the property. I have a court date and because of the abandonement and her arrest can I speed up the process of getting possession of my unit or use an alternative procedure.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      It sounds like you are already in the middle of the court process. It is important to properly follow the procedure. There is no secret way to make the process go any faster. You should, however, consult with your attorney to keep things on track and to make sure you are proceeding correctly.

  66. Matt Lemmy says:

    If a judge grants a stay till December 31, how soon can I file the eviction order with the Sheriff? How much time do I have to file the order after the stay before the order becomes invalid?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      An order for possession in a tenant eviction (the rules can be a bit different for an order for possession issued in a foreclosure case) is valid to be enforced in Illinois for 120 days after the order is entered. (There is a procedure for extending the time for which an order is valid after 120 days). An eviction order may be placed with the Sheriff for enforcement on the first business day after the “stay period” expires.

  67. Ivan Henderson says:

    Cook county gave me an order for possession stayed until 12-31-2012. The tenant has not left, so I filed for Shriff’s eviction. Question: The tenant has a abandoned car in my garage. Can I have this car removed immediately after 12-31-2012 after posting a tow company sign on garage and property for 24hrs? Tenant refuses to remove car.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      No. The unit and any appurtenances must go through the eviction process. The eviction with respect to the garage is handled like any commercial eviction.

  68. Nikiya PRuitt says:

    My question is my notice of termination of tenancy is for “non-payment”. In the termination is states that I have 5 days to pay but there is not a date listed on my termination. In addition to this, It states that I have 10 days to discuss the termination with the owner. Do I have a case in court? I attempted to pay in full on the 16th of November believing that I had 10 days (my cure period) to do so, but they claimed I the only way they would take my payment is if I paid the rent, late fees, and attorneys fees.

    Please help to see if I have a case. I am planning to represent myself based off all the research I have found.


    • Richard Magnone says:

      I can’t assist with this one. I would need to see the notice and know more facts. Unfortunately, we usually only represent landlords in eviction cases.

  69. Anna says:

    Is the process for evicting a live-in-boyfriend similar to other evictions? There has never been a lease and he has never paid rent. Now that our 10 year relationship is over, he is refusing to leave. He’s lived in my house for 8 years.
    Am I correct to assume the lack of lease translates to a month to month tenancy?
    I own my home outright, there is no mortgage. Do I have to give him a written notice to vacate- a “30day Notice of Termination of Tenancy” before I can file for an eviction.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      In Illinois, the process for family member, roommate, and permitted occupant evictions is much the same as any other eviction. I recently wrote a referesher post on the issue.

      When an occupant has a “tenancy” and has never paid rent, then that tenancy is presumed to be an oral, month to month tenancy and the best way to terminate that tenancy is with a proper thirty day notice before an eviction lawsuit can be filed. Remember, the notice must specify a date for termination that is the final day of the next full rental period that is at least 30 days in the future. I always advise property owners to seek the assistance of an attorney so that the notice is properly prepared.

  70. sarah says:

    was being a safety net for a friend-{she was in abusive relatioship}-no mail came to my home- no id put in this address i -was babysitting for her so she registered her children using my address–stating she was homeless & would not be using my address in the next 30 days-she would show proof of residency to schools in 30 days–this never happened..on jan 25 2013 asked her to return key to my home-she got verbally violent with me–removed myself from the home that nite.she then threatened me in front of my 16 yr old son..she has caused over $1000.00 in damage to my home–have a witness to her saying that she is going to kill me & beat the sh** out of me….he is hesitant to file for disorderly conduct against her because she is a violent persom and may retalliate..{he has a stay at home wife & 2 small children}did an op–she had it vacted the next day..ughh…i am in fear of my life with this so called tenant..oak lawn police said their hands are tied as far as charging her with criminal damage to my property cause she resides here? says its s civil matter..so i will be taking her to court now for rent monies from jan & feb if she is stating she is a tenant. just really want her out of my home for the safety of myself & my children. have given her a 5 day notice for non payment–and am starting the eviction process..jst thought my familys safety was more important.actually she reported me to village for illegal apartment on fri 1/25/13–they sent letter saying within 5 days she needed to vacate…yet the oak lwn police would not enforce this code violation ??? really why have these codes if you wont enforce them ? her latest thing was she brought over 3 yr ol grandson to now live here }Now ther are 7 people living in my upstairs>>really–she was told in nov that no visitors on premises due to theft from her 12 year old son..no sleepovers no adult overnight guests…& no visitors….as now she wants to bring in a babysiiter into my home–someone i dont know–are they a criminal ? sex offender ? i have my 2 children in my home i worry for all our safety.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You have a complex situation there. It is far to complex to address via email. If you are interested in discussing the possibility of engaging our firm to assist you, please call us and we can see if we are a match for an engagement.

  71. Tanika says:

    Today is my day to move but didn’t how longe will it be befor they put me and my Kids out. And i can’t walk i was in a car crash last mo.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Tanika, losing possession of real estate is serious business. You need to get some advice from a tenant’s rights attorney at once. Don’t delay.

  72. Neil t says:

    First and foremost wanted to tell you this was an amazing article.

    My case is quite unique and would love to hear what my options are. I had a house sitter that has taken possession of my building who has no lease agreements or has never paid me any consideration for occupying my building. I believe he has turned on utilities in his name as well. He has been in there for several months. I have tried to offer him something for him to leave but he has stated do whati have to do. Would I be able to just change the locks or have the police come by and say he is trespassing? I would love to avoid the eviction process if I can.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Evictions where there is a “tenancy” are always difficult. There is a fine line between being a “guest who is trespassing” and a “person with a no lease but with a tenancy”. The question is quite fact specific and I’ve done a few posts here on the topic. I would need to know many more of your facts to make a determination on how to proceed, but in most cases where an occupant receives mail or has utilities in their own name and there was possibly, at one time, some kind of owner consent to the occupancy, it is not all that hard for the occupant to establish to the police a “claim” that they have a tenancy (and in those situations, the police are likely to view the situation as a civil and not criminal matter between a landlord and tenant rather than a trespass). You should consult with an attorney on your facts before acting because your situation is complex.

  73. Derek Jenkins says:

    I just have a question about whether or not it’s legal for sheriffs department employees to pick through your personal property and take things for themselves

    • Richard Magnone says:

      A Sheriff’s officer may not steal from the person being evicted. In fact, the Tribune reports that criminal charges were brought in mid 2012 against a Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy for allegedly stealing a tenant’s cash.

      • Derek Jenkins says:

        I’ve been away at school for 3 yrs and my Mom lost her house and she moved in a hurry because she was told by someone else who had been evicted, that the Sheriffs department employees would only allow them to take what they could carry and what was left they took what they wanted and left.

        • Richard Magnone says:

          I don’t know all the facts, but it sounds like your mom got some bad advice.

        • GENE G says:

          I expect to get an order of possession on the fifth of march . When can i expect the eviction to be served . this is my second order of possesion and the judge told tenant to have money and to be out by march 5th . He told tenant if not our a 14k judgement would be filed . If they were out prior to march fifth and paid 5k no public record would be filed .
          If tenant is out and has no money how can a landlord attempt to get money . Is a sevice available to collect money from judgement in cook county . The tenant has job and money but just decided not to pay for over 7 months .

          • Richard Magnone says:

            Illinois law has a number of court supervised methods for collection of judgments. Among them are citations to discover and recover assets, wage garnishment, and non-wage garnishment. You should contact an attorney who handles collections law.

          • GENE says:

            I have the order of possesssion in hand and had to wait till today to have the cook county sheriff take it . Do you handle cases and if so what is the fee . the judgement is for $15,400 and she is employed by Loyola and get child support . Didn’t appear for court and is still in house . Also noted she changed the back door lock without permission

          • Richard Magnone says:

            Gene, we handle eviction cases, but we are not collection attorneys, so I don’t think we can assist you at this point.


  74. Nate says:

    This article is pretty old, but still relevant; however, I am curious: as of today, is it taking 10 weeks for the sheriff to evict? I placed the order with the sheriff on the afternoon of the 27th of February. I know it has only been a week, but the unit is not that far from the Loop Courthouse (about 3 miles)–does that make a difference? Can I expect this tenant to be out by next week? It is the middle of March and the “winter” and “holiday season” is over so why not 2 weeks? When I call the sheriff they are not sympathetic and just keep saying 3 or 4 weeks or more. I want my unit cleaned and leased for April 1st move in.

    Please advise.


    • Richard Magnone says:

      Nate, you are right that the article was posted some time ago. We periodically post updates on the “anecdotal” amount of time it is taking the Sheriff and I’m sure you can probably find those with a bit of digging on the site. As always, your mileage may vary. There is no way to know for sure when the Sheriff will be out. The last word we have is 20-25 business days from placement, so what you are hearing from the Sheriff is probably pretty close to a correct estimate.

      As for when an order is enforced, distance from the courthouse is not a factor. And while the holiday season is over, we’ve had some harsh weather in the past two weeks. The Sheriff typically cancels evictions when the weather is bad.

      While there is no earthly way for me to know, if I were a betting man, I would not bet that the tenant would be out by next week. Why not Two weeks? Ask Sheriff Dart. Frankly, 3-4 weeks is probably nearly as good as been. A few years back, we have 8 week waits in July. That’s just the way the system works and the cost of being a landlord in Cook County. Landlords need to account for this in their business plan and act accordingly.

      I’ll cross my fingers for you, but, I won’t hold my breath. Good luck!

  75. jorge ramirez says:

    I have a my brother in law as a roomate lately we got to an argument about him not paying me rent !!!!! I told him nicely that if he couldnt pay me his half of the rent i was gunna kick him out the apartment witch hes behind 2 months hew wrking everyday and those 2 months till today he havent pay me rent …i had ask him to please. Pay me those 2 months he mist rent because that money is coming outta my pocket and i have alot of bills to pay and plus am taking care of 4 sisters and my mother ..the only thing he tells me is that he aint gunna pay my enything and that he aint gunna move out am so tire of this guy please. Some oneg. Give me an answer and sorry for the long story !!!!! I live in cicero il

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Jorge, your situation is no different than any other roommate situation. Depending on the facts, you may have a right to evict your brother in law. You need to consult with an eviction attorney (like us) to find out if you have the right to start eviction proceedings.

  76. kierra says:

    I would like a little advise on what to do I live in a two bedroom apt and pay on a month to month basis.. I have been living here almost two years and now my landlord is trying to make me pay a security deposit of 2000. My rent at the time of move in was 1000 which was 750 rent and 250 towards utilities lights, heat, and cable. The problem is my apt never had heat and the landlord swears that the heat is in the walls but there are no vents. He has always excepted my rent payment in two seperate payments bases on my payday at my job. On Dec 13 I gave him a money order of 600 which is over half the rent and 5days later my cable was turned off so I held the second payment on the 22…On march 1 I gave the landlord a money order of 1300 which was 750 march rent paid in full 400 remainder of Feb and 150 for remainder of Dec (Jan already paid) on March 2 the money order was given back to me and now he wants to evict me for non payment… Who will end up paying in the end is my question.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Kierra, you need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney to find out your rights. It sounds like there are a number of possible issues and problems you need to deal with. I don’t know all of your facts, so I can’t give you any advice, and we generally do not represent tenants in these kinds of situations, I can tell you that you need to contact someone who represents tenants as soon as possible.

  77. Toni says:

    My landlord is taking me to court for the late fees. I want to know if it’s legal for me to have received a court date and time through a text message by the property manager instead of being served. Should I be worried if I don’t go to court without being properly served?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Toni, you need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney to find out your rights and to defend yourself. You should be concerned that your housing might be on the line and proper procedures may not have been followed. While I don’t know your facts, so I can’t say if things were done right or wrong, evictions are serious matters. You need to contact someone who represents tenants in evictions (we only represent landlords in evictions) right away.

      • Mandy says:

        Thank you for hosting the forum.
        One I filed the 5 day notice by posting the notice on the door, how do I know if tenant has vacated. Can I just go in and check if there is no response when I knock on her door? The tenant will not return my call or vm or text messages.

        • Richard Magnone says:

          Possession is a question of fact. If the tenant does not do something to turn over possession to the landlord like leave keys or send a letter indicating the tenant has vacated, it is difficult for a landlord to claim possession has been restored. As for access to a premises, the lease and local law will govern. A landlord in Chicago never (except in cases of emergency) has a right to just key into a unit and instead must provide a 48 hour access notice.

  78. Chris says:

    I recently have not paid my rent this month due to a gas leak in the basement and the owner just saying to turn off the gas to the wall heater down there, instead of fixing it. The owner is also in foreclosure and seems to just keep continuing his case by adding/withdrawing attorneys and then filing pro se. We were supposed to be able to buy the house by now but since he has continued the case instead of resolve it, he just wants to collect our money and delay the inevitable. His realtor texted me a few days ago saying he wants to put the home back on the market tomorrow, I told her she would not be showing the property. He never bothered to contact me.

    Sorry, anyway my question is our rent is only due for this month and he had a friend
    come and put a 5 day notice on our day. If I am not mistaken, you can only leave the notice if nobody lives in the home. Also, his 5 day notice does not just demand rent, it also includes late fees and additional fees which from what i have found, a 5 day notice can only contain the rent demanded, nothing else.

    I guess my questions are is the above accurate, he can’t just leave it on my door (which by the way looks like he just typed it up, doesn’t look like some of the 5 day notices i have found online) and that he can’t demand more than just the rent?

    Thanks for any answers, appreciate it.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Chris, you are hitting on many of the salient points that might be raised about jurisdiction and the appropriateness of the notice served. That said, I don’t know all of your facts and have not seen the documents. We don’t represent tenants in evictions, so my best suggestion is that you find a tenant’s rights attorney to represent you and protect your rights. I wish you the best of luck.

  79. Perry says:

    I received an order of possession on 10 June 2013, the judge issued a stay until 17 June 2013. Can the tenant file a motion on or after the 18th of June.

  80. brigitte williams says:

    I have an order of stay for May 28, 2013, which was given by the judge. I received another letter from the cook count sheriff that says I have 24 hrs. to vacate the premises. This letter was dated June 3, 2013. I received it in the mail June17, 2013. How much time do I have from that time to vacate the premises. I can’t find an appointment because of the eviction on my credit report. No one will rent to me. What should I do?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      It is impossible to know when the Sheriff will be out to evict but if you received the Sheriff’s letter, it will be soon. We do not defend tenants in eviction actions, but, I do know the severity of the situation. I advise you to contact a tenant’s rights attorney to advise you of your rights immediately.

  81. Chris says:

    My tenant’s lease expires July 31. Since early May, I have been communicating with him that I may not be able to renew his lease. I have provided him with a written notice of non-renewal on June 25, according to the City Ordinance. He has been verbalizing that he does not think he will be able to relocate and and that I should anticipate his refusal to leave after his lease expires. He is also telling me that I can only have him removed through the eviction process – one that I want to avoid. I have offered to assist him in removing, but he continues to not cooperate. Is there anything else I should be doing at this time before his lease expires? In the event that he does not leave on July 31, how can I prepare now for a possible eviction to be filed on August 1?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Obviously, I don’t know all of the facts surrounding your particular situation, so I can only speak generally. When a Chicago lease governed by the CRLTO comes to an end, the landlord must make sure to prepare a proper notice of intention not to renew in compliance with 5-12-130(j) of the CRLTO. That notice must be served properly just like any other termination notice. Until the time specified for termination, the tenant must still perform obligations under the lease, so if a tenant does not pay the last month’s rent, a landlord can serve a termination notice for nonpayment of rent.

  82. Jasmine says:

    Hello, I recently experienced an illegal eviction, my landlord removed all of my belongings and threw them in the trash without an court order, What can I do?

  83. Tanya says:


    My mom had a tenant evicted app. 2 weeks ago. The tenant was not there, but the Sheriff’s Dept came and posted the notice. They told her they do not remove people’s possessions any more. The tenant came back, removed some of his belongings and promised to come back by last Sunday 7/14, to collect the remainder. He never came back. She is going to hire a service to remove the rest of his belongings, but said she heard that she has to place his belongings on the curb for at least 24 hours before they can be disposed of or hauled away. I contacted the Sheriff’s Dept and the City of Chicago and no one seems to know anything about a rule like this. Does she have to do that, or can his belongings be hauled away and/or disposed of at any time? Thank you for your time and response.

  84. cris says:

    what do I do with the tenants property after the sheriffs remove the tenant

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Ideally, you let the tenant take it away or make arrangements for the tenant to take it away.

  85. Chrissy says:

    I allowed my friend to stay with me on the condition she would pay me $400 a month. I put it in a month to month agreement (which I wish I wouldn’t have) and now I want her gone. For the last couple months she has been skimping on paying me in order to fix her car, if she’s paid me at all. She has tried to move her boyfriend in and its become an all around bad situation. What do I need to do to get ready of her?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Well, your friend is a tenant. You have some form (oral or written) of lease. If the tenant is in default on rent, as a landlord, you can serve a landlord’s notice for nonpayment of rent (usually a 5 day notice unless your lease extends this time) and can then proceed to an eviction action.

  86. Alvin says:

    I live in Oak Park. Oak Park does not have an ordinance for bedbugs but an infestation occured in the unit above mine (condo association – I’m renting from one of the owners). The unit was treated but no other units were, thus the bed bugs spread. At first, there was denial by the association to my landlord/owner, then the maintenance guy spilled the beans about the unit upstair being treated within the last month and my owner advised me he would ask the association for reimbursement of the over $450.00 I spent complying with the uncertified bedbug exterminator’s requirements for the occupant.

    Three treatments spread out in two week intervals caused me very little sleep, total chaos in my apartment and some health issues from the bites as I’m diab were aggrivated due to the physical and emotional toll. Well, I saw no change after the first two treatments and I tried some insecticides myself in addition to the bed covers, laundry process, bagging all clothing etc. Thus, I went to the Oak Park housing authority. During this time the unit across the hall began to complain. Still my landlord was mildly supportive and assured me he agreed it was an aftermath of the initial infestation and would continue to request reimbursement from the association. BUT!!! When the villiage notified the association and him of my complaint I suddenly got an email saying the ASSOCIATION wanted me to throw away infested items, if I wasn’t happy with the process being used to fix the problem I could pay someone at my own expense and my lease would NOT be renewed. Suddenly (ignoring the fact that the unit across from me now had an issue that the owner of that unit has placed in writing to me and the villiage) the association and my landlord retaliated against me and claimed my infestation was new and no other unit has had or is having an issue. Thus, I’m out of over $450.00 not to mention the items I threw away at their demand. My landlord got even more upset when I told him my lease was with him and not the association thus his promise to reimburse me should be honored whether the association reimbursed him or not. Now my landlord is saying I can break my lease if I choose but doesn’t want to let me live out the security deposit nor does he plan to return it because its my choice if I leave. As bedbugs are not seen by some as a vermin, can’t I demand the deposit back simply under the basis of loss of implied habitability?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You need to contact a tenant’s rights attorney who can advise you on this situation at once. The focus of this website is landlords who need eviction representation, so I can’t assist with this.

  87. Celia Murphy says:

    I have a home that I am renting out rooms with the rest of the house as common area (suburban Cook County). I do not live in the home. They are all month-to-month leases. I have served a 30-day notice of eviction to one tenant (on 8/27) as required by the lease she signed. She has stated that we will never get her out of the house. As of today, she has not paid her September rent and never provided a security deposit. Should we serve her with a 5-day non-payment notice and then file an eviction notice with the court or wait to do so at the end of the original 30 day notice?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Without knowing more of the facts and the timing, I can’t even begin to suggest an answer.

  88. Adam Mounce says:

    Hi. if i recieved a 30 day notice can the landlord display a “for rent” sign in the window advertising the apartment im currently in during the 30 days?

  89. Shane Jones says:

    We had a possession order that we placed with Sheriff but due to us waiting, the possession order went past it’s 120 days and expired. Do we need to have the tenant served in order for us to get a new court date for us to get an extension on the possession order or is it like starting over? The reason we waited was because we were negotiating terms for the tenant to leave.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The statute at 735 ILCS 5/9-117 indicates the procedure.

      • Shane Jones says:

        Thanks for the information. The statute doesn’t clearly define “notice” as needing to be certified. I guess I was just looking to find out if a simple mailed letter would suffice or if It had to be certified? Is there another section or subsection that defines “notice”? I just don’t want to waste filing fees and time by getting a court date only to find out we need the “notice” to be certified. I understand this is not legal advise and we have not entered into any type of agreement and would be completely one persons opinion.

        • Richard Magnone says:

          You can look up the general provisions in the Illinois code of civil procedure which defines the various manners and methods of achieving notice. That information is not specific to forcibles, but to all legal practice in Illinois courts. I don’t mean to sound cagey, but, we are a business here at my firm and while I seek to provide information to landlords (and I provide LOTS of it!), we do not intend this to be a “self-help” landlord eviction website. This is the sort of information that is part of an attorney’s stock in trade and part of the benefit of hiring an attorney. I’m sorry I can’t assist any further.

  90. Daniel says:

    I have been served an order of possession posted 11/24 and stayed until 11/28. How long can I expect the sheriff to do the actual eviction. I plan to leave asap but after living at the premises for 34 years, I have a lot of possessions to move/discard. Would it be prudent to negotiate with my landlord (a relatively new owner of te building) or go and file a motion to stay enforcement? I only need 2 to 3 weeks to move out.

  91. Daivd Kawaguchi says:

    My wife wants her son from her first marriage to move out but he refuses. He occupies a room in the house. He does not pay rent and is 26 years old and has spent the last 2 years living off of his mother’s good will. Does this have to go through the eviction process or is there a better way to handle this?


    • Richard Magnone says:

      Yes, this sounds like a pretty standard family member eviction that still needs to go through the courts.

  92. Michelle Brown says:

    Here is my question. My tenant was ordered by the court to move out of my building on December 11.
    I just found out her friends and one family member is still residing in the apartment.
    Do I have to go to court to get them out also?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      It depends on who you sued in the eviction complaint. If there are people who were not named and served, it is very possible you will have to do some extra work and/or name and serve and get judgments against some additional parties or run the risk of a wrongful eviction. Not knowing all of your facts, I can’t say for sure.

  93. John says:

    I found out that my landlord doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy for the coach house I rent next to his big house. He has not paid the utility bill for 6 months and I had no choice but to pay it as I am late in the rent and did not want the electric (electric heating) turned off.
    He is telling me that he will forcibly enter the house at the end of the December and changed the lock. To this day he has not given me either a 30days notice to leave or given me a 5 days notice to leave. Sometimes he had said verbally I had a lease when it was to his advantage and sometimes no lease on a 30 days like now but still no paperwork. The rent was cash for 3 years and I doubt he is reporting anything. The lease was erratic as it went on a whim from $1100 utilities not included to $1600 utilities included.

    1/ Can he lock me out?
    2/ It looks like his strategy is to push me to leave on my own as he doesn’t want to admit officially that he is renting which he would have to do if he was to proceed according to the law. He bangs on pipes in the garage and call in the middle of the night. I think he understands by now that in any case he wont be able to collect past due rent because of the lack of Certificate of Occupancy. I could even sue him because of that situation I guess. I was without a kitchen sink for 8 months and he had me provide butcher block counter top material to install the sink. I read the coach house paperwork at City Hall and to comply he would have had to upgrade the electric meter and such stuff to get his Certificate at a cost of several thousand dollars.
    3/ I don’t want to leave. What are the chances that he does a self eviction and changes the lock? I think right now he is just trying to scare me off to leave on my own. In the past he has turned off electric like this summer for the ac but this time he opted of not paying for it leaving me no option but to pay myself.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      John, on this website, we help landlords with evictions. You may very well have a case and I think all tenants have a right to good and competent counsel. My best advice is to speak with one of the many excellent tenant’s rights attorneys who handle eviction-related issues in Chicago.

  94. Kay says:

    My tenant is scheduled to move out on January 3, 2014, but her daughter and sister also resides in the home. My tenant is the only name listed on the Forcible Entry and Detainer, do I have to go back through the court process to force the daughter and sister to leave?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The Sheriff is unlikely to evict if someone not named in an eviction order lives in the premises and is present at the time of the eviction. Worse yet, if the person is not home and the Sheriff evicts and you re-take possession, the non-named occupant may have a valid claim that the eviction was wrongful. There is a court procedure for cleaning this up.

      We don’t jump into cases already filed and I don’t know all of the facts from your email, so this does not constitute legal advice.

  95. ELois P. Clayton says:

    Dear Mr. Magnone,
    I’ve been served (3) illegal eviction notices(in ‘retaliation’), because my furniture was damaged fro a leaky roof(which has caused my blongings to be mildewed).
    I have been extremely patient with the “landlord”, for he has had grave problems with his own health and illegal activities along witrh his life being threatened.
    Now MY health has been comprimised and I’m under tremendous amount of STRESS because of these threats of (5) day notices, (3) day notices and another (5) day notice.
    I offered him an opportunity to settle this problem without having to go through the courts but he seems to insist on staying in denial about what he’s responsible for.
    Waht should I do, (with all this proof I have against him)?

  96. Anonymous says:

    We tried to prevent this process so our landlord wouldn’t need to go through such a terrible ordeal. We paid &1600 and actually only owed (including security deposit) a few hundred but the landlady refused to play nice. She made it difficult for us to do our laundry while living in her two flat, she told our company they had to leave at 11:00 pm on a weekend, she’d call police on us for personal arguments with our son, she’d sneak in our apt when we were all out and so much more. She raised our rent $200 and informed us of this just a few fasts before our lease was over. She then extended the lease six months to New Years which is the most difficult time to find an apt. It’s almost fen and we are still searching for a place. Thank god the weather prevents evictions in cook county or we would be homeless. She did shut hot water off, water and heat off the first week of jan which is illegal. We called her attorney and utilities began to work again. We’d love to move but this year more tenants then apts is preventing a smooth move. Due to the court eviction proceeding we have that on our credit report and landlords frown upon this which is making it more difficult to find a place. For someone who wanted us out so bad she sure made it harder on us to do do.

    She has a tenant in an illegal apt in basement, steals our mail, 3 separate floors but only 2 mailboxes. The mailman gets very confused so she gets our mail and for meant give it to us.

    We are so fearful of being homeless but for now the evictions are way behind and normal timeframe for sheriffs to evict is 13 weeks so thank god we hopefully have a bit more time and were paying an agency to help families that have a hard time getting apts. That’s $1,000 so we tried to prevent this from happening but what can you do when an evil landlord does all she can to hurt and hinder your life!!!

    PS – the first year she let us pay on pay rent on the 7th which is payday but when she renewed with $200 increase she also began charging us $50 late fee every month too. Of course the rent got too high and difficult for us. We started at $1250 and the extended 6 months of lease resulted at $1500. Is this even legal? I guess if you can afford an attorney you can confront it but otherwise – we were stuck and broke.

    Thanks for reading. Any inexpensive suggestions?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      It sounds like you should have found your way to a tenant’s rights attorney. In fact, you probably still should. There are plenty of good organizations who provide tenant legal services to those in need for little or no charge.

      • Anonymous says:

        Would you believe we are still here and scared to death we will be homeless. The agency that’s helping us should come through now that it’s getting warmer. The landlady was seen by a neighbor in our mailbox again!!!! We depend on a notice warning us that the sheriffs office will be here on a specific date. I’m checking on line daily but due to her federal crime of seeking our mail in our assigned mailbox we won’t get this notice cause she steels all important pieces of mail. I check with the senders and my mail isn’t returned. When able I request via email so she can’t get into my personal mail.

        Please provide us with a referral. Thanks

        • Richard Magnone says:

          The Sheriff’s notice will not state a specific day. As for where else to turn, I can only suggest that there are many tenant’s rights attorneys in the City. Perhaps try the Chicago Bar Association lawyer referral service.

      • Steve says:

        Would you happen to have a name of any or contact info? This may help my clients also, I can refer them to someone because they have little to no money.

  97. Byron Washington says:

    My tenant made arrangements with to pay his past due arrears before the sheriff was able to evict, but after the Court granted me the possession judgement. How can I get the Eviction Notice dismissed so it doesn’t show up on my tenant’s credit report?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      You can probably give the tenant a release. You might even be able to go back and vacate the order and dismiss the case (that would require a good reason for the judge and a judge to agree), however, the fact that the case was filed will likely remain of public record.

  98. Francisca Casas says:

    I was able to file an eviction and I am awaiting for the Sheriff to call me to see when they can come by to evict the tenant. I was told at the Sheriff’s office that after 11 days I would receive some kind of notice, I haven’t received anything and its been more than two weeks now and have not been able to get in contact with the department. Should I be worried?

    • Richard Magnone says:

      The Sheriff’s eviction unit usually sends a letter that indicates the district number and sheriff’s number some time after the eviction is placed and paid for. You can certainly follow up with the Sheriff’s office on this.