Evicting A Tenant

I’m a Landlord and I want to evict my tenant, what do I need to do?

First, you need to issue a written notice to the tenant of your intent to end the relationship. Three types of notice are commonly used, but other notices are available. These three types of notice are:

  1. a 5-day notice- this notice is used for non-payment of rent;
  2. a 10-day notice- this notice is used when the lease terms are broken; and
  3. a 30-day notice- this notice is used when the term of the lease is expired.

Each notice needs to have specific language and meet other legal requirements. For example, the timeframe for the notices should not include federal holidays or weekends. This means that a 5-day notice will require waiting 7 days prior to filing a case. These notices also have specific delivery requirements that can be met by serving the notice in person on the tenant.

Second, you will need to file a lawsuit against the tenant. To file, you’ll need to: (1) draft a complaint describing the problem and the reward that you want; (2) hire the sheriff or special process server*; and (3) go to Court and pursue your lawsuit. Hopefully, you will win.

Third, you will need to acquire 2 certified copies of the Eviction Order and hire the sheriff of the appropriate county to evict your tenant. The sheriff may take some time to effectuate this order and unfortunately, little can be done to expedite the response time of the sheriff.

Fourth, at the time of the eviction you will need to be prepared to move your tenant’s possessions out of the premises. The tenant should be given an option to haul away any possession that belongs to them. After receiving that opportunity, the property can be thrown away.

How can TMB law help me?

I can handle almost all aspects of the process for you. I’ll draft the notice, complaint, hire a process server, file the matter electronically and appear in Court. In return, you’ll need to truthfully and fully inform me of all of the details of the case. Information will be critical to our success in this endeavor. You may need to appear in Court for trial, but I will work to avoid that. I know that your time is valuable.

I cannot help you move the tenant out at the end of the process. You may need professional movers and I can suggest companies and individuals to assist you.

What are the attorney fees for this case?

Usually, the only attorney fee will be a flat fee of $650.00. There are other costs involved in evicting a tenant and the client will need to pay for these costs. These costs usually consist of: (1) a filing fee with the clerk of court of about $200-$300, (2) a payment to a sheriff or process server for about $50-$180, (3) payment for additional service attempts (about $50), payment for posting ($60-$180), (4) payment for an alias summons ($6 to $18), and hiring the sheriff to conduct an eviction ($100-$200).

These costs vary from county-to-county and are often case specific so these are only estimates. In most cases, the costs amount to about $400. However, the costs vary from county to county and some cases may involve more costs than others.


* In Cook County, Illinois you cannot use a special process server unless the sheriff has already had a chance to attempt service. This is unfortunate, because special process servers can be cheaper and more effective.