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By: Robert J. Jellen

Notice.  This is the first step to any eviction proceeding or landlord-tenant dispute.  Notice is required by Illinois law and must be given before any eviction proceeding is filed with the court.

First, it is important to note that as a landlord, you are not required to have any reason to terminate a lease agreement.  If a landlord wishes to terminate a lease that is month to month, the landlord must give a 30-day notice.  Again, this is for a situation in which the landlord merely wishes to terminate the lease, but the tenant has not violated any provisions of the lease.  Other notices are required if there is a breach of the lease.

In the event of a violation of a provision of the lease, a landlord must give a 10-day notice to quit.  This notice must be properly delivered to the tenant or the residence.  It must also state the reason that the lease is being terminated.  This cause for termination can be used in circumstances where the tenant has violated a specific portion of the lease, such as damaging the property or criminal conduct is occurring on the premises.  It is important to remember that the reason stated in the notice will be the reason presented later at trial for eviction.  As such, a landlord will want to have some form of evidence or proof that the violation of the lease provision has occurred.

For nonpayment of rent, a landlord may deliver a 5-day demand for rent to the tenant.  Again, this demand must be properly delivered, and it must state the full amount of rent owed by the tenant.  This demand gives the tenant an opportunity to cure, meaning, the tenant can avoid the eviction process if the tenant pays the full amount of rent within five days after receiving the notice.  It is a defense to an eviction proceeding if the rent is paid in full, meaning that a landlord will no longer have a cause of action for eviction if the rent is paid within five days of delivering the notice.

Notice is a fundamental element of an eviction proceeding and can be detrimental to a landlord’s case if not properly written and delivered to the tenant.  If you find yourself in a situation of needing to deliver a notice to a tenant in order to begin an eviction proceeding, having an attorney who knows how to deliver a proper notice is essential to a successful eviction.

Professional Services Disclaimer: Please note that the information presented here is as an educational service, and while it contains information about legal issues, it is not legal advice. No warranty is made regarding the applicability of the information presented to a particular client situation, and the information set forth is not a substitute for original legal research, analysis and drafting for a particular client situation.