A landlord must give a tenant a written eviction notice before starting an eviction case against them. There are different types of eviction notices that a landlord must give a tenant, depending on each case.
5 day notice
If the tenant doesn't pay the rent on time, the landlord can give them a 5 day written notice. The notice must say how much rent is due. It must also tell the tenant that the lease will end if the tenant does not pay all the rent within 5 days.
If the tenant pays within the 5 days, the landlord must take the money. If the tenant does not pay the rent within those 5 days, the landlord can evict the tenant.
Note on local laws
Some local laws may require more than a 5 day notice for not paying rent. For example, Evanston's Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance requires a 10 day written notice. Under the City of Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, if the landlord accepts the rent after the 5 day period, they cannot evict the tenant.
7 day notice
If the lease is a week-to-week lease, the landlord can give the tenant a 7 day written notice that says the tenant must move out in 7 days. The landlord can do this at any time.
10 day notice
If the tenant breaks a rule in the lease, the landlord can serve the tenant with a 10 day written notice. The notice must say which rule was broken and when it happened.
Usually, the tenant does not have a right to fix the situation and stay in the apartment. But there are some local laws, including the City of Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, that allow the tenant to fix the situation within the 10 day notice period. For example, if the lease says "no pets," and the tenant adopts a dog, the landlord could give them a 10 day notice. If the tenant then gives the dog to their friend, they can stay in the apartment.
30 day notice
If the lease is a month-to-month lease, the landlord can end it by serving a 30 day notice to the tenant without giving any reason. The last day of the 30 day notice period must be the last day of the lease period. So the landlord must serve the notice at least 30 days before the rent is due. If the landlord accepts rent the next month, they must serve a new 30 day notice.
These other types of notices are not as common.
60 day notice
If the lease is a year-to-year lease, a landlord must give a 60 day written notice. This notice must be served no earlier than 4 months before the end of the lease.
The landlord may not have to give a written notice if the tenant has given up their right to a notice in the lease. The landlord also does not have to give a notice if the lease says what date it ends on. However, this is not always true. For example, Chicago and Evanston have their own laws that do not allow a tenant to give up their right to a notice.
90 day notice
If the building is put into foreclosure, the new landlord may have to give the tenant a 90 day notice. This depends on the circumstances.
How to calculate the notice period
The notice period begins on the day after the notice is give to the tenant. If the last day of the notice period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, then the notice period ends on the next business day.
What to say in the eviction notice
Eviction notices should include
- The address of the apartment;
- If it is a 5 day notice, the amount of rent due and who it should be paid to;
- If it is a 10 day notice, the rule in the lease that was broken;
- That the tenant's right to stay in the apartment will come to an end at the end of the notice period;
- The number of days after the notice is given that the tenant's right to stay in the apartment will end; and
- The landlord's signature.
If the notice doesn't have all of these things, the tenant may be able to get the case dismissed if the landlord takes them to court.
Updated: February 2017