5 Day notice Illinois

18 Replies

Is leaving a 5 day notice posted on the tenants door a legal delivery of a 5 day notice in Illinois? I would prefer to hand deliver but the tenant refuses to answer their door.

The official form I downloaded from the county says as on option "By posting a true copy thereof on the premises, there being no one in actual possession of the premises."

It varies by county.  I'm not familiar with Bloomington but in Cook county if you don't do everything "by the book" it can get you in a lot of trouble.

Consult an attorney who is familiar with evictions in your county - Best to do it the right way.  

crazy tenants!!

A 5-day notice in Illinois is not much more than a "informal" but necessary notice to the tenant telling them to pay up within 5 days or on day 6 we will be turning you over to the lawyers for eviction proceedings. So, if your tenant shows on day 7 and says I can pay you half of the rent now and you except it, say they default again, on this promise to pay the balance you have reset the process back to square 1 again.

The above doesn't really answer your Question.  I would use pink or red paper for your 5 days and tape it to the front door and take a picture of it posted. This should serve as proof that you gave a notice. I would also reccomend (in addition) you mailing a copy to them to sign for.

Illinois is a tenant friendly state.

Originally posted by NA NA:

Is leaving a 5 day notice posted on the tenants door a legal delivery of a 5 day notice in Illinois? I would prefer to hand deliver but the tenant refuses to answer their door.

The official form I downloaded from the county says as on option "By posting a true copy thereof on the premises, there being no one in actual possession of the premises."

I agree that the process has to be followed exactly or the judges will make you start all over....  The Dunn law firm in Bloomington can answer that question for you. And they offer a free consultation, so you could ask that question during the consultation :)

Good luck!


i have been managing rentals in some rough neighborhoods in chicago, and never wanted to take the chance on any type of confrontation with an angry tenant, so i have always mailed the 5 day notices (regular mail even) even though the notarization claims that it was delivered in person.  

the weird thing is that out of all the times i have appeared in eviction court, i have NEVER had a tenant or an attorney use the technicality of the 5 day notice being improperly delivered as a defense.  my thinking is that while the amount of rent due may be disputed, the eviction case wont be thrown out based on one person claiming it was properly served and one person claiming it wasnt.  eventually, the case is going to have to be heard.  

i have heard defendants claim that they did not receive the 5 day notice, and the judge then asks them what their response is to the amount.  im not sure it is worth risking your safety and chasing around after a tenant for the 5 day.  

also, im not sure that if you accept money after a case is filed that you have to refile.  that used to be the case in cook county, but was changed.  i cant imagine that it is the case in other areas of the state that are not as heavily regulated as we are, but i would check with an attorney.

i HIGHLY recommend that you use an attorney for evictions.  find one who specializes in them, and you will pay much less.  the attorney i use only charges $325, and it is money very well spent.  a lot of time a good attorney can serve as a buffer between you and the tenant to work out some type of resolution.  my attorney has resolved the situations with the tenant under an agreed order in about 60% of my cases.  

good luck! 

Thanks great concise answer. 

I prefer to pay a well known process server.  First, I believe there is a secondary type of notice that tenant receives by having a detective looking guy show up unexpectedly and knocking like the police.  Also, I think it mitigates the risk of a contested 5 day notice by having a well known server sign a 3rd party affidavit.  He charges $54 which I pass on to the reinstatement balance.

You've got an attorney that does evictions in cook county for $325? The one eviction I did cost $1,000 plus some additional fees when the tenant got cute and started a bankruptcy filing. Interesting enough, they can do that themselves for a nominal fee and that can push the thing back.

My attorney asked the judge if we could just pursue the possession and leave the money out of it (since I knew I wasn't going to collect anything anyway). Nope. He didn't allow it. Said it was no longer his jurisdiction.

I find that hard to believe. Bankruptcy may control about how much you owe but it shouldn't have any control as to whether you're entitled to live somewhere for free.  My attorney said most judges have allowed him to bypass the bankruptcy delay tactic.

Thats the problem with cook county and why I'm glad I've only had one eviction there. Just a nightmare for landlords and an absolute travesty to allow tenants to steal money from landlords for up to 4 to 6 months with nonsensical delays.

As far as the notice goes, though, no, I am not sure. I know I've been told that if I go to hand a tenant the notice and they refuse to take it, its still considered valid service. If you can show and/or are willing to legally state that the tenants are in the house and refused to accept service, then you might want to say very loudly that you are posting their 5 notice on the door and I believe that would be about the same situation.

One better option is just to have a professional server serve them. If they can't get a hold of them, then they'll do the necessary steps to make sure the service is valid. And you don't have to worry about getting to court and then having to start all over.

I have personally posted it on doors before and the tenants showed up to court and never said a word about it.  But I knew full well that there was a risk they could start the clock again because of that service.

For the most part, I think the counties down by me all require the 5 day notice to be hand delivered to the tenant and/or someone living in the home over a certain age (15?).

That seems crazy to me too though. I should be able to send them an email or a text as proof of service. Lets step into the 21st century. Or certified mail at the very least. 

To be honest, I don't even know why I need to give them the 5 day notice to begin with. Shouldn't that be explicitly understood as part of the lease. If the lease states your rent is due on the 1st and late on the 5th and you get 5 days from the date its due to pay or you can be evicted, then why can't I automatically file the eviction after the 5 days????

Can't the tenants be expected to be able to add 5???

Its just ridiculous.

You should tape a note to the front door, their door, and all common areas. So that they see it, and everyone else in the building.

Updated about 2 years ago

My original post is incorrect. Just posting the notice to the door is not adequate.

In Cook County, it is best to hand over the notice to the tenant even if you have yo hire a processor.  I had 5-day notice service contested because it was served to a roommate who said that he lives there.  It was also signed for by him via certified mail.  I won the case but all this added two-three months to the case which is ehat they wanted to do.

Here in cook county, the only way I would do an eviction is through a lawyer.  Its about as bad as California (I don't know if @WillBarnard would agree).  We had a "professional" tenant that requested a jury and completely played the system, took us almost 8 months to get them out.  Do it right and do it once.  Good luck!

The 5 day notice must be delivered to the tenant either personally; or by certified mail that is accepted. You can only post a notice if the unit is vacant.

@Eric S. Great information. Do you still work with that attorney you mentioned? I am searching for a good RE Attorney in Chicago and was wondering if you can send me their info if you don't mind.

The requirement of personal service of a 5 day notice may be waived if you know that the tenant is ducking you, ie. you observe movement through a window or hear noise within.  Chicago and Cook County are a pro tenant city/county.  

Hiring a professional process server, or a company that specializes in service, is money well spent ($75) to see that the tenant is personally served, especially if they know the system or seem litigious.  Not to mention that there are attorneys that routinely market to/shop for clients who are being evicted.  

Cash for keys is another strategy (money well spent when you think of the time you will not be cash flowing) but care must be exercised when doing so and ego's/principles often cloud one's ability to make such a rational decision. 

I am happy to provide the names of capable and competent process servers for those in need. 

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