How to Evict a Roommate in Illinois

How to Evict a Roommate in Illinois: A Step-by-Step Guide

Living with a roommate can be a great way to split expenses and enjoy companionship. However, sometimes situations arise where you may need to evict a roommate in Illinois. Whether it’s due to non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms, or general incompatibility, it’s important to know the proper legal procedures to follow. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to evict a roommate in Illinois, along with answers to seven frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Review the Lease Agreement
The first step in evicting a roommate is to carefully review your lease agreement. Look for any clauses regarding eviction procedures and the rights and responsibilities of tenants. Understanding the terms of your agreement will help you navigate the eviction process smoothly.

Step 2: Communicate with Your Roommate
Before taking legal action, it’s often advisable to communicate with your roommate about the issues at hand. Discuss your concerns openly and try to reach a resolution that works for both parties. If this fails, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Serve a Written Notice
In Illinois, you must serve a written notice to your roommate stating the reason for eviction and giving them a specific number of days to vacate the premises. The timeframe will depend on the reason for eviction. For non-payment of rent, the notice period is typically five days. For lease violations or other reasons, the notice period is typically 30 days.

Step 4: File an Eviction Lawsuit
If your roommate fails to vacate the premises within the specified notice period, you can file an eviction lawsuit with the appropriate court. You will need to provide the court with a copy of the lease agreement, the written notice, and any other supporting documentation.

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Step 5: Attend the Court Hearing
Once the eviction lawsuit is filed, a court hearing will be scheduled. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their case, and a judge will make a final decision. If the judge rules in your favor, they will issue a court order for your roommate to vacate the premises.

Step 6: Enforce the Court Order
If your roommate still refuses to leave after the court order is issued, you can seek assistance from local law enforcement to enforce the order. Always follow local procedures and consult with authorities to ensure a safe and legal eviction process.


1. Can I evict my roommate without a written lease agreement?
Yes, even without a written lease agreement, you can still evict your roommate. The process will be more challenging, but you can rely on verbal agreements, text messages, or other evidence to support your case.

2. Can I change the locks or remove my roommate’s belongings without a court order?
No, self-help evictions are illegal in Illinois. You must go through the proper legal channels to evict a roommate, and changing locks or removing belongings without a court order can lead to legal consequences.

3. Can I evict my roommate for non-payment of rent if I am the leaseholder?
Yes, as the leaseholder, you have the right to evict your roommate for non-payment of rent. However, you must follow the proper eviction procedures outlined in the Illinois eviction laws.

4. What if my roommate refuses to attend the court hearing?
If your roommate fails to attend the court hearing, the judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented by you. It’s important to ensure you have all necessary documentation to support your case.

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5. Can I evict my roommate if they are not on the lease?
Yes, even if your roommate is not on the lease, you can still evict them. The eviction process will be similar to evicting a tenant with a lease agreement.

6. Can I evict my roommate if they have violated the lease terms?
Yes, if your roommate has violated the terms of the lease agreement, you can evict them. Make sure to provide proper notice and follow the legal procedures.

7. Can I evict my roommate for reasons other than non-payment or lease violations?
Yes, you can evict your roommate for reasons such as general incompatibility, failure to maintain cleanliness, or disruptive behavior. However, you must provide proper notice and follow the legal eviction procedures.

In conclusion, evicting a roommate in Illinois requires following specific legal procedures. Review your lease agreement, communicate with your roommate, serve a written notice, file an eviction lawsuit if necessary, attend the court hearing, and enforce the court order if your roommate refuses to leave. It’s essential to understand the eviction laws in your state and seek legal advice if needed to ensure a smooth and lawful eviction process.