On May 28, 2021 Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration extended a version of an statewide moratorium on residential evictions until June 26, 2021. The moratorium prohibits the commencement or continuance of eviction proceedings in Illinois except under two very limited instances: (a) certain nonpayment cases (official FAQ for nonpayment cases); and (b) cases where “the tenant has been found to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation.”

If tenants are current on rent and do otherwise not meet the requirements of a “health and safety” eviction, Landlords cannot commence an eviction at this time.

What paperwork do I need to proceed with an eviction in Cook County as of June 7, 2021?

This list is not exhaustive and may not apply to every situation. A written guide like this can never substitute for the advice of a lawyer. Eviction law is in a constant state of change and issues are never as clear cut as they seem. Use this guide as a starting point. Landlords with legal questions can consult with an attorney for free through Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD). CCLAHD can be reached by calling 855-956-5763 or applying online at https://www.cookcountylegalaid.org/  

Nonpayment Evictions

Eviction Complaint

Eviction Complaint: standard statewide form (735 ILCS § 5/9-106)

  • Landlords who want to file nonpayment cases after July 17, 2020, should include the following with their Complaint (information on each document is included below):
    1. Declaration Form;
    2. Proof of service of the Declaration Form;
    3. Certification of Compliance with the statewide Eviction Moratorium;
    4. The Eviction Notice;
    5. Proof of service of the Eviction Notice; and
    6. A copy of the lease or a sworn statement about monthly rent if the lease was not in writing
Declaration Form

Declaration Form (available from IHDA)

  • Landlords must give this Form to each tenant or resident at least 5 days prior to the delivery of the Eviction Notice (see below).
  • Landlords must give Form to each tenant or resident the tenant by:
    1. Handing it to the Tenant;
    2. Handing it to a person who is at least 13 years old and lives at the property;
    3. sending via certified or registered mail with a return receipt, or
    4. Posting to the door only if the property is vacant.
Proof of Service of the Declaration Form

Proof of Service of Declaration Form

  • Landlords can complete an Affidavit of Service to prove that the Declaration Form was given to the tenant in one of the ways mentioned above.
  • If Landlords do receive a signed Declaration Form from the tenant or resident and wish to challenge the “accuracy” of that Form, Landlords must attach the Form to the Complaint and follow the Illinois Supreme Court’s guidelines to schedule an evidentiary hearing.

Under the Moratorium, Landlords cannot commence or continue an eviction if they receive a signed Declaration Form from a Tenant, unless they plan to challenge the accuracy of the form at an evidentiary hearing.

Certification of Compliance with Statewide Eviction Moratorium

Certification of Compliance with Statewide Eviction Moratorium (available on page 4)

  • Temporary requirement from Illinois Supreme Court
  • Landlords should complete Paragraphs 1 and 2b accurately

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County has a fillable version of the Certification available on its website for Landlords to use.

Eviction Notice

Eviction Notice (735 ILCS § 5/9-209)

  • Unless the lease gives more time, this is typically a 5-Day “Notice of Termination for Non-Payment of Rent
  • Landlord can give Notice by:
    1. Handing it to the Tenant;
    2. Handing it to a person who is at least 13 years old and lives at the property;
    3. Sending via certified or registered mail with a return receipt,; or
    4. Posting to the door only if the property is vacant.

Landlords with a faulty or improperly served notice, must re-draft or re-serve the document to have a successful eviction case

Proof of Service of Eviction Notice

Proof of Service of Eviction Notice

  • Landlords can complete an Affidavit of Service to prove that the Eviction Notice was given to the tenant in one of the ways mentioned above. Some notices have a built-in affidavit.

 Landlords with a faulty or improperly served notice, must re-draft or re-serve the document to have a successful eviction case

A copy of the lease

A copy of the lease

  • This can include a rent ledger, receipt book, and any other documents to show how much money is owed; or
  • if the lease is unwritten (oral lease), an affidavit that explains the rental agreement
Eviction Summons

Eviction Summons (735 ILCS § 5/2-203)

  • The summons available here is the standard form provided by the Cook County Clerk of Court and complies with local rules (GAO 2020-09)
  • The Sheriff must make the first attempt to serve the tenant.

Health and Safety Evictions

Eviction Complaint

Eviction Complaint: standard statewide form (735 ILCS § 5/9-106)

  • Landlords who want to file a lawsuit under the Health & Safety exception should include the following items with their Complaint (information on each document is included below):
    1. A Sworn statement (or affidavit) about tenant’s problematic conduct;
    2. Certification of Compliance with the statewide Eviction Moratorium;
    3. The Eviction Notice (if used); and
    4. Proof of service of the Eviction Notice (if used)
Affidavit / Sworn Statement

A Sworn Statement (affidavit) about tenant’s problematic conduct, including:

  1. the building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation violation(s) the tenant has allegedly made; or
  2. How the tenant has posed a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants; or
  3. How the tenants pose an immediate and severe risk to property

 A sworn statement is sometimes called an affidavit and Landlords can get assistance drafting an affidavit through this form. For cases filed in the First District of Cook County (properties located in the City of Chicago), the Courts have released guidance on what information Landlords need to include in these affidavits.

Certification of Compliance with Statewide Eviction Moratorium

Certification of Compliance with Statewide Eviction Moratorium (available on page 4)

  • Temporary requirement from Illinois Supreme Court
  • Landlords should complete Paragraphs 1 and 2a accurately

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County has a fillable version of the Certification available on its website for Landlords to use.

Eviction Notice

Eviction Notice (optional) (735 ILCS § 5/9-210)

Landlords with a faulty or improperly served notice, must re-draft or re-serve the document to have a successful eviction case

Proof of Service of Eviction Notice

Proof of Service of Eviction Notice

  • Landlords can complete an Affidavit of Service to prove that the Eviction Notice was given to the tenant in one of the ways mentioned above. Some notices have a built-in affidavit.

Landlords with a faulty or improperly served notice, must re-draft or re-serve the document to have a successful eviction case

Eviction Summons

Eviction Summons (735 ILCS § 5/2-203)

  • The summons available here is the standard form provided by the Cook County Clerk of Court and complies with local rules. (GAO 2020-09)
  • The Sheriff must make the first attempt to serve the tenant.

Other Resources

  • Applications for Rental Assistance for Cook County Landlords and Tenants are now open! The application portal for the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)’s Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) opened on May 17, 2021 and is open to Landlords through June 7, 2021. Applications for the City of Chicago’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERP) opened at 9:00 am on May 24, 2021 and close on June 15, 2021. Landlords can find additional information about the requirements for both programs and begin the application process by visiting ChiCookILRentHelp.org.
  • The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is conducting interviews with small Landlords about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their ability to provide naturally affordable housing in Cook County. Interviews will cover how Landlords are responding to the unique challenges that the last year or so has presented, including lost rental income and the various legal restrictions on filing eviction cases. The ABF researcher conducting these interviews does not work for CVLS, is not an attorney, and will not be able to give you legal advice. However, this interview may be an opportunity for Landlords to discuss the issues and frustrations that the legal system isn’t able to address. Interviews are conducted by phone/Zoom, and participants will be compensated for their time. You can find additional information about this study (including how to sign up) on the American Bar Foundation’s website.
  • Landlords who are having trouble navigating the court system during the pandemic can call the JusticeCorps Information Helpline to get free help with Electronic Filing (E-Filing) and Remote / Zoom Court Procedures by dialing (872) 529-1093.
  • As of July 17, 2020 Landlords in the City of Chicago who want to file a nonpayment case are required to give tenants notice of the City’s own COVID-19 eviction moratorium. A copy of the required notice is available here. Landlords should attach this notice to any eviction notice they serve on their tenants for nonpayment, and comply with the requirements of the Ordinance before filing a lawsuit.
  • Cook County Landlords who successfully obtain eviction orders (sometimes called an “order of possession”) will likely need to wait for the statewide eviction Moratorium to be lifted before those orders can be enforced. When the Moratorium ends, Landlords may also need to complete a newVerification of Non-Rental Assistance” and submit it to the Cook County Sheriff’s office before the Sheriff will schedule an eviction. Additional information on this Verification form is available here or through the Sheriff’s website.
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