Serving Eviction Notices

In this guide, you'll learn how to serve eviction notices and get your day in court.

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How to Serve
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After Serving Tenant


Before filing an eviction lawsuit, you must serve either a 5-Day Notice (non-payment of rent), 10-Day Notice (breach of the lease other than non-payment of rent), or 30-Day Notice (month-to-month tenant) on the Tenant.  Once you know which notice is needed, you must "serve" the notice on the Tenant (i.e. give them the completed form).

How to serve

You must serve the Tenant by (pick one):

Personally serving the Tenant;
By leaving the notice with some person of the age of 13 years or upwards, residing on or in possession of the property;
By sending a copy of the notice to the Tenant by certified or registered mail, with a return receipt from the addressee;
If no one is in the actual possession of the property, then by posting the same on the property.

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After Serving the Tenant

After the Tenant is served, have the person who served the notice complete an Affidavit of Service.  This shows how the notice was served and by what method.  You need this for your records.  The Affidavit of Service should be attached to the eviction Complaint.


Can I slip the notice under the door?  No, Tenants must be served as set forth in 735 ILCS 5/9-211.

Can I serve the Notice?  Not smart.  Whoever served the Notice may need to testify if the case went to trial.  Even bad lawyers could point out your self-serving testimony and argue that the notice wasn't *actually* served.

Does certified mail count if Tenant doesn't sign?  No, certified mail must be signed for.  If the Tenant won't sign (or pick up from post office), then you'll need to serve another way.

What if the Tenant keeps avoiding service?  Find a better process server.  But seriously, you must serve the Tenant.  No exceptions for slick Tenants that keep avoiding service.  And no, Facebook doesn't count.


Affidavit of Service

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Serving Notice - 735 ILCS 5/9-211

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This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion on any specific case and/or circumstance.  This article does not create an attorney/client relationship.  No guarantee for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should be based solely on advertisements.

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