Initially, having a roommate to share the rent and other expenses might have seemed like the perfect solution to financial difficulties that were making it hard for you to afford your rent. Illinois law allows you to bring a roommate into your rented home if your lease specifies that you can sublease. However, if the relationship between you and your roommate sours, it be difficult to evict your roommate if you do not have a written agreement and he is not on your primary lease with you.
Gather proof that you and your roommate have an oral lease agreement. While written leases are best, Illinois recognizes oral leases, although they are difficult to substantiate. Make copies of any checks your roommate used to pay his share of the rent and utilities or retrieve any copies of receipts you gave your roommate when he paid the rent.
Determine the grounds that you are using to evict your roommate. Illinois recognizes failing to pay the rent as agreed and destruction of property as reasons for eviction. If your lease with your landlord specifies other reasons for eviction, such as excessive noise, you can evict your roommate for those reasons if you went over the details of your lease with your roommate when he moved in.
Write a letter to your roommate notifying him of your intent to start eviction proceedings. Mail the letter by registered mail and retain proof of delivery. While you can hand the letter to your roommate, mailing provides the proof you need for court. Illinois requires that you provide roommates without a lease a 30-day notice before you begin the eviction.
Visit your local circuit clerk's office and ask for a complaint form for evictions. Complete the form and attach any documentation you have regarding your roommate's tenancy. Include a copy of the 30-day notice you sent your roommate.
File the form with the circuit clerk and pay the filing fee for your county. Allow a judge to decide your case or ask for a jury trial when you file your complaint. There is an additional cost for a jury trial.
Follow the clerk's instructions to have the local sheriff's office serve your roommate with the complaint. Inspect the court documents that the clerk will send to you after the sheriff serves your roommate. Look for the return date set by the clerk. The return date is the date of your court hearing and is typically between 14 and 40 days after the sheriff serves your roommate.
Take pictures of any damage cause by your roommate in preparation for your court hearing. Ask friends or other tenants to attend the hearing with you and testify on your behalf. Go to the hearing and show the judge your documentation and proof that you followed the correct steps in the eviction process.
If the judge rules in your favor, he will specify the date that your roommate must leave. You can request that the sheriff evict your roommate if he does not leave on his own. Some Illinois counties charge a fee for the sheriff to remove a tenant.
You must go to the hearing or the judge will probably dismiss your case. If you lose, the judge can order that you pay your roommate's legal fees if he hired a lawyer to represent him.