Answered on Nov 17th, 2013 at 5:13 PM
No, it is illegal for the landlord to change the locks or remove your property from the premises without a a court order. He serves you with a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. If you pay the rent, then it's over and you can stay. If you don't pay the rent, he sues you. After he has the summons and complaint delivered to you, then you have 5 days to respond. After the 5 days, the court will assign a trial date. By statute, it is supposed to be in 21 days, but they often schedule them later, and the landlord's lawyer rarely argues about it. After the trial, it takes at least a week to get the sherriff out to evict you. If you have found a new space and just need time to have it painted and your property moved there, most sherriffs will give you another week or two.
Talk to a tenant's lawyer. If you want to stay, a lawyer might be able to negotiate something for you, instead of going to court.