As there has been a change in the eviction rules related to Covid-19 in Illinois we wanted to provide an update of the situation in the Chicago area. The Illinois moratorium on evictions was extended from July 31 to Aug 22. This ban states no new evictions can be filed through Aug 22. This new ordinance requires that landlords include a seven day ‘cooling off’ period if tenants respond to the Five-Day Notice with a Tenant Notice and can prove the unpaid rent is a direct result of Covid-19 pandemic. While the ban prevented evictions during the shut down it does not relieve tenants of any obligation to pay the rent and it did not stop owners from filing court papers. While evictions cannot start due to unpaid rent caused by the pandemic, evictions can still take place “if the tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, a risk to property or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation.”
The City of Chicago allows tenants who have lost their jobs or had paychecks scaled back due to Covid-19 to be protected for an additional 2 months after the end of the state ban – until Oct 22. This additional reprieve does not apply to suburban tenants. The State of Illinois is creating a $150M program through the Illinois Housing Development Authority. A lottery will be held to award $3,000-5,000 grants to tenants suffering from loss of income due to Covid-19 circumstances. The awarded Grants will be paid directly to landlords on behalf of the tenants. Additionally, tenants needing help can apply for emergency rental assistance between Aug 10 and Aug 22. This program is designed to help 30,000 tenants. Landlords that accept the grants must agree to not evict the tenant through the end of the year. Something that many investment property owners may find helpful is that the Cook County Board of Commissioners has extended the payment date for the second installment of the 2019 property taxes to Oct 1 from the original due date of Aug 3.
MF CashFlow will strive to keep you informed of new developments regarding tenants and the impact of Covid-19.