Once again Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended the eviction moratorium for tenants behind on their rent due to Covid-19. The new date for the ban is in effect until January 9, 2021. Based on past experience and the continued increase in Covid cases, further extensions may be announced close to the January 9th end date.
The extension offers some new limits and provides protection only to those tenants that are considered “Covered Persons.” A "Covered Person" is one who meets all four of the following metrics: "(1) the individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment pursuant to Section 2001 of the CARES Act;" and is (2) "unable to make a full rent or housing payment due to a COVID-19 related hardship including, but not limited to, substantial loss of income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, or an increase in out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic;" and (3) "the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other Non-Discretionary Expenses;" and (4) eviction would likely render the individual homeless . . .".
Landlords must provide an opportunity for the tenant to prove they qualify under the new definition. Landlords must provide a Declaration form to the tenant at least five days before the Five-Day Notice is served. It should be noted that a tenant may still be evicted if they pose a “direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to the property.”
Nothing in the ban relieves renters of their obligations to make rent payments or comply with their leases.