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This article discusses the most recent changes to Illinois landlord and tenant laws, as well as more information on the ongoing evictions moratorium. Learn more about  

  • What is covered under the current Illinois eviction moratorium?  
  • What rights do landlords and tenants have under the Illinois moratorium?
  • Why is there an eviction moratorium in Illinois?
  • When will evictions in Illinois resume?
  • What is the Covid-19 Eviction Security Ordinance?
  • What happens if I evict a tenant during an eviction moratorium?

What is covered under the current Illinois eviction moratorium?  

Illinois has a more limited eviction moratorium that will last until at least May 30, 2021.  

Governor J.B. Pritzker's administration extended a variation of the statewide ban on residential evictions for another 30 days until April 30, 2021. This halt in residential evictions is welcomed by some Illinois tenants who are suffering extreme financial hardships as a result of COVID-19’s economic displacement. Landlords may see the updated extension as a temporary reprieve since it excludes some of the wealthier tenants from its security. The eviction moratoriums in place from March to October 2020, on the other hand, extended to all residents, regardless of financial circumstances. This compromise is intended to take into account the financial impact on landlords, who often depend on rent collections to meet their own debt obligations.  

What rights do landlords and tenants have under the Illinois moratorium?

Only tenants or residents who are "Covered Persons" are protected under the November eviction moratorium. "(1) the person 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 to the United States Internal Revenue Service in 2019, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (3) "the individual is making 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 almost certainly render the individual homeless..."  

Tenants must be given the opportunity to show that they pass this four-part examination. Landlords must specifically send a Declaration form to the occupant or tenant at least five days prior to the notice of tenancy termination. Unless the "individual presents a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and serious danger to property," the eviction case will fail if the tenant may prove that he/she/they meet all four conditions of the Covered Person test.  

Some landlords will be relieved to hear that they will file new eviction proceedings against non-covered tenants. Take notice, landlords: the November order (as incorporated by the December order) urges law enforcement to hold off on enforcing legitimate eviction orders "until the tenant, lessee, sub-lessee, or resident of the residential property has been found to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and serious danger to property." As a result, a legal eviction order serves no purpose in the short term.  

Evictions necessitate in-person encounters between tenants, law enforcement, movers, and the relatives or friends who take the evicted renters into their homes, according to the executive orders. The ongoing moratorium on residential evictions is intended to prevent such in-person contacts and, as a result, delay the virus' spread.  

Why is there an eviction moratorium in Illinois?

The CDC's eviction moratorium has been extended by the Biden administration until June 30, 2021.  

President Biden requested that the CDC expand its national eviction moratorium on Inauguration Day, citing the fact that 14 million Americans were behind on their rent. The extensions are intended to prevent a wave of evictions that would overburden shelters and spread Covid-19. The CDC declared on Monday, March 29, 2021, that the new federal moratorium on residential evictions will be extended until at least June 30, 2021. Landlords should take heart, however, because Congress passed a major stimulus and recovery bill in early 2021, which would provide extensive rent relief to relieve landlords' burdens.  

In September 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a temporary eviction moratorium with broad protections for some tenants around the country. Unlike the CARES Act, which only applied to properties secured by federally backed mortgages (including Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages), the CDC's order appears to apply to all residential properties (regardless of whether they are secured by federally backed mortgages) that are occupied by renters who meet such income thresholds. To be eligible for the relief, renters must sign a statement. The declaration is attached to the CDC's order as "Attachment A," and it clarifies that the eviction ban does not modify or supersede the tenant's duty to pay rent. The CDC order does not apply to jurisdictions like Illinois, which have a moratorium on residential evictions in place that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC order — but if Governor Pritzker decides not to renew the Illinois moratorium after it expires, the CDC's moratorium would provide a stopgap for qualifying Illinois renters for nearly a year.  

When will evictions in Illinois resume?  

The Illinois eviction moratorium lasts until May 30, 2021, and bans the filing of residential eviction actions and the execution of residential evictions. Nothing in the moratorium shall be construed to deprive landlords of their responsibilities to make rent payments or otherwise comply with their contracts, according to previous executive orders relating to the filing of evictions in Illinois, such as Executive Order 2020-55.  

It also says it doesn't apply if "the occupant has been found to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other residents, an immediate and serious risk to land, or a breach of any relevant building code, health ordinance, or related legislation." In other terms, the temporary eviction ban is only intended to shield tenants who are facing eviction due to nonpayment of rent, not other lease breaches. Some landlords complain that the eviction moratorium encourages tenants to miss payments, but nothing in the moratorium relieves a tenant of his or her responsibility to pay the rent. It simply ensures that tenants have a place to live before the moratorium expires.  

Following Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's August 20, 2020 letter to Chief Judge Evans and the Governor's administration seeking COVID-19 relief for tenants and landlords alike, Governor Pritzker extended the eviction moratorium in August. Approximately 250,000 households in Cook County may be evicted, according to Sheriff Dart. Dart expressed concern about the spread of COVID-19 if evicted tenants were crowded into shelters or into the homes of family and friends, as the Sheriff is responsible for implementing valid eviction orders.  

What is the Covid-19 Eviction Security Ordinance?  

Moratorium on evictions Renters in Chicago have more security thanks to a new ordinance.  

In its mid-June legislative session, the Chicago City Council passed the COVID-19 Eviction Security Ordinance. If tenants respond to the five-day notice with a Tenant Notice and can show unpaid rent stems from financial losses incurred by the Coronavirus pandemic, the new ordinance allows landlords to impose a seven-day "cooling off" period.  

Even while it protects landlords by forcing tenants to pay rent and making exceptions to the general rule, the Ordinance expressly aims to avoid circumstances that lead to a lack of shelter. For example, if “a tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and serious risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation,” landlords can initiate eviction proceedings.  

What happens if I evict a tenant during an eviction moratorium?

If landlords are considering conducting an eviction on their own, in a word: don't. In Chicago apartments, lockouts are prohibited. In cases of retaliatory conduct, Chicago's landlord-tenant law strongly favors tenants. If landlords even hint that they are able to circumvent the eviction legal process and eviction moratorium, they can find themselves in legal trouble. In Chicago, landlords who seek self-help evictions face steep fines and legal fees.

Request a consultation with an attorney. Call our office at (630) 324-6666 or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today. You can also fill out our confidential contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

To learn about “Can A Landlord Evict a Tenant Under the Current Eviction Moratorium?”, click here.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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