Evictions in Illinois During COVID-19 Pandemic

August 10th, 2020 by

In response to the economic effect of the pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order that stayed the enforcement of evictions in this state.  The Executive Order 2020-30 (hereinafter “Order”) has been amended and extended since it was issued on April 23, 2020.  As of July 22, 2020, the Order has been extended until August 22, 2020.  The latest amendment to the Order provides that after August 22, 2020, the enforcement of orders of eviction for non-residential premises will be rescinded.    

The Order states that, “[a] person or entity may not commence a residential eviction action pursuant to or arising under 735 ILCS 5/9-101 et seq., unless a tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation”.  Executive Order 2020-30 issued April 23 2020.  According to the Order, the enforcements of orders of eviction for residential renters was stayed in order to allow the Illinois Housing Development Authority the opportunity to provide monetary assistance to renters. 

What does that mean for Landlords? 

It means that Landlords are in a holding pattern for enforcing evictions until at least August 22, 2020.  However, it does not mean that the Landlord cannot initiate the eviction process by filing the necessary pleadings.  

On one end, you have the Landlord who is dealing with the frustration of not receiving rent and not being able to pursue legal remedies because of the Order. Meanwhile, Landlords are expected to continue to maintain the premises and a safe environment for the tenants.  On the other hand, you have a renter who is willing but unable to pay because of employment-related issued due to COVID-19.  What do you do? Landlords are advised to shy away from using self-help evictions and tossing renters out on the streets. The ability to maintain a roof over our heads during this pandemic has been a concern for our leaders in government.  The use of self-help can result in hefty fines and fees.   However, the renter still has the obligation to make rental payments as frequently as the lease agreement provides in spite of the Order.  

Written by Jennifer S. Nolen

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