COVID-19 changes to the eviction process
Federal eviction moratorium
The CDC has issued an eviction moratorium through 12/31/2020. This eviction moratorium only prohibits physical evictions from being carried out; tenants are still required to pay rent, and landlords can still charge late fees, penalties, and interest, and landlords can still take tenants to court over unpaid rent and get eviction judgements filed against them. Landlords can also still have tenants physically evicted for lease violations and criminal activity.
To qualify, you need to meet one of the following conditions:
- Have an income less than $99,000 / year (or less than $198,000 / year if filing jointly)
- Not have paid income tax in 2019
- Received a stimulus check
You also need to fill out the CDC declaration form and send a copy to their landlord:
Illinois orders and rules
- Illinois landlords are barred from filing or carrying out evictions for non-payment until November 14th, 2020 with some exceptions: Section 2. 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. (Source: IL Executive Order 2020-30)
The mayor’s eviction protection ordinance is in effect until 60 days after the Illinois eviction moratorium is lifted. The ordinance states that if a landlord issues a 5-day notice for non-payment, they must negotiate a repayment plan with the tenant for at least 7 days if the tenant provides evidence of COVID-19 impact on the tenant’s finances within 5 days of the delivery or posting of the notice. Landlords are barred from making tenants sign NDAs as part of this negotiation process. To create a Notice of COVID-19 Impact statement that you can give to your landlord, follow the steps on the LCBH Rentervention website.
Eviction guides and resources
Eviction Timeline and Tenants Rights. An overview of the Cook County eviction process, with recommendations at each step.
Evictions After COVID-19. A video presentation on the basics of the Cook County eviction process and changes to that process under COVID-19. (Credit: Westside Justice Center and Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing))
Can I Be Evicted During the COVID-19 Crisis in Cook County? (Credit: Legal Aid Chicago)
CARES Act Violation Letter Template. A template for a letter you can send to your landlord if they file an eviction against you in violation of the CARES Act. To see if you are in a CARES-covered building, search your building in the tools linked under "CARES Act" above.
Uptown People’s Law Center’s COVID-19 Eviction Know Your Rights Guide. A brief guide to tenants rights under COVID-19.
Please talk with an attorney before acting on any advice that you find or are given in order to make the most accurate and appropriate decision. Tenants United cannot provide legal advice.
Lawyers Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) may be able to represent you for free or give you free legal advice. Use the Rentervention tool to request legal aid.
Westside Justice Center offers a community-based legal services clinic where you can call to receive a free legal consultation, have your case assessed for representation by a Before the Law attorney, get referrals to other free legal aid programs, and receive step-by-step pro se litigant assistance. To connect with Before the Law, call 773-940-2213 Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free attorney consultation.
Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). Automated court documents (Easy forms), expert legal information and detailed instructions (how-tos) that walk you through the steps of the eviction process.
Chicago Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) Volunteer Hotline MTO's volunteer hotline can help you navigate tenant laws.