Governor Pritzker has again extended the eviction moratorium in Illinois through April 3, 2021. As has been the case over the past few months, Illinois landlords can only initiate the eviction process if: (1) a tenant poses a “direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or is an immediate and severe risk to the Property” or (2) the tenant is not a “Covered Person” as defined under Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order.

A Covered Person is defined as:

  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.

Prior to serving any notice of termination, and prior to filing suit, Landlords must provide the Tenant with the Declaration Form made available by the Illinois Housing Development Authority to determine whether such Tenant is a Covered Person.

If a Tenant returns a signed Declaration Form stating that they meet the qualifications, the eviction process cannot begin. A Tenant need not provide any proof supporting the Declaration, nor can a Landlord demand such supporting evidence. And even if the Tenant is not a Covered Person and an eviction order is obtained against the Tenant, the order will not be enforced by the Cook County Sheriff unless that person poses a severe risk to the health and safety of others or the property.

For more than 25 years, Erwin Law has been helping Landlords stay abreast of all matters related to property ownership. If you’re looking for the most current information regarding the eviction moratorium, or are interested in discussing your options, please call Bill Hacker at 773-525-0153 or email him at bhacker@erwinlawfirm.com.

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