BEDS Special Bulletin:
Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance

Illinois extended its eviction moratorium through Dec. 12. As we’ve written about, the moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to COVID-19. The moratorium does NOT stop rent from accruing. After it expires, missed payments will come due, and evictions will start, albeit with massive court and law enforcement backlogs.

To be clear, the pandemic has deprived landlords and property managers of rental income that they had every right to expect, and they have legitimate concerns about their stability as well.

Unfortunately, an increasing number are resorting to illegal “self-help evictions” to sidestep moratoriums and backlogged courts and law enforcement. In response, Cook County is considering a Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance that establishes crucial protections for renters. Specifically, the ordinance:
  • Enforces renters' rights not to face unlawful landlord entry or be locked out
  • Prohibits leases that waive rights to eviction notices, waive rights to eviction hearings, and/or charge exorbitant interest on late rent
  • Improves tenants’ ability to withhold rent until landlords perform building maintenance
  • Prevents security deposit abuses.

The ordinance helps landlords too It sets clear standards for what they can and cannot do in an uncertain regulatory environment that differs from community to community. Specifically, it:
  • Cements renter and landlord rights and responsibilities, such as rent and lease compliance
  • Assists landlords in creating reasonable rules and regulations
  • Exempts smaller owner-occupied buildings

At BEDS, we see first hand how important it is to prevent homelessness, and we support reasonable protections against eviction, especially during a crisis of the magnitude of the COVID19 pandemic. For thirty years, Chicago, Evanston, and Mount Prospect have had codified landlord-tenant protections, and their housing markets have flourished. We’ve written to our Cook County Commissioners to extend these protections to our communities. We hope you do too.

You can find your commissioner here.

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