Many families have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who have experienced financial difficulties may have struggled to pay ongoing expenses, including rent. To help protect families from losing their homes and being put at risk of infections, the federal government placed a moratorium on evictions, and multiple state governments did the same. A recent Supreme Court decision ended the federal eviction moratorium, but Illinois’ moratorium is still in effect, and Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated that it will be extended through October 3, 2021. Landlords with tenants who have been unable to pay rent will need to understand their options, including determining whether they may be able to perform evictions or use lease modifications.
Availability of Emergency Rental Assistance
Tenants who have struggled to pay rent and landlords facing financial difficulties due to the inability to collect rent payments may qualify for emergency rental assistance (ERA) provided by state and local programs, including the Illinois Rental Payment Program. The Biden administration and the Treasury Department have implemented new rules meant to ensure that people who qualify for ERA can receive relief quickly. These include:
A household can use self-attestation to document eligibility for ERA, including providing information about the income earned by family members, the reasons a family has experienced financial hardship, and whether they face the risk of homelessness or housing instability.
State and local programs can rely solely on self-attestation of a household’s income during the COVID-19 public health emergency if other sources of documentation are not available.
State and local programs can provide advance payments to landlords and utilities based on the assistance that a renter will be expected to receive once they meet all documentation requirements.
State and local programs can partner with nonprofit organizations to provide advance payments to renters who are at risk of eviction during the processing of their ERA applications.
Landlords can receive additional payments from ERA programs if they accept “hard-to-house” tenants who have struggled to secure a lease due to a recent eviction or homelessness.
Tenants who have outstanding debts at previous residences may receive ERA to cover arrears that are due to these landlords.
Lease Modification Options
In addition to receiving rent payments through ERA, landlords may also work with tenants to modify lease agreements and ensure that they will be able to continue making affordable rent payments or pay past-due rent. A landlord may agree to reduce the amount of rent or waive certain past-due payments, or they may allow a tenant to defer payments or pay off past-due payments over time. The length of a lease or other terms may also be modified. By finding solutions to help tenants avoid eviction, a landlord may be able to protect their tenants’ safety while ensuring that they will be able to cover their own expenses.
Contact Our Libertyville Lease Modification Attorneys
At Newland & Newland, LLP, we work with landlords to help them determine their best options for receiving rent payments that are due, and we can also advise landlords on their rights regarding evictions. To arrange a free consultation, contact our Lake County lease modification and eviction lawyers at [[phone]].