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By: Chad J. Richter 

After Governor Pritzker’s executive orders and Congress’ passing of the CARES Act temporarily halting eviction proceedings for residential dwellings, a number of property owners across Illinois are currently facing the unfortunate situation of tenants who are unable or unwilling to pay rent. While the CARES Act and executive orders do not relieve any individual or entity of their obligation to pay rent, property owners and landlords have their hands tied from taking any legal action to compel rent payments or to evict their non-paying tenants.

Determining when eviction proceedings may resume, and how, may be confusing. The executive orders and CARES Act initially set forth differing dates as to when eviction proceedings may recommence and the dates may be subject to change after the posting of this article. Currently, under the Illinois executive orders residential evictions may not commence until July 26, 2020. The CARES Act provides that eviction proceedings for certain residential properties defined by the Act as “covered dwellings” may only resume after July 25, 2020.

But that does not mean property owners can resume issuing the same 5-day notice to vacate for non-payment of rent as they previously have done. Rather, in accordance with the newly promulgated Illinois Supreme Court Rules, property owners must now file with the court an affidavit certifying whether or not the property qualifies as a “covered dwelling”. In the event the property meets the requirements of a “covered dwelling”, the owner must issue a 30-day notice to vacate no sooner than July 25, 2020 and cannot file the eviction action with the Court until August 24, 2020.

In summary, if the property does not qualify as a “covered dwelling”, the earliest date for a property owner to commence a residential eviction action is July 26, 2020. If the property qualifies as a “covered dwelling”, the owner may not commence an eviction action prior to July 25, 2020 or file an eviction action before August 24, 2020.

Note: Pritzker’s executive orders permit the eviction of a tenants who pose: 1) a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants; 2) an immediate and severe risk to property; or 3) a violation of any applicable building cod, health ordinance, or similar regulation. The CARES Act only prevents a property owner from commencing an eviction for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges related to the non-payment of rent.

Professional Services Disclaimer: Please note that the information presented here is as an educational service, and while it contains information about legal issues, it is not legal advice. No warranty is made regarding the applicability of the information presented to a particular client situation, and the information set forth is not a substitute for original legal research, analysis and drafting for a particular client situation.