Chicago landlords ‘struggling’ as federal judge lifts national evictions ban

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A federal judge has struck down a national moratorium on evictions which has been in place since the start of the pandemic.

While it won’t impact the current ban in Illinois, WGN found that there is a local group awaiting their own ruling. 

Michael Glasser, landlord and president of the Neighborhood Building Owner’s Alliance, says, “many of us are struggling to pay our bills.”

Glasser says a survey of its alliance members projects unpaid rent for the Chicago area is around $1 billion since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. 

“Many smaller apartment building owners are in crisis and have to make a tough choice between maintenance, property tax and mortgage. It’s an unenviable choice,” Glasser said.

Governor JB Pritzker just extended the moratorium on evictions until the end of May. While that’s welcomed news to renters on the verge of losing their homes because of financial hardships created by the pandemic, smaller landlords who haven’t been paid in months are also on the verge of foreclosure. 

“We don’t want to see landlords losing their property over this,” said Paul Arena, director of Legislative Affairs with the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association.

The Illinois Rental Property Owners Association filed a lawsuit last year, seeking to have the moratorium thrown out. The lawsuit failed. It has since appealed but is still awaiting a decision by the court.

Arena says owners don’t want to evict people who are legitimately in a financial crisis. However, Arena adds, “we’re finding too many cases of people who don’t have a legitimate COVID-19 related hardship or are taking advantage of the moratorium. Those people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.”

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