Lightfoot’s eviction bill would force landlords to negotiate with tenants

Several council members have said they think ordinance tilts too far in favor of tenants

Chicago /
Jun.June 16, 2020 12:00 PM
Lori Lightfoot (Credit: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Lori Lightfoot (Credit: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Landlords aren’t going to like this one. The City Council’s Housing Committee approved an ordinance that gives tenants more time to strike a deal with their landlords if they’ve been hit hard financially by Covid-19, according to Crain’s.

The City Council will vote on the ordinance on Wednesday, a measure that some council members believe overly favors tenants.

As part of a five-day eviction notice for nonpayment, landlords would have to inform tenants that they could file a notice saying they can’t pay rent because of the pandemic, which begins a seven-day cooling period, according to Crain’s. Afterward, landlords must make a good-faith effort to work out a plan with the tenant, which could include a payment plan, mediation or a move out in exchange for waived rent. Landlords couldn’t reject payments from third-party sources, and they couldn’t request information on savings or noncash possessions.

According to Crain’s, there are aldermen who want Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s measure to exempt landlords with six or fewer units, while others expressed concern that the lack of direct government intervention would lead to large-scale evictions.

“We are trying to provide protections for tenants, many of whom are struggling to pay rent, and we are trying to thoughtfully and respectfully provide a solution that addresses the challenge that landlords find themselves in as well,” said Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara, according to Crain’s, adding that the federal government hasn’t provided enough support.

Lightfoot’s proposal has the support of multiple community organizations, including the Urban League, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and the Resurrection Project. [Crain’s]James Kleimann


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