Covid eviction cases would be sealed under state bill

Assembly measure applies only to cases tied to income loss; landlords oppose move

Chicago /
Mar.March 22, 2021 02:30 PM
(Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

(Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

An enormous wave of Covid-related evictions are expected to crash down on Illinois renters when the moratorium gets lifted.

With that in mind, a new state bill would seal those eviction records, making it easier for tenants to sign a new lease in a new home, Crain’s reported.

The Assembly measure, HB 2877, was introduced by state representatives Delia Ramirez, Lindsey LaPointe, Lakesia Collins and Will Guzzardi. The measure would cover evictions from March 2020 through March 2022.

Ramirez said that up to one in four people who rent in Illinois are behind on their payments because of the pandemic and at risk of eviction, according to the report. “There are so many people who never thought they wouldn’t be able to pay the rent, but either because they weren’t an essential worker and got laid off or because they were an essential worker and got sick, they’ve fallen behind,” she said.

A statewide eviction moratorium remains in place, as does a federal version — despite a recent court ruling that called it unconstitutional.

In August, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart warned that up to 250,000 households faced eviction if the ban was lifted.

The eviction moratorium has faced pushback from landlords, and so has the new bill. One of its provisions stipulates that landlords can seek to unseal eviction records in cases where they evicted tenants for reasons other than income loss, the report noted.

Magellan Properties president Michael Glasser said few landlords would go through that trouble. Glasser, who also heads up the Neighborhood Building Owners Association and Rogers Park Builders Group, told the publication he would rather see all evictions unsealed, and leave it to a judge to seal specific cases.

[Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman


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