The Abuse of Landlord’s Rights Needs to Stop

The Governor of Illinois has, without input from the State Legislature, enacted a moratorium on the filing and completion of residential eviction cases since the pandemic began in the spring.  He recently announced another extension of the moratorium, this time through November 14, 2020.  The moratorium is not rationally related to stopping the spread of Covid-19.  It is instead a pure political move designed to pander to the Governor’s constituency without regard to the severe harm it is causing to landlords and real estate investors.

There is no reason why there needs to be a blanket moratorium in all cases.  Our courts have been open since the summer and it is easy to get in front of a judge to present a reason why a landlord feels an eviction is necessary.  If a tenant can prove job loss/income loss due to the pandemic, the moratorium makes sense so long as the landlord can figure out a way to pay their mortgage, property tax, insurance and maintenance obligations without the rental income to which they are entitled.  The decision on whether an eviction is equitable given the pandemic should be left to a judge rather than applying a blanket prohibition in all cases.

Tenants are savvy and are taking advantage of the situation, even those would have had no impact on their earnings because of Covid-19.  Our Governor has taken too much control over a co-equal branch of the government, the courts.  It is time that Mr. Pritzker looks at what is best for all of his citizens, not just some of them.

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