Know Your Rights: Eviction and Lockout Resources
Updated Sept. 14, 2021
The Department of Housing maintains information and resources to help residential renters at risk of eviction and renters that are facing a lockout by their landlord.
Additional eviction protections are available under a Chicago ordinance by giving your landlord notice that you have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and download a sample declaration on the Department of Housing's website.
Chicago tenants who needs help with a housing issue like lockouts or evictions can contact Rentervention, a program of the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing.
Rentervention is free and confidential. To get started, tenants can call 312-347-7600, visit rentervention.com or text “hi” to 866-7RENTER (866-773-6837) to start a conversation with Renny, Rentervention’s bot.
Status of Federal and State Eviction Moratoria
State of Illinois
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced that starting Aug. 1, 2021 landlords will be able to file for eviction for nonpayment, and that evictions will not be enforced until Oct. 3, 2021. This does not prohibit landlords from initiating eviction procedures against tenants if they pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to the property. Visit the State of Illinois' Eviction Protection FAQ page for further information.
To qualify for the moratorium, tenants must:
- Earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020, or $198,000 if filing jointly
- Be unable to make a full rent or housing payment due to a COVID-19 related hardship including, but not limited to, substantial loss of income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, or an increase in out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Be using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses
- Eviction would likely render them homeless—or force them to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because they have no other available housing options.
The moratorium does not relieve any obligation to pay rent and tenants will be required to pay all unpaid rental payments.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Eviction Moratorium Order that temporarily delayed certain evictions in counties experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmissions, provided the tenant met certain eligibility requiremments. On Aug. 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that ended the pandemic-related federal moratorium on residential evictions.
Under Gov. Pritzker’s Executive Order 2021-13, as amended by Executive Order 2021-19, eviction protections are now limited to specific households. If you owe rent, your landlord may not file an eviction action against you if you provide your landlord with a Declaration.
The Illinois Eviction Moratorium Letter Creator creates an Illinois Moratorium Declaration to protect you and your household from eviction for nonpayment of rent and send the document directly to your landlord. Click here to use the online tool.
Court-based mediation takes place in virtual eviction courtrooms in the following locations:
- Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago
- Rolling Meadows
A court case is not required to access mediation. Clients can also self-refer outside of the court process. Contact CCR’s case management team at 312-922-6464, ext. 22 or email@example.com if you would like to open a mediation case.
To learn more about your rights, you can call the Department of Housing Rents Rights Information Line at 312-742-RENT (312-742-7368).
If you are being locked out of your apartment, or your landlord is making your apartment impossible to stay in, that is an illegal lockout. Learn what your rights are and what you can do with information from the Department of Housing and the Chicago Police Department.