Know Your Rights: Eviction and Lockout Resources
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.
The statewide moratorium on evictions is currently in effect through Feb. 6, 2021. It may be extended again at that point by the governor, as it has each month since the public health crisis began. The moratorium prohibits landlords from initiating eviction procedures against tenants unless they pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to the property.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Additional eviction protections are available under a Chicago ordinace 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.