Resources Exist For Tenants Facing Eviction

Kenyatta Land, managing attorney at Land Law Firm, has more than 20 years in the real estate industry. Photo provided by Kenyatta Land
Kenyatta Land, managing attorney at Land Law Firm, has more than 20 years in the real estate industry. Photo provided by Kenyatta Land

Resources Exist For Tenants Facing Eviction

By Tia Carol Jones

The Illinois eviction moratorium ended on Oct. 4, which means renters are at risk of losing their housing if they do not pay rent. The moratorium was placed during the COVID-19 pandemic to help people that were not able to pay rent due to job loss because of shutdowns and quarantines.

Changes in employment status created a domino effect for those who could not pay rent. Not only did it affect those people, but it also affected landlords who were unable to pay their mortgage because their tenants did not pay rent.

Help exists for people who have been unable to pay rent due to changes in employment status. Kenyatta Land is a real estate attorney with the Land Law Firm. Land has landlords coming to him because they want back payment for rent from tenants who had not been able to pay so that they can pay their mortgage. On the other hand, Land has tenants coming to him fearful because they are in jeopardy of being evicted.

Land sees a lack of communication when it comes to what resources are available to tenants who might be at risk. There is also a lack of communication between renters and landlords, created because of non-payment of rent, which has caused the tenant/ landlord relationship has soured.

“Both parties are on their own separate island, and they are not communicating as it relates to the resources,” he said. “It’s in the landlords and the tenant’s best interest to communicate.”

Land has tried to bridge the gap to bring tenants and landlords together so they can get the necessary resources, so there is no big economic damage. He has them sit down to see how they can work together. The goal is to come up with a resolution that does not result in a bitter court dispute.

“It’s basically open communication, open dialogue, access to the resources, explaining to both parties the resources that are available and the process of which they can go through to access those resources,” he said. People might have heard about resources but not sure of where to go or the process of getting the help they need.  Because Self Help is not applied in the State of Illinois, landlords must contact the Sheriff’s Office to pursue the eviction process.

The Spanish Coalition for Housing has access to resources for tenants and homeowners who might be facing eviction. Vanessa Sanchez, the housing counselor with the Spanish Coalition for Housing, has seen more people coming in for assistance since the moratorium has ended.

Sanchez highlighted two programs. The All Chicago provides homeowners and tenants six months of rent or mortgage. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides 12 months of back rent, as well as up to three months of rent for tenants.

Sanchez said some landlords are sending their tenants to the Spanish Coalition for Housing to get help with their rent. The organization also provides help for landlords. Landlords have been coming in for eviction notices, as well as loan modifications so they don’t lose their properties. The Spanish Coalition for Housing works with Foreclosure Prevention Program.

For more information about Kenyatta Land and the Land Law Firm, visit landlawfirm.com. For more information on the Spanish Coalition for Housing, visit www.sc4housing.org.

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