Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lawsuit Challenges Illinois Governor Pritzker's Evictions Moratorium

The Illinois Rental Property Owners Association announced support for a lawsuit challenging Governor Pritzker's eviction ban:

Press release from the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association:

The Illinois Rental Property Owners Association (IRPOA) announces our support of the lawsuit filed by IRPOA members JL Properties Group, Mark Dauenbaugh and Steven Cole, challenging Governor Pritzker’s legal authority to deny housing providers access to the courts.
The Governor’s moratorium on evictions essentially ties the hands of housing providers to enforce our lease agreements. While we agree with the Governor’s intent of protecting renters affected by COVID-19, the Governor’s moratorium also applies to people who are not affected by COVID-19 but are choosing not to pay their rent.
Furthermore, the Governor’s moratorium limits a housing provider’s ability to address lease violations that are related to behavior and not COVID-19
Our members have been and will continue to work to ensure that individuals affected by COVID-19 are given every opportunity to remain in their home. We have been waiving late fees, offering payment plans, and directing tenants to resources for rental assistance. But we need access to the courts for those tenants who have been unresponsive or are violating leases in ways unrelated to COVID-19.
Small mom-and-pop landlords, who make up the majority of IRPOA members, have had their interests marginalized by the State of Illinois for too long. Corporate landlords may be able to absorb the losses that the Governor’s eviction moratorium imposes, but the majority of rental housing in Illinois is provided by average working class people who own a handful of rentals and rely on the monthly rent to meet their own obligations. Mom-and-pop landlords cannot go without income for over 5 months when sole proprietors have not been receiving assistance from COVID-19 programs to compensate for the lost income.
The plaintiff’s attorney James Noonan said “While we share the Governor’s concerns on spreading the virus, we believe the eviction moratorium goes too far. It unnecessarily and unlawfully redistributes the cost of protecting tenants to landlords, who deserve the same protection under Illinois law as other Illinoisans.”
We encourage housing providers from across Illinois to join us in this fight. Financial contributions for legal expenses are welcome and we ask all housing providers to add your voices to the growing number of small businesses who are speaking out about being unfairly burdened by the State’s response to COVID-19.
Established in 1994, the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association is an alliance of a dozen independent rental property owner associations across the State of Illinois. With the hundreds of investor-members and the thousands of dwellings they represent, IRPOA advocates for laws and ordinances that are in the best interests of both the owner and the tenant.