Eviction help

COVID-19 changes to the eviction process

CARES Act

Under Section 4024 of the CARES Act, landlords in CARES-covered properties are prohibited from giving tenants notices to vacate or filing eviction cases for non-payment of rent before July 26th, 2020.

After July 26th, landlords in CARES-covered properties must give tenants at least 30 days' notice before filing an eviction case.

To see if you live in a CARES-covered property, use the following tools to look up your building. The results from these tools are sometimes inconsistent, so we strongly recommend searching for your building with all four tools and reaching out to a legal aid hotline if you get inconsistent results or have any questions.

Illinois orders and rules

  • Illinois landlords are barred from filing evictions for non-payment from April 23rd, 2020 until July 31st, 2020 with some exceptions: Section 2. A person or entity may not commence a residential eviction action pursuant to or arising under 735 ILCS 5/9-101 et seq., unless a tenant poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation. (Source: IL Executive Order 2020-30)
  • Any residential eviction filed before August 24th, 2020 must include an affidavit from the plaintiff (landlord) affirmatively stating that the unit they’re filing the eviction against is not covered by the CARES act. (Source: IL Supreme Court Rule 30370)

Chicago ordinances

The Chicago City Council passed the mayor’s eviction protection ordinance on June 17, which went into effect immediately, is retroactive to March 21, an will be in effect for 60 days after the Illinois eviction moratorium is lifted. The ordinance states that if a landlord issues a 5-day notice for non-payment, they must negotiate a repayment plan with the tenant for at least 7 days if the tenant provides evidence of COVID-19 impact on the tenant’s finances within 5 days of the delivery or posting of the notice. Landlords are barred from making tenants sign NDAs as part of this negotiation process.

Eviction guides and resources

Eviction Timeline and Tenants Rights. An overview of the Cook County eviction process, with recommendations at each step.

Evictions After COVID-19. A video presentation on the basics of the Cook County eviction process and changes to that process under COVID-19. (Credit: Westside Justice Center and Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing))

Can I Be Evicted During the COVID-19 Crisis in Cook County? (Credit: Legal Aid Chicago)

CARES Act Violation Letter Template. A template for a letter you can send to your landlord if they file an eviction against you in violation of the CARES Act. To see if you are in a CARES-covered building, search your building in the tools linked under "CARES Act" above.

Uptown People’s Law Center’s COVID-19 Eviction Know Your Rights Guide. A brief guide to tenants rights under COVID-19.

Legal aid

Please talk with an attorney before acting on any advice that you find or are given in order to make the most accurate and appropriate decision. Tenants United cannot provide legal advice.

Lawyers Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) may be able to represent you for free or give you free legal advice. Use the Rentervention tool to request legal aid.

Westside Justice Center offers a community-based legal services clinic where you can call to receive a free legal consultation, have your case assessed for representation by a Before the Law attorney, get referrals to other free legal aid programs, and receive step-by-step pro se litigant assistance. To connect with Before the Law, call 773-940-2213 Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. You can also email info@westsidejustice.org to schedule a free attorney consultation.

Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). Automated court documents (Easy forms), expert legal information and detailed instructions (how-tos) that walk you through the steps of the eviction process.

Chicago Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) Volunteer Hotline MTO's volunteer hotline can help you navigate tenant laws.