Round up the usual suspects. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago), backed by national progressive think tanks and policy institutes like the Shriver Center (which has been a major force in pushing anti-landlord housing policy changes nationwide), are coming out hot. They’re ready to take advantage of this pandemic to re-shape the world in their progressive image in the form of the Illinois Emergency and Economic Recovery Renter and Homeowner Protection Act. This is the thanks that landlords get for “giving grace” to tenants at a time of crisis.
WTTW published a story about the proposed law which was supposedly filed yesterday, although you can’t find a bill number online yet. The “law” (a copy obtained by WTTW can be found here) reads like a Christmas list of the tenant’s rights advocacy groups. I haven’t parsed through all of it, but it fundamentally re-writes the eviction code, adds Covid-19 as part of the fair housing protected classes, and incorporates the ridiculous Just Cause for Eviction concept.
The law was allegedly penned by the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing who happen to be the one tenants’ rights group that signed on to the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge. If true, this is certainly not the definition of landlords and tenants standing together as one during a pandemic. It is outright partisanship taking advantage of a crisis to advance a political agenda. UPDATE: It is confirmed in the video posted by Rep. Delia Ramirez that The Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing drafted this legislation. Interestingly, LCBH had to know this legislation existed when they made their pledge to Mayor Lightfoot.
The proponents of the measure will say “hey, there’s money in there for landlords”. Yes, there seems to be, provided the landlord signs on to be governed by a board that will have oversight over the landlord’s actions. While the law forgives rent, eliminates late fees, and even removes a landlord’s obligation to pay their mortgage, you might ask, “is GOVERNMENT going to do anything to share some of the burden? ” In the most comical Freudian slip I’ve ever seen in written legislation, it looks like there is a section that deals with the very concept of property tax relief. I’ve highlighted the property tax relief portion of the legislation below. Will Guzzardi and Delia Ramirez think you landlords are entitled to:
More on this as we see the filed version of the law.
Honestly, landlords now need to call their State representatives. Now. If this law passes, I can only suggest that you call your favorite realtor, list your property, and call me to handle your real estate closing.