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Verella’s Round-Up: Assorted Bag of Tips

verella osborne

Happy “almost summer” to everyone. No long oratory (or rant) for this edition of the Newsletter – just a few comments on some of the areas or issues I see currently affecting housing providers in their effort to recover after the God-awful rental housing mess left by our city, county and state governments.

Status of Cook County Evictions:

  • Court hearings are still conducted by Zoom
  • A 5/6/22 Admin. Order issued by the Chief Judge killed our hopes that all five eviction courtrooms would again be used at Daley Center for Chicago cases. Instead, the court reiterated that all cases are still to be funneled into one courtroom – 1302. So there remains a large backlog of cases waiting to be heard solely as a result of reducing five courtrooms to one. The few changes made by the court to alleviate the problem – adding a “court coordinator” to triage the cases instead of (not in addition to) the judge and allowing certain routine motions and orders to be entered by the courtroom clerk without the parties appearing will not, in my opinion, relieve the problem created by the court’s abysmal planning.
    In addition, the court added an additional 28 days to each case by stating “all pro se parties (virtually all tenants) appearing for the ERP call…will automatically be referred into ERP and will be given a 28-day status date by order…” We used to be able to enter agreed settlement orders with the tenant on the first appearance at the ERP call; the court appears to be trying to circumvent that possibility and is adding another month to the already ridiculously long procedure.
    The Admin. Order made several other changes, none of which are beneficial in practice to the housing provider. The court attempted to assist plaintiffs’ attorneys by allowing attorneys to email in routine motions and alias summonses for the courtroom clerk to enter. However, even with the attorneys present, approximately 25% of our entered court orders have gone missing – some since last year. I shudder to think how that number will increase when the attorneys are relying only on emailed requests to the clerks. In summary, the Circuit Court of Cook County is still a broken system.
  • One optimistic note: it may be taking 2-3 times as long as pre-Covid cases, but we are obtaining Eviction Orders and the Sheriff is enforcing those orders, so grit your teeth, ignore the calendar, and call and email the Chief Judge of Cook County to open all of the Daley Center eviction courtrooms, and email the IL Supreme Court to revoke the ERP mandate in the courts and to revoke the impoundment (sealing) of eviction records. An ERP mediator in the courtroom has served whatever minimal benefit it ever had and the sealing of eviction court records is discriminatory and prejudicial.

Suburban Cook County Five-Day Notices and the CCRLTO:

  • Most housing providers still aren’t aware of the “legal deadline” on their five-day notices stipulated by the new Cook County housing provider-tenant law. We reject dozens of notices a month because the notices are over 30 days old and have “expired” under the new law. If you have suburban Cook property, please be aware that you must send your notices to your eviction attorney no later than 21 days after service, if you want to file an eviction suit; otherwise, you have to re-serve the notice.

Auction Sales of Foreclosed Property:

  • Auctions by Auction.Com, Judicial Sales Corp and others of foreclosed residential property have resumed and we’re seeing an influx of cases brought to us by investors who have not been informed – by either the auction houses, their attorneys or realtors – of the Chicago and Illinois laws governing first-party purchase of this type of property. Many investors heard that the KCRO (Chicago Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance) had been overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court because of the illegal rent control contained in the law – but didn’t realize the City immediately passed a new amended ordinance July 2021 and took the opportunity (of course) to make the ordinance even more punitive to purchasers. A couple of examples:
    1. Instead of serving a notice directed to all occupants, the amended KCRO now requires that you serve a copy on each occupant;
    2. They’ve added a new notice of rights in nine different languages, in addition to the prior notice in four languages (NOTE that the City’s published English version of the notice is missing the last paragraph mandated in the law);
    3. They’ve now allowed the qualified tenant to demand the $10,600 relocation fee from the new owner – even if you offer a new lease or offer to honor a current lease. Therefore, it’s even more important for the purchaser to ensure the occupant meets the conditions stipulated in the ordinance and statute for qualified tenants.

30-Day Notices for Federal Rent-Subsidized Tenants and Buildings with Federal Loans:

  • Very quickly, if you have a Section 8 tenant or a federally subsidized tenant, or all tenants in a building financed with a federal loan (HUD, Freddie Mac, etc.), you should serve a 30-Day Notice for Unpaid Rent and not a Five-Day Notice on those tenants.
  • The eviction moratorium provision of the federal CARES Act terminated but varied legal opinions believe that the minimum 30-day notice required for “federal” tenants and “federal” buildings (covered persons and property) has not terminated. Until the courts clarify or revoke this, serve 30-day notices for unpaid rent and for breach of a written lease contract. All other notice requirements in Chicago and IL are 30-120 days, so are not an issue.
  • If you don’t have a ‘30-day for unpaid rent’ notice, email me and I’ll send you one.




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