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Cook County real estate attorney for COVID-19 landlord reliefFor more than a year, people and businesses throughout the United States have been struggling to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation has placed many landlords in a difficult position, since residential tenants who have lost their jobs or commercial tenants who have experienced a loss of revenue may be unable to pay rent. At the same time, federal, state, and local governments have placed a moratorium on evictions to protect the health and safety of tenants. In many cases, this has left landlords with few options, since the standard ways of dealing with non-paying tenants are unavailable. Fortunately, multiple relief programs may provide assistance for landlords, ensuring that they can cover their ongoing expenses.

Emergency COVID-19 Relief

The federal government has created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to make funds available for those who have been unable to pay rent or utilities. A household can qualify for relief if they meet the eligibility criteria. These include a reduction in income or other financial hardship because of COVID-19, a risk that a person or family will experience homelessness or housing instability, and a household income that is at or below 80% of the median income in the area.

A household can receive up to 12 months of rental assistance, and this may be extended for an additional three months if necessary. At least 90% of any funds awarded must be used to pay housing-related expenses, including ongoing rent payments and rent that is past due, utilities, and home energy costs. Landlords can apply for relief on behalf of tenants, and funds awarded may be paid directly to a landlord.

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