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What Forms of COVID-19 Relief Are Available to Landlords and Tenants?

Posted on in Real Estate

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.

In addition to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, some other forms of relief may be available for landlords. The City of Chicago’s Department of Housing is offering Emergency Relief for Affordable Multifamily Properties (ERAMP). This relief may include grants or deferred payment loans with no interest. A landlord may receive up to $75,000 per property to address up to three months of operating shortfalls or expenses related to the prevention of infectious diseases. To be eligible, a property must have at least five units, and rent prices must be affordable for families with a household income that is at or below 60% of the median income in the area.

Contact Our Evergreen Park Landlord Attorney

If you are a landlord who is struggling to pay your expenses because you are not receiving rent from your tenants, the Law Offices of Marques A. Eason, LLC can help you determine whether you are eligible to receive emergency relief. We will make sure you understand your rights, and we will advise you on the steps you can take to deal with your tenants and protect yourself from further financial losses. Contact our South Side of Chicago commercial real estate lawyer by calling our office at 312-973-3755.

Sources:

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/emergency-rental-assistance-program

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/doh/provdrs/landlords/svcs/eramp.html

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