Cook County apartment renters and landlords will have access to free legal resources as part of a new program that was unveiled on November 23, 2020. The program, called Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD), aims to help renters and property owners alike as they face unprecedented stresses in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. Apartment renters can use this free service if they’re facing eviction from their rental apartment. Meanwhile, landlords who are falling behind on property tax payments or facing foreclosure on their apartment buildings and individual apartments can also avail themselves of the legal aid provided by this program.
Who Can Get Free Legal Help in Cook County?
Renters who’ve been unable to pay their apartment rent due to hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can use this free legal aid to negotiate with landlords. Illinois renters have been protected against evictions for several months thanks to a statewide eviction moratorium, but the 30-day emergency executive order by Governor J.B. Pritzker was only ever intended as a stopgap solution to forestall a massive wave of people losing housing in the midst of the pandemic. Despite the temporary language of the executive order, the eviction ban has persisted throughout much of 2020 thanks to several last-minute extensions. The Illinois Eviction Moratorium exists in conjunction with an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that halts all evictions at the federal level. The CDC's eviction moratorium is scheduled to expire at the end of 2020 and is designed to yield to more stringent local eviction bans where they exist.
While the pandemic has continued, apartment renters and landlords have been looking for resources to help them ride out the widespread economic fallout. Questions about delaying or skipping rent payments have arisen over the past year. Landlords of apartments in Chicago and Cook County have been put under financial strain during the pandemic as well, and this program offers legal services to any landlord in Cook County who isn’t currently represented by a lawyer.
Do Apartment Renters & Landlords in Cook County Have Any More Free Resources?
In addition to legal aid provided free of charge by CCLAHD, there are free mediation services available to renters and landlords in Chicago. The mediation services come via partnership between the City of Chicago and the Center for Conflict Resolution. These mediation services can be instrumental in helping renters and landlords who are working to create payment plans for back rent owed due to the pandemic. More information on free mediation services can be found on The City of Chicago website.
Any Cook County apartment renter or apartment landlord who wants to take advantage of the free legal services provided by CCLAHD can call 855-956-5763 to get help.
Disclaimer: Domu isn’t a law firm and this page does not offer legal advice to you or anyone.