The United States Congress passed a law in March 2020 titled The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the economic and public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act provided a wide range of measures to support individuals, businesses, and communities affected by the pandemic. The CARES Act also included several provisions impacting landlords. While President Biden has now declared the COVID National Emergency over, the federal government has yet to repeal the CARES Act.
Extent of CARES Act: Evictions, Loans, Tax Relief, and Mortgage Forbearance
Eviction moratorium – The CARES Act included a federal eviction moratorium that prohibited evictions of tenants from certain federally-backed properties for non-payment of rent during the height of the pandemic. That moratorium has since expired, along with most state and local governments’ own eviction moratoriums.
Small business loans – The CARES Act included funding for small business loans, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which helped to cover payroll and other eligible expenses for landlords who operate as small businesses.
Tax relief – The CARES Act included various tax relief measures that allow landlords to carry back net operating losses from 2018, 2019, and 2020 for up to five years. The law also increased the business interest expense deduction for landlords who met certain criteria.
Mortgage Forbearance – The CARES Act also provided mortgage forbearance for homeowners, including landlords, who have federally-backed mortgages provided by Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA, commonly known as Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC, commonly known as Freddie Mac). This allowed landlords to temporarily pause their mortgage payments when facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Current Impact of the CARES Act
Generally, Illinois landlords must provide a tenant with a legal notice of termination for non-payment of rent before filing a lawsuit in court. Under Illinois law, the minimum timeframe required for such notice is 5 days (i.e. “5 day notice”). However, under the CARES Act, landlords with federally-backed mortgages are required to allow delinquent tenants 30 days after service of a termination notice to tender the amount due.
Since a sunset provision was not written into the CARES Act, landlords with federally-backed mortgages should continue to issue CARES-compliant 30-day notices for non-payment as opposed to 5 day notices.
Although some judges are allowing eviction cases of federally-backed properties to proceed with 5 day notices, Illinois landlords who fail to issue CARES-compliant 30-day notices are subject to penalties from their lender and the federal government.
It’s important to note that there are additional requirements and procedures that Illinois landlords must follow to legally evict a tenant. Landlords also need to stay up-to-date on any changes in legislation and local ordinances. Landlords should consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about landlord-tenant law in Illinois before initiating an eviction.
KSN attorneys are familiar with the latest landlord/tenant laws and regulations. We work quickly and efficiently with landlords and rental property managers to discuss evictions, lease reviews, and other legal concerns.
KSN can be reached by calling 855-537-0500 or by visiting www.ksnlaw.com.
Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for landlords, property managers, and property owners. We have four office locations, serving hundreds of clients and thousands of communities throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Our attorneys are also licensed in Arizona, Florida, and Texas.
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