Illinois’ Eviction Moratorium is hurting Rockford landlords

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he will not extend the Eviction Moratorium, which began in March 2020, past Monday.

Now, over a year later, a Rockford area property owner said that the financial and emotional stress is causing him and other property owners to start selling, and that the risk of another shutdown is too big.

“They sometimes have not received rent from people who are struggling, that are living there,” Pritzker said. “That is why we had the eviction moratorium in place, because we did not want anyone to be thrown out during, you know the toughest times, in the pandemic.”

Tim Jensen, who owns property in the Rockford area, said that he does not believe that Pritzker understand the impact the moratorium has caused.

“I do not think our governor understands, and I do not think he wants to understand,” Jensen said. “If you do not understand the struggle, than he is just going to do what he thinks is politically viable. I can say this, I do believe the governor thinks what he is doing is best, but it is short sided.”

Jensen runs the Rockford Real-Estate Investors Association, and owns more than 50 properties in the area, but now, he wants to sell nearly 35%. He said that while most tenants are paying rent, the risk of another moratorium is too much.

“Financial has definitely been up, there but emotional, this is not how I envisioned it. I have got to tell you, before the pandemic I was like, ‘all right, I am going to keep going and going,” because I love real-estate, and it just made me realize, is this what I want to do,” Jensen said. “Okay, we are in it for the long haul, and I am still uncertain that the governor is not going to come out Monday and extend the eviction moratorium again.”

Despite the stress, Jensen said that he believes most tenants are not the bad guys.

“They have hurts, they have hang-ups, they have stresses that you probably do not know about,” Jensen said. “That does not mean you get walked over, but just have a little empathy for them.”

Jensen said that he does not plan to, or want to, evict anyone, but he did say that since eviction records are sealed till 2022, it is important for all home providers to screen tenants credit reports.

Although the moratorium is ending in Illinois, renters can still get some help. Pritzker said that the state has many resources for those in need of some help.

“Rental assistance programs, literally 100s of millions of dollars are available, and have been available to renters, and many people have taken us up on that, which is great,” Pritzker said. “It is helping them come current with their landlords.”

There is a total of $60 million to go around.

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