Jun 30

[Updated 7/3/20: The original count increased slightly (~1%) after June 30th due to evictions filed towards the end of the month, but not posted to CCAP until July. These appear to have been paper filings. While the change is insignificant in the overall impact, I wish to be as accurate as possible. ]

Evictions for the first six months of 2020 are down 32.1% in Milwaukee County over 2019, and down over 30% statewide this year over last.

Jun 28

The NYT article is title is “Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago, on who’s hurt by defunding police.” But it has a lot to do with rentals from what I perceive as a very liberal politician’s view.

I would take the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge as it is what my company is already trying to do.

From the NYT’s article interview with the Chicago Mayor:

As a result of what we’ve all been going through, a lot of us, I think, have been reconsidering some of the fundamental assumptions we had about our government and economic system. Have you? Are you thinking differently now about things like rent control? [6]

When I think about rent, I think about it in the context of the entire ecosystem. The problem is mortgages that have to be paid and the banks that hold those mortgages and whether they’re going to give any forbearance. I think about landlords who are under pressure to pay their mortgage, their utilities, their property taxes. I think about renters and how stressed they are, worrying about being able to pay but also about possible evictions and what impact that is going to have on their credit rating. So the way I think about public policy is not individual levers and solutions in isolation. I try to look for the balance. Many times, there’s a solution lurking in the center.

So where might there be a solution for helping people who are struggling to pay rent because the economy cratered?

One thing that we did here is we brought together banks, landlords and people representing renters into what we called a solidarity pledge.[7] It’s voluntary; it’s not mandatory. But we put a lot of emphasis on saying: “Be good neighbors. Give each other grace and space in this difficult time.” That means not filing evictions. Not penalizing people because they can’t pay their mortgages or their rent. Be engaged in conversation to find common ground. We heard from all the actors that they were engaged in a lot of these conversations already. But by me, as mayor, publicly challenging them, it moved a conversation that was in the backroom to a more public reckoning.

Don’t you think that a voluntary “solidarity pledge” could just give landlords the cover of paying lip service?

You’re underestimating the level of activism here in Chicago. Any instance in which people feel there’s been a deviation, they are not hesitating to call it out. But of course, not everybody’s taking the pledge.


6 Rent control has been banned in Illinois since 1997.
7 In addition to the solidarity pledge, Lightfoot recently proposed a prohibition on landlords’ eviction of a tenant without first allowing the tenant five days to deliver a “notice of Covid-19 impact” outlining financial hardship brought on by the pandemic. Delivery of the notice would then earn tenants an additional week for negotiation.

Jun 26

The House plans to vote next week, possibly Monday, June 29th, on the “Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020” (H.R. 7301).

This bill contains both emergency rental assistance,(good for housing) and a national eviction moratorium regardless if the owner has federal financing.(Very bad for housing)


Easy reading at ONLY 92 pages…

Jun 26

Legislative committee blocks rule prohibiting landlords from charging late fees on rent

The ban on late fees was determined to be “arbitrary and capricious” yesterday morning by the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, on a 6-4 vote, and therefore unenforceable.

Important Note:
If your property or tenant is subject to the CARES act you cannot charge late fees until after July 24th, 2020.

Just because you can charge late fees, does not mean you should charge late fees, without exception.  Discretion should be given to tenants that are facing hardships.

Think of this like the speed limit. The sign says 70 and you usually do 75 to reach your goal a bit sooner. But trying to even do even close to the limit in a blizzard may well have the opposite effect. We could see an economic blizzard later this year.

The purpose of late fees is to encourage on-time payments by those who can pay, it is not to penalize those who are facing hardships.

My company did not charge late fees in April, even though the moratorium did not exist then, because anxiety was high for tenants.

Even though we can again charge fees, our company will waive late fees for tenants that can provide proof they have not received their unemployment checks or are waiting on WRAP, etc.

We have a list of resources for tenants facing hardship due to COVID or otherwise that you can share with your tenants if you wish.

Jun 21

Desmond says eviction filings are rising. “In Milwaukee, for example, evictions are up 38 percent last week from where they should be on a typical week in June in Milwaukee,” he says.


This is accurate for the single week chosen, which was the first week when most evictions could be filed after the moratorium on notices, and the courts having been closed for months.

But it is a grave distortion of the overall facts, even if you only look at the month of June.

The greater truth is YTD evictions are down 40% year over year in Milwaukee and down 34% year over year statewide. I expect as June plays out those percentages will close a bit, but we will not see anywhere close to 2019 eviction rates.

Landlords never “profit” from evictions. It is always a money-losing, stressful time for everyone.

Property owners and managers are now working with tenants more than before to avoid court as this is a hard time for everyone.

Jun 19

The SBA EIDL loans have re-opened applications on June 15th  for all businesses, including residential landlords. 

Jun 18

HUD in Mortgagee Letter 2020-19 extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for FHA insured single-family loans from June 30, 2020 to August 31, 2020

Jun 18

We should not need the courts to tell us not to reject applicants for things that do not impact the tenants’ ability to pay or indicate they will be disruptive to other tenants or neighbors. It is simply good business practices to ignore things that don’t matter and keep your units full.

However, if you are confused about this, the recent US Supreme Court ruling on sexual orientation and employment, while not directly related to housing, should be a stern warning for landlords who exclude rental applicants based on sexual preferences.

But if you feel you must reject people despite having a history of paying their rent and not creating a ruckus, send them over to us. We’ll take all the good tenants we can get.

Jun 18

As seen on Tristan’s Landlord-Tenant Law Blog


Jun 17


“I’m seeing rents are down 10% to 20%, with higher-end and luxury units taking the biggest hits,”

Considering that the typical owner’s net operating income after mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, employees, is 7-9% there will be a lot of failures, of both owners and municipal budgets.

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