UI reminds students they still have to pay rent to private landlords

An announcement from the University of Illinois reminded students that they still need to pay their rent.

All classes at the University have shifted online for the remainder of the semester and the summer.

Legal Services at the University of Illinois has issued a reminder to students that moving away from campus due to the coronavirus pandemic does not nullify their rental agreements.

The UI Student Legal Services recently sent out an announcement informing students that they still needed to pay rent to private landlords. 

“COVID-19 does not end your lease,” warned the university. “You will still owe all rent due for the remainder of the lease period, whether you are living in the unit or not.”

Many students have moved away from campus, or back home with their parents since the suspension of in-person classes. “Many students want out of leases because they are not in town,” saidTom Betz, Directing Attorney of UI Student Legal Services, according to News-Gazette. “We are admonishing students to pay the rent as the website shows.”

Betz made a point of reminding students that the governor’s hold on evictions does not negate rent payments that are due.

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“Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Exe. Order 2020-10 has placed a moratorium on evictions under the “Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation” and is in effect until the proclamation is withdrawn,” said the announcement. “However, you are still obligated to pay rent and perform any other obligations under the lease.”

The announcement laid out the legal steps that Illinois landlords may take when rent is not paid, noting that “not paying your rent will lead to a 5-day notice demanding payment.”

 “Failure to pay in five days will lead to the right of landlord to demand possession in court. In Champaign County, the sheriff is not serving civil process/eviction summons to court while the courthouse is closed. The court will reopen!” the university warned students.

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“Interest will accumulate for late and unpaid rent along with court costs and attorney fees,” the warning continued. “There are some landlords that will turn your nonpayment of rent over to collection agencies and credit agencies, which may destroy your credit rating.”

Although the university reminded students they needed to pay rent, they have issued pro-rated refunds for those living in university-owned housing after asking students to move out. The reminder targets students who have signed leases with privately owned properties.

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