Renters, both current and future, and landlords may want to familiarize themselves with the Rent Control Preemption Act.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is in favor of overturning the Rent Control Preemption Act. The policy does not allow any form of rent control or rent stabilization from being discussed or implemented in any Illinois municipality.
What is rent control?
Rent control is any policy that seeks to set a standard price for a residential rental property, which cannot be increased.
For renters, this could be great. Not fearing increased rent would mean so much to low-income families. However, landlords may view it as a nightmare.
What if property taxes go up? What if the building requires maintenance? How will they pay for these expenses?
Why it could help
This policy can help prevent people from being forced out of their home due to the cost of rent. It can prevent landlords from increasing rent to acquire a tenant that can pay more.
Tenants making monthly rent payments, which may or may not include utilities or renter’s insurance, probably do not have extra money if rent goes up. Rent control can help stabilize those costs while ensuring prices are not hiked unnecessarily.
Why it could hurt
Future renters could be heavily affected by rent control. Under rent control a person already renting cannot have their rent increased, while a person moving in would be facing a brand new rent.
Landlords won’t be able to raise the rent if property taxes increase or maintenance is needed. This leaves landlords a few options. They could convert the property to a condominium, sell the property, or even let the property fall apart. If landlords exercise these options, the supply of affordable housing will go down.
The demand for rental property remains high in Illinois. With fewer properties available for rent, prices would go up due to the low supply.
What you can do
You may feel powerless or even frustrated with Illinois’ government, but do not sit in silence. Let your voice be heard, call your local state representative before any major decisions are made.
The undoing of the Rent control Preemption Act does not establish rent control in Illinois. It does allow municipalities in Illinois to discuss implementing rent control. The policy itself will have to pass local governments.