ENGLEWOOD — Renters who live in foreclosed buildings will get some extra protection from being immediately evicted under a new law signed Wednesday by Gov. Patrick Quinn.
Under the new state law, people buying foreclosed apartment buildings must honor current leases. If the new owner buys the building for a primary home, renters must be given at least 90 days notice to move out.
The law will "ensure renters are protected from sudden forced moves that can be costly and disruptive to their lives," Quinn said in a statement.
Some 40 percent of renters in buildings that have been foreclosed are unaware their landlords had failed to make mortgage payments, the governor's office said.
The measure was sponsored by Chicago Democrat state Sen. Jacqueline Collins of Auburn Gresham and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, whose district includes Rogers Park and Edgewater.
"No one should be evicted on short notice and lose access to a safe place to live because of the financial circumstances of the landlord," Cassidy said.
"As we strive to reduce poverty and crime in our communities, the foreclosure crisis threatens our efforts by unfairly uprooting families," said Collins.
Housing advocates heralded the news, including Samantha Tuttle of the Heartland Alliance, who called it "a major step forward" in helping renters avoid homelessness.
Under another measure, passed by the City Council in June, banks holding mortgages on foreclosed buildings must continue renting to current tenants or pay a $10,600 relocation fee to the renters if they seek to empty a foreclosed property.
Renters being abruptly evicted prompted protests in various parts of the city, with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart joining in at one point.
Quinn signed the law during an appearance in Englewood.