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For local landlords, state grants not enough to keep them from losing thousands of dollars during eviction moratorium

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Peoria IL (WEEK) - The eviction moratorium has kept thousands of Illinoisans in their homes throughout the pandemic, many unable to pay rent. But now, even with grants available, landlords tell us they are without money they need to survive and maintain their properties.

"I have probably about seven or eight that have no intention of paying rent, you know. They're so far behind, they couldn't get caught up," said Roger Konieczny, owner of Rent Peoria Homes.

Since the pandemic, Konieczny says he's had to sell half of his properties and has lost nearly $80,000. He says his tenants aren't paying rent or applying for state grant money.

"Ameren can cut your power, Illinois American water can catch your water. Let us start evicting people for the amount of money," said Konieczny.

Governor JB Pritzker says he plans to extend the moratorium through August, while also offering $1.5 billion in grants for rental assistance. However, landlords and tenants must apply together for that assistance.

"I've had three tenants that refused to give me their email address, so that I could send a link, you know, this grant would help, you know. Would help them and me, they won't cooperate with the situation," said Konieczny.

Meanwhile, another local landlord says he ended up taking his tenant to court because they stopped answering his calls or texts about rent.

"They were punching holes into the walls, external to the condo that they were living in. Cops were being called almost, you know, on a weekly basis daily basis, and they were threatening the neighbors saying that they will be pushing them down the stairs," said Aleem Muhammad.

Muhammad says he's now out nearly $9,000 dollars in rent and legal fees.

"We also have mortgages, we also have payments. We also have other life issues that are going on," said Muhammad.

Konieczny says at this point, it's not about the money. He wants his properties back.

"I just want possession of the property as soon as I can get it."

The Illinois Housing Development Authority says they have relationships with 64 agencies across the state who are willing to help landlords navigate these difficulties with their tenants.

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