Amanda’s Story

Mar 21, 2024 | Renters Story

When Amanda’s job as a summer school dance instructor was nixed due to budget cuts, she fell behind on rent for the very first time.  

“They let us know super late, which put me in an awkward position,” Amanda said. “It wasn’t enough time to find something else that would ensure that I was receiving income to pay my rent.”  

She immediately arranged to meet with her property manager, who she’d built a rapport with during her tenancy, and explained the situation. They agreed to a temporary bi-monthly payment schedule, while Amanda sought new employment. 

“I had several conversations with them via email and in person to reassure them that I had full intentions of being an upstanding tenant. I wasn’t trying to play them, and I wanted to pay my rent. I just needed more time,” Amanda said.  

A month later, much to Amanda’s surprise, her property manager paused and returned the first half of her August rent payment. A few days later, she began receiving circulars for eviction help — all before receiving her first eviction notice.  

“I was completely shocked when I got the notice,” Amanda said. “I felt physically sick for days and then, I was just like, you know what? I don’t want to stress myself out about this. Once you put that negative energy into it, that’s when you get the negative outcome.” 

Amanda began researching her options and connected with LCBH through the Early Resolution Program on her first court date. There, she learned she could apply for emergency rental assistance to pay all her back rent, even though an eviction had already been filed against her.  

“My property manager declined rental assistance, but my attorneys shared with me that I could pay-to-stay, meaning they couldn’t legally deny my payment,” she said.  

With the support of her attorneys, Amanda applied for court-based emergency rental assistance, and, ultimately, her case was dismissed and sealed.  

“It is kind of refreshing to know that there are tools and resources out there to help mediate this process between tenant and the landlords,” she said. 

Today, Amanda is still living in her apartment complex and has returned to work as a dance instructor with Chicago Public Schools.  

“I’m just extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a recipient of rental assistance and being able to move forward confidently with a clean slate,” she said.