In 2019, LCBH, with support from the Lawyers Trust Fund, launched Rentervention.com, a free tool for Chicago renters who have questions about their rights when it comes to eviction, security deposits, and repairs needed in their homes.
Tenants who use Rentervention.com can now find answers to questions about their housing amid the current health crisis. This expansion is already proving to be a valuable resource. In March, there were 804 visitors to Rentervention.com, followed by 2,898 in April and nearly 3,750 in May.
Renny is programmed to address users' concerns and provide them with the appropriate resources. For example, Renny provides sample letters for tenants to edit and send to their landlords about issues such as difficulty paying rent or needing repairs done.
Moreover, Renny informs renters what their landlords can and cannot do and connects them to free lawyers who can review the user’s conversation with Renny to provide legal help.
During this crisis, the common types of questions that Renny receives are about not being able to pay rent and COVID-19 specific issues. As the laws and guidelines change, Renny is provided with the most current legislation to inform tenants about their rights during this unprecedented time.
Recently, Rentervention has assisted LCBH to launch “Conversations with an Attorney,” a video series where LCBH lawyers and the Rentervention team inform viewers about their housing rights and how to address specific problems or topics during the COVID-19 crisis. These videos occur on Facebook Live every Thursday at 6 PM for #TenantThursdays on LCBH’s Facebook page and have covered topics such as leases and what to do if your landlord does not make repairs.
Renny remains available for all Chicago tenants even as Illinois enters phase three in its reopening process. Renny can be reached by going to rentervention.com or by texting "hi" to 866-773-6873. If you are a Spanish speaker Renny is in the process of becoming bilingual and he should be able to speak Spanish in the coming days.
If you are an attorney interested in volunteering with Renny, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention that you are interested in volunteering for the Rentervention Project.