CHICAGO (CBS) — Many people across Chicago are out of work and struggling to figure out how to make the rent payment in a few days.

CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports that landords and tenants may need to have some frank conversations as payment comes due.

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Terms like “social distancing” and “essential businesses” are phrases in the new COVID-19 normal.

But one old phrase takes on a new tone in this era, particularly at the end of the month. That’s “the rent is due.”

Budding in Chicago, an unprecedented cycle in the housing market.

“It’s a brand new situation that we’ve never faced before,” said John Bartlett, Executive Director, Metropoliton Tenants Association.

When tenants are out of work and evictions are off the table by Governor JB Pritker’s rule, logjams between landlords and tenants could come quick.

“As soon as possible, let each other know whats going on, what you’re thinking about,” Bartlett said

The organization has seen a spike in calls, tenants planning to not pay and landlords looking to renegotiate leases expiring in the springtime.

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The advice: talk it through now, find middle ground for a small extension of existing terms and put it in writing.

“Any agreement needs to be put in writing so people don’t change their mind or say ‘I didn’t say that,'” said Bartlett.

When normalcy resumes, expect the courts to be crowded. Experts say do what you can on the front end to avoid ending up here on the back end.

And if you’re thinking that no eviction means no rent, know this: That’s not what the governor ordered, and there’s an expiration date attached to that eviction ban.

It’s April 7th.

“It’s a very temporary situation. And evictions could start happening right away,” said Bartlett.

If you have questions as a landlord or tenant, and you live in the city of Chicago, there is a hotline to help answer questions about gray area in all of this.

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