2014 Eviction Moratorium Scheduled

15moratoriumA Screeching Halt to Evictions

The Cook County general order establishing an eviction moratorium for the winter of 2014/15 has been entered.  There will be no evictions enforced by the Sheriff of Cook County from December 18, 2014 through January 2, 2015 (which means that the evictions will resume on January 5, 2015).

Good luck landlords!

Posted in Sheriff | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tougher smoke and carbon monoxide detector penalties for Chicago Landlords

detectProposed amendment closes detector compliance loophole

Chicago landlords who fail to comply with the City of Chicago smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector ordinances will face much stiffer penalties.  A proposed amendment to the municipal code for Chicago which passed out of committee this week will close a loophole that allowed landlords cited for failure to comply with the ordinance’s requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to avoid penalty by complying with the ordinance after being cited but before the building department hearing. Continue reading

Posted in Building Code, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Landlords need to know Chicago and Illinois expansions of Fair Hosuing Protected Classes!

fairTenant alleges gender identity discrimination in Rogers Park

Windy City Times reports that a transgender tenant in Rogers Park has brought a fair housing complaint against her landlord with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.  The complaint alleges that the landlord refused to rent to the tenant because she was transgender and her fiancée is black.  A representative of the landlord allegedly told the tenant that the landlord would be “…unable to rent out other spaces in his building because prospective tenants were put off by both by Roberts’ gender identity and the race of her fiance…” Continue reading

Posted in Fair Housing | Tagged | Leave a comment

No one wants to think about winter but…

radiatorChicago Landlords Turn Up the Heat

Here’s our annual reminder that Chicago landlords responsible to supply heat to their tenants are now within the required City of Chicago time period for heating.  The Chicago Municipal Code (13-196-410) requires minimum amounts of heat from September 15, 2014 and to June 1, 2015.  Heat must be supplied during the day (8:30am to 10:30pm) at a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit and in the night (10:30pm to 8:30am) at a temperature of 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted in Landlord | Tagged | Leave a comment

Should Chicago landlords want a guarantor?

guarantorTo co-sign or not to co-sign?

The intrepid Kay Cleaves over at StrawStickStone.com contacted me a few weeks ago with a blog idea on the topic of accepting lease guarantors and co-signers.  With students who have little or no credit history in the rental market right now, Chicago landlords may be considering the worth of adding a guarantor to a lease.  First, the basics: a guarantor is a person who voluntarily agrees to be responsible to pay for another person’s obligations if that other person defaults on those obligations.  In a sense, the guarantor “vouches” for the tenant.  So, if mom signs a lease as a guarantor for little Johnny and Johnny fails to pay the rent, in theory, mom is responsible for the rent. Continue reading

Posted in Lease | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Guest Blogger Ryan Coon talks about developing landlord systems

gblogWhat Large, Successful Landlords Do (and you should too!)

This moth’s guest blogger is Ryan Coon.  Ryan is a co-founder of Chicago-based startup Rentalutions. Ryan has written a short article on how smaller rental operators can get the same results as larger operations.

What separates large property management companies from do-it-yourself landlords is the way that they anticipate and prepare for various situations. Large owners and managers have spent years developing systems and processes for everything from how and when to find tenants to what to do when a rent payment is late. These processes allow the companies to stay organized and to set expectations with tenants, which in turn leads to fewer vacancies and higher profits. Preparing for events and having checklists for different situations is something that all landlords should do. It’s not just for the “big guys”. Continue reading

Posted in Landlord | Leave a comment

New law aims to improve service of process in condos and gated communities

sopNew law makes service on condominiums just a bit easier

Hopefully, things just got a bit easier for process servers in eviction cases.  The State of Illinois has passed an amendment to Section 735 ILCS 5/2-203 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure intended to assist process servers in making access to a “gated residential community”.  The new law requires guards in such a community to permit access to the premises to a process server.  The law defines a “gated residential community” as including “a condominium association, housing cooperative, or private community”. Continue reading

Posted in Service | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Illinois court upholds nonrefundable move-in fees under CRLTO

nonrefunableLandlords win in case over move-in fee in lieu of security deposit

For a number of years, landlords in the City of Chicago have sought to avoid the undue burdens and unreasonable potential liability resulting from the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance’s requirements related to security deposits by collecting all kinds of “non-refundable fees”.  Some landlord collect a “non-refundable processing fee”, additional rent, or a “non-refundable move-in fee”.  Tenants rights attorneys and advocates have long shouted “no fair!” at landlords engaging in such practices.  One advocate I know said “this is just the way landlords are trying to avoid liability for security deposit violations!”  Duh! Continue reading

Posted in Municipal Ordinance, Security Deposit | Tagged , | Leave a comment

We do NOT represent tenants in Evictions

sorryJust a friendly reminder to TENANTS!

While we sometimes take on a tenant security deposit recovery matter here and there, our office does NOT represent tenants in eviction cases.  There are MANY excellent attorneys in the City of Chicago who do represent tenants and suggest tenants contact one of them for assistance!

If tenants call our office, we will not be able to assist.  To put it politely, please do not call us.  We won’t be able to help.  Despite having made this admonition, many tenants still call us.  When they are informed that “we don’t represent tenants”, they tell us “I don’t want representation, I just have a few questions”.  Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to be the “tenant’s free legal-help-line”.  We won’t be able to talk to you and we won’t be able to give you any name or number of a tenant’s rights attorney.  However, I can assure you that there are lots of good ones out there. Good luck!

Posted in Tenant | Tagged | Leave a comment

Avoid employee leases in exchange of labor

workWhy it’s unwise to house an employee in return for services

There’s a story making the rounds on the news about a nanny in Upland, California who, despite the fact that she failed to perform agreed upon nanny services, has refused to vacate the home she moved into in return for her services.  The story even indicates that her “former employers” have tried to evict her in court without success.  Now, the family is living a nightmare with their children locked in their rooms at night for safety reasons.  I have always cautioned my landlord clients against a “work-in-exchange-for-a-room” situation.  This is one area where work life and home life should not be mixed.  Why? Continue reading

Posted in Lease | Tagged , | Leave a comment