The Chicago Teachers’ Union and Affordable Housing: A Rant

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Happy October! The 2020 Chicago rental season is now over. The wintertime heating ordinance is now in effect. Now, tuck in with a nice cup of tea because I am about to go off about the Chicago Teacher’s Union and affordable housing.

“Trick or Treat!” We’re all going to be hearing it soon. Small children at the door asking for candy and chanting a phrase that has lost all significance over time. Originally it was a threat: “give us food or we’ll cause harm to your home.” Before that, “give us food to keep the evil spirits away, because this is the time of year when the barriers between our world and the afterlife are very thin.” Maybe the Chicago Teacher’s Union remembers the original meaning of “Trick or Treat.” They certainly are re-enacting it. “Agree to implement our plan for affordable housing citywide or we’ll strike, and hundreds of thousands of babysitters will be very, very happy for several weeks.”

With one week to go the CTU/City of Chicago employment contract negotiations have stalled over the teachers’ demands affordable housing, not only for them but for their students. You heard me. While the specific demands of the CTU have not been revealed, we can get an idea of the scope based on their website. I will include my interpretation of their demands below, with a few personal side notes in parentheses. Continue reading The Chicago Teachers’ Union and Affordable Housing: A Rant

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Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

How to Find a Good Apartment Sight-Unseen

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Sometimes you have to move to a new city in a hurry. Sometimes that city is too far away for you to make two trips out for house hunting and your actual move. We’ve covered relocation a little in the past before but there’s a very special scenario that arises when you have to pick a new home without being able to visit any of your options in person. Today we’re going to give you some pointers on how to find an apartment in a different city sight unseen.

In some cases, people who need to move in these situations can ask their employer to put them up in temporary housing until they can find new digs. Some others may have family or friends with couches or guest bedrooms that are alright for a week or two. This is not for you guys. This is for the folks who are moving on short notice with no anchors in the new city, as well as for the very kind and generous folks who are serving as proxies for them. Continue reading How to Find a Good Apartment Sight-Unseen

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Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

A Day in the Life of a Rental-Focused Chicago Realtor

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Last week I described what I did during an average day when I worked as a leasing agent for a local landlord. That was the first half of my real estate agency career. Today we’ll be doing the same thing but looking at the second half when I was working for a real estate brokerage as a Realtor focusing on rentals. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Rental-Focused Chicago Realtor

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

A Day in the Life of a Landlord’s Leasing Agent

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I spent 10 years in the multifamily industry before starting RentConfident. For the first half of that time I was employed directly by the owner of roughly 50 Class C and Class D vintage walkup buildings scattered across the north side of Chicago. For the second half I was a licensed real estate agent focusing primarily on representing tenants in rental transactions across the city and suburbs of Chicago.

It has occurred to me that throughout the history of this blog I’ve spent a lot of time talking about what I learned during those years and in the time since I quit agency, but I haven’t really talked about what I did while I was working there. So for the next two weeks I’ll be doing “day in the life” articles, one from my time working for a landlord and the other from my time working for tenants. Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Landlord’s Leasing Agent

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

New Protections for Renters with Criminal Records in Illinois and Cook County

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Back in 2016, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memo stating that criminal background checks should only be used by landlords with extreme caution, and that applicants with criminal histories should be considered on a case by case basis. This was issued in response to statistics showing that persons of color are disproportionately exposed to the criminal justice system across the nation.

In recent months, various Illinois legislative groups have taken steps to formalize protection of ex-cons in the housing market. Two new laws, one at the state level and one at the county level, will take effect between now and the start of 2020. Today we will review both of them and what they’re likely to mean for renters. Continue reading New Protections for Renters with Criminal Records in Illinois and Cook County

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.