Should You Pay Rent on April 1?

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This is part of our ongoing coverage of renting during the COVID-19 quarantine of 2020. Visitors to this article after quarantine has ended should keep this context in mind before acting on any advice contained within.

In this era when renters often wind up obtaining housing that costs far more than they can actually afford, many face a dilemma each month as to what must be sacrificed in order to pay rent. Will it be food? The cell phone? Child care? Car payments? Will they have to take out another payday loan or borrow money from family? Many homeowners face the same issue when dealing with their mortgages, which may have been obtained during different points in the owners’ careers when their earnings were higher. However, given the massive hit that the US labor force has endured over the past month due to COVID-19 related shutdowns, far more renters and owners will be facing this crisis choice for April 1 and May 1 of 2020.

I’ve seen a lot of calls for rent strikes, freezes and suspensions in my Twitter feed lately. I’ve also seen calls to lenders and banks to provide some sort of recourse for mortgage holders. There are a lot of renters and borrowers who are contemplating whether or not they should make a rent or mortgage payment next week. As this is at its core a corporate blog I cannot tell you to violate your contract. However, I can lay out some talking points to help you decide. Continue reading Should You Pay Rent on April 1?

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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.

Progress by Degrees: A History of the Chicago Heat Ordinance

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Recently one of the people I follow on Twitter asked why the minimum temperatures in Chicago apartments are so high. She stated that she keeps her home in the 50-60 degree range all winter long, and was concerned that apartment buildings are wasting energy by keeping temperatures so much higher than she does in this era of growing climate and energy usage concerns. This question of course sent me off down a rabbit hole through archival versions of the historic Chicago Municipal Code and the library’s archives of the Chicago Tribune. Again.

Today we’ll be looking at how the Chicago Heat Ordinance (or the “minimum residential temperatures ordinance”) evolved from its first drafts in 1922 through the present day. Continue reading Progress by Degrees: A History of the Chicago Heat Ordinance

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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.

Voter Registration and the Census for Chicago Renters Who Will be Moving in March and April of 2020

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The first day of the month is an important one when it comes to deadlines. It’s the day when rent is due. It’s the day when many other bills are due. It’s the day when many renters move into new apartments. It’s also an important day for government deadlines. Over the next two months, Chicago renters making spring moves will come up against two major government deadlines that may turn moving day into a paperwork crunch. These deadlines come at a time when the rental season is ramping up in the city following several slow off-season months.

This year, the last day for online voter registration for the Illinois March 17 primary is February 29. However, the deadline for choosing where you will vote is this coming Monday, February 17, when early voting begins statewide.

Approximately one month later, the US Census Bureau will want to know everyone who is living under your roof on April 1 for the decennial census. For people who are moving, particularly those who are moving across state lines, these two events may mean that you have to make some serious choices with major consequences that could last for years. Today we’ll look at these choices in detail. Continue reading Voter Registration and the Census for Chicago Renters Who Will be Moving in March and April of 2020

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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 Rental Laws for 2020: Illinois, Cook County and Chicago

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This is now the third year in a row that we’ve led off with a list of all the new laws that took effect on January 1 that might be of interest to renters and people in the rental industry. Make sure to share it with those you know in the multifamily industry throughout Chicago and Cook County. Note that some of these are applicable only to commercial rentals, but since they make up a huge portion of the rental industry of this area we’re including them as well.

Illinois

As always this is only a partial list of the many laws that took effect on January 1, 2020. We’ve culled it down to just the laws we feel are pertinent to renters, landlords or leasing professionals. You can view a full list of all the new laws that took effect on January 1 in Illinois here.
Continue reading New Rental Laws for 2020: Illinois, Cook County and Chicago

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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.

Applying for Apartments in Chicago and Cook County in 2020

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If you’re a renter applying for an apartment anywhere within Cook County in 2020 the process is going to be a little different than it has been in previous years. It will probably take longer than it has before, it will be in two steps, and for the first few months of the year it’s going to be absolute mayhem. This is not only going to be the case for Chicago but for all of Cook County, including suburbs like Evanston, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Berwyn and Oak Park. And for once, it isn’t just going to be the big landlords who have to change how they operate, but every single landlord in the county.

I talked a little about the Just Housing Amendment back in September but there have been some changes following disputes over how it is to be implemented from the landlord lobby. Continue reading Applying for Apartments in Chicago and Cook County in 2020

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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.