Chicago Deserves Better Than Rent Control.

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I’m going to admit right off the bat that I am absolutely terrified of writing this article. The topic of rent control in Chicago has been on my to-do list since it hit the news in early 2018 and every time since then that I’ve looked at that line item I’ve flinched and avoided it. We covered it a little in our newsletter back in March when it was on the primary ballot. It’s never been mentioned in depth in the blog. But nothing going forward in this blog can really be addressed without taking on the matter, and I did recently promise one of my industry colleagues that I would finally go on the record about it, so here we are.

Meet This Article’s Cities

For this article we will be comparing the rental data for a selection of cities and neighborhoods within those cities, each chosen for a specific purpose. We will, of course, be looking at Chicago, which has its own Residential Landlord-Tenant Ordinance.

We will be looking at San Francisco and New York City, which both have RLTOs but also have rent control. Yes, I could have also included Los Angeles and DC. I could have included a lot of cities. I am one person and this article is already long enough as it is. If you want to take this data and run with an expansion that’s totally fine with me. Continue reading Chicago Deserves Better Than Rent Control.

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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.

New Laws for 2019 Affecting Chicago Renters

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At the beginning of 2018 our monthly newsletter contained a list of all new state and city laws that took effect on the first of the year and had a chance to affect the Chicago rental market. We included a copy of that newsletter in our first blog post of 2018. It’s now 2019 and we are doing it again. As we stated last year, we normally don’t duplicate content between the newsletter and the blog, but they do have different audiences that don’t overlap and this is pretty important stuff.

Illinois

This is a partial list, only including the new laws that are most likely to affect landlords, renters and real estate professionals. As always we’ve tried to be accurate with our summaries but you should check the actual law and probably contact an attorney before acting on any changes. You can find the full list of Illinois laws effective January 1 2019 at the General Assembly’s data archive.

Continue reading New Laws for 2019 Affecting Chicago Renters

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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.

The Naughtiest and Nicest Landlords of 2018

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Ho Ho Ho! It’s Christmas season and that means it’s time for our annual tradition of calling out the year’s worst and best landlords. This is now the fourth year in a row that we’ve done the annual N&N list.

We had an easier time this year finding landlords for the “nicest” list. Unfortunately this is because the large number of natural disasters that plagued the country in 2018. Of course, as always, we had a huge number of “naughty” landlords to choose from so your favorite villain with a vacancy might not appear. Notably we have chosen to omit the parties involved in the Ghost Ship fire as we don’t think that matter is truly settled yet.

But you’re not here for the intro. You’re here for the best and worst landlords of the year. Let’s get to it. Continue reading The Naughtiest and Nicest Landlords of 2018

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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.

Squatting: An Extended Meowtaphor

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There are thousands of people squatting in the US. I don’t mean that they’re doing exercises involving bending the knees. I mean that they are secretly or openly living in property against the wishes of the owner. A lot of myths have arisen over the concept of squatting, most surrounding the idea that if you do it long enough you will gain ownership of that property. This is a particular type of squatting, entitled adverse possession.

In my alley there are many stray cats. Some of them are outdoor cats owned by my neighbors. Others are strays, some feral and some left behind by owners who have since left the neighborhood. I’ve come to recognize many of them, including some who choose to hang out on my porch, which is nice and sunny in the afternoons. My own cat Kipling once hung out there as well. After encountering him several days in a row I lured him inside with some tuna. He is now the undisputed owner of my home. My name is on the title but that’s about all.

For the past couple of years his former napping spot on the porch has been taken over by a tiny long haired black cat. Rather than pointing the finger at any group of people who might attempt to squat in a house for long enough to become its owners, we will use this little fluffy cat, who we’ll call Shadow, as our example of adverse possession. (This is all supposing, hypothetically of course, that cats have an understanding of legal matters and the right to own property. They currently don’t.)

So what would Shadow have to do in order to gain ownership of my porch? Continue reading Squatting: An Extended Meowtaphor

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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.

The Other Person Tenants Need in Chicago Eviction Courts

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There have been no court recorders in the 1st Municipal District Cook County Eviction courts for the past fifteen years.

I’m going to say that again so it sinks in. There have been no court recorders in 1st Municipal District Cook County Eviction courts for the past fifteen years.

No tape recorders either. No digital recorders. And you can’t bring your own, they’re banned as part of the electronic device ban along with cameras, cell phones and computers.

Court recorders, or court reporters, are those people with the special typewriters called stenotypes who sit near the judge and write down everything that’s said during a trial. If you watch any episode of “Law & Order” you’ll see them. But if you go to Chicago eviction court, you won’t. They were removed due to budget cuts in 2003. That means no transcripts for you, which means no official record of your first trial to bring with you should you choose to appeal an eviction ruling. Continue reading The Other Person Tenants Need in Chicago Eviction Courts

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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.