Thursday, January 19, 2006


Great rental property in Chicago. Contact Melissa for more information Posted by Picasa


Melissa Stanley Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance

Remember if your rental property is in the city of Chicago, whether it is a condo, two flat or a 12 unit building you are subject to the rules of the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance (LTO). The only exemption is for an owner occupied building of 6 units or less. If you have a three flat and you live in one of the units you are exempt from the LTO. If you own a condo that you are renting out and you do not live there, then you must comply with the LTO. You can get a summary of the LTO from your alderman's office or online at
The Landlord Tenant Ordinance favors tenants in most areas, particularly security deposits. There are rules on how and when deposits must be returned and you must pay interest on all security deposits. If you are taken to court over a security deposit you could end up paying double the deposit in damages. The rules you have to follow in the LTO are not that difficult and it will save you a lot of trouble in the future.
There is a landlord hotline you can call too. I find they are pretty helpful, but they have crazy hours so it is not easy to get them on the phone 312-922-3067. There is also a renters rights hotline you can call as well 312-742-7368.
Good luck and follow the LTO!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Lease Agreements

In Chicago you can buy a standard lease agreement at any office supply store. You can also get copies of the "Landlord Tenant Ordinance" and other interesting documents at your alderman's office. It has been my experience that some alderman's staff are more knowledgeable then others on landlord/tenant issues so don't believe everything you hear.

I have a rider to my lease that clarifies many issues. I have specific rules regarding the condition of the apartment on move-out. It is important to be specific if you anticipate charging tenants for damages and cleaning. The lease is vague and favors the tenants. I also have added specific rules about noise violations and keys (I have had problems in the past with both of these issues). But, my new and favorite rider clause came from my lawyer. Basically it states that I can accept partial payments without waiving my right to collect all of the rent regardless of anything written on the check. I had a tenant, not that long ago, pay less than half of her last month's rent and write on the check paid in full. I did not know this at the time but cashing the check meant I was endorsing the agreement written on the check. I accidentally agreed to take only a partial payment for that last month. This new clause in my lease gives me the ability to accept a partial payment without waiving my right to collect the full amount in the lease. If you are confronted with this type of check without any protection in your lease or rider, it is best to return the check and start legal proceedings for the full amount.

I highly recommend that you consult with a lawyer regarding any riders or changes you might make to a lease. You will have to pay them, but you can reuse the rider forever and it may save you a lot of money down the line.

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