Thursday, November 21, 2013


New App for Tenants and Landlords

My friends at the Chicago Metropolitan Tenants Organization announced their new app yesterday: Square Away.  I think it is pretty cool.  It will allow your tenants to communicate a problem with you and send you a photo via their phone.  How many of us have gotten that call on a Sunday morning where you tenant tells you about a leak or lack of heat only to inform you that it has been going on for days, but they are just getting around to calling you.  I think it would be helpful if they could tell you about an issue before it got really bad.  Hopefully this will make it easier.  

Even better the app offer landlords easy links to the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance, which you need to provide to your tenants and now can from your phone.  I was just checking out the landlord side of the app and realized that there is new Bed Bug Flyer that has to be shared with tenants starting December of 2013, that is only a week away!  Go to the app yourself for info about Bed Bugs and more:

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Afforable Housing

Wow sorry I have been gone for so long.  The good news is that I had a great year and got too busy to keep up on my blog responsibilities.   The real estate market really improved this year, so if you own a small apartment building you should have seen your rents and your property value climb.  If you are looking to own a small apartment building you should get a move one.  Interest rates are still low and inventory is a little bit better than it was six months ago though still down compared to demand.   Of course all real estate is local so it prices and rent depend a lot on your location.  Feel free to contact me for more info or buying, selling or market value in a give location.

The main reason I am posting today is to remind everyone that landlords cannot discriminate based source of income, better known as Section 8.  This has been true in the city for some time but now is also the case in the suburbs.  You don't have to rent to a tenant sole because they get the section 8 voucher but you also cant deny them solely because they get the section 8 voucher.  The attached letter is a lot more detailed then what I am posting here, but I think the best rule is to apply the same standards and treatment to anyone applying for a rental unit.   If their credit is bad or they get a bad landlord reference then you don't have to rent to anyone for those reasons.  Those are valid reasons.

One really important part of the new law (or old law in Chicago)  is it applies to condo buildings too.  A condo building cannot deny rental to section 8 unless it is for valid and standard reason, ie - poor credit.    If you live in a condo building that allows rentals you might want to come up with a set of standards now that applies to all future tenants in the building.  For example:  prospective renters must produce a good letter of reference from a pervious landlord no more than 2 years old and their credit score must be 650 or higher. 

Good luck and stay on the right side of the law.

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