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?
In a normal year the Chicago rental industry would be gearing up for the busiest moving day of the year, May 1. There would also be some serious prep for April 1 happening but the real spike usually occurs in May. This has been the case for centuries, reaching back to a time when May 1 was the only day when leases expired throughout the entirety of Chicago.
Towards the end of last week's article I touched briefly on the effect that COVID-19 might have on the May 1 peak of the season but today I want to explore that in more detail, because we're looking at something with far reaching implications for a huge number of industries throughout the city. Continue reading Advice for Chicago Renters with Spring 2020 Lease Expirations and COVID-19 Concerns
"If you're sick, stay home." We've seen that a million times in the news reports lately. But what happens if "home" is an apartment building shared by hundreds of other people? How can neighbors protect themselves from infected neighbors? There's a lot of hype out there, much of it unnecessary. So today we'll be taking a quick look at some more practical ways to to minimize transmission of diseases in high density housing situations such as apartment buildings and dorms, mostly because I'd be remiss to avoid the topic. But I'll also be taking a moment to adjust our attitudes about media sensations and their effects on daily living situations. Continue reading Avoiding Disease in Apartment Buildings
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
If a long term relationship is going to fail, it's twice as likely to do so during the first three months of a year than at any other point on the calendar. Divorce lawyers structure their schedules around this annual uptick. The reasons behind the surge in collapsing relationships are too muddy and plentiful to get into here. We are of course focusing on the housing-related fallout from these breakups.
Newly single folks frequently need to find new housing, but our brains release chemicals in response to the endings of relationships which can cloud our judgment and make us value things that we would normally ignore. Fortunately there are some common factors discovered in scientific studies of the recently dumped. This means that workarounds exist which may make the process easier and more reliable.
For the purposes of this article I'm defining "newly single" people as those who have experienced the involuntary end of a long-term romantic relationship involving cohabitation within the past two weeks. If you kicked your partner to the curb against their will this is not the article for you, unless you did so because you caught them cheating. Continue reading Apartment Hunting for the Newly Single