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
Normally when I run the "Naughtiest Landlords" list each December I include a list of the nicest landlords of the year as a counterpoint. Modern trends in news media including the elimination of local papers and the tendency of modern social media to boost signals only for high-conflict situations have made it progressively more difficult to find coverage worthy of inclusion in the "nicest" section of the list. After four years of trying, I'm deeming it an impossibility this year. But I do want to have some sort of happy counterpoint to last week's rogues gallery so this week I am instead offering a list of courtroom victories from the past year where tenants triumphed over truly atrocious landlords.
While this doesn't serve as an adequate replacement in our ongoing attempt to prove that the average landlord operates with good intentions, it does hopefully provide an uplifting counterpoint reminding those in tough rental circumstances that sometimes the little guy can win one. Continue reading The Best Tenant Victories of 2019
With Christmas right around the corner it's time once again for our annual list of the worst landlords in the business as found in newspapers from across the country this year. We'll hopefully have the "nicest landlords" list next week, but in the modern news culture of focusing on the bad in the world the latter stories are much, much harder to track down.
This is the fifth anniversary of the naughtiest landlords list so you guys know what to expect. Without further ado, here's the folks who are getting coal in their stockings. Let's hope they use it to heat their properties. Continue reading The Naughtiest Landlords of 2019
For the past two articles I've been looking at Chicago's 311 non-emergency service hotline data from the past year with a focus on snow removal complaints. But that is only one of 96 separate categories used by 311 to sort the many calls they receive in a year. Today I pulled a list of all of the complaints from December 6, 2018 through December 6, 2019. I then grouped them by rough umbrella categories and added up the calls within each category to see the types of things that will spur Chicago residents to pick up the phone (or open an app) and file a complaint with the city. Continue reading Complaints, Campaigns and Conspicuous Flaws: Chicago’s 311 Calls by Category