One of the most common complaints I hear from would-be investors is that Chicago is biased in favor of the tenant when it comes to evictions and enforcement of the laws.
Today we’re starting what will probably be a very lengthy process of analyzing whether or not this myth has any teeth. Using the Cook County Clerk of Court’s public dockets, I’ve (somewhat painstakingly) gone through case after case to give you an idea of the eviction stats. Cook County (and most jurisdictions) refer to these cases as “forcible entry and detainer” or “joint complaint” suits. They are handled at the civil level and can be filed either with an attorney’s help or without, also known as pro se.
Total Eviction cases opened at the 1st Municipal (Chicago) Cook County Circuit Courthouse
In 2010: 30609 (122.4 per non-holiday weekday)
In 2011: 31074 (124.3 per non-holiday weekday)
From Jan 1 through May 10, 2012: 10422 (115.8 per non-holiday weekday)
Estimated total rental units in Chicago, 2011: 549328 (Source: )
Approximate Eviction rate: 5.6% per year
So those are some pretty impressive numbers, but let’s look at the story of a couple of individual days. I’ve chosen the first days of February, March and April 2012 as decent snapshots. (more…)