The Daley Center. Where Chicago landlords and tenants go to fight.
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…)
What happens when a condo owner falls behind on their assessments?
One of the reasons renters give for wanting to become homeowners is that they never want to risk being thrown out of their home again. Once you own a piece of property, nobody can throw you out of it without reason, right? When a Condominium Board is involved, this is not always the case.
You see, when you buy a condo in Illinois, you buy air space. You are entitled to the air space in your condo plus the surface of your walls and floor, and a percentage of the rest of the building. Everyone is jointly responsible, through their condo assessments and participation in the association, for the upkeep of the common areas, and building exterior. It's a very socialist kind of system when you think about it.
When a condo owner falls behind on their assessments, the board can wind up falling short on their accounts, making them unable to pay for shared items like the water bill, the landscaping bill, or even the building's insurance policy. The state of a condo association's finances can affect the ability of buyers to get loans to buy into the building. Therefore, if an owner gets very far behind, the condo board has the right to take them to court and evict them.
Once the owner is out, the board can rent out the condo to a tenant, whose rent will go in part towards the payment of the evicted owner's back assessments.
Illinois Legal Aid has a great article about this for condo owners. But what does it mean for tenants?