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Category Archives: Legal

What is ARO- Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance?

*This information does not replace the counsel of an attorney.  There are a number of pending changes to the ordinance being considered by the Chicago City Council and substantive pieces of even this Q and A may be modified or nullified as a result.  Refer to the City Clerk of Chicago/ Housing for the most recent ordinance. 

What is the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO)?

The ARO is designed to economically blend rental or owner occupied market rate developments to allow for occupancy by qualified individuals or families at an affordable rate.  It impacts new or existing residential developments which add 10 or more units and require new zoning, city land purchase or city financial assistance.

How is affordability defined?

Affordability is defined in a number of ways.  For rental, housing that is affordable means a household earning up to 60% of the area median income.  For owner occupied housing, housing that is affordable means an applicant earns up to 100% of the AMI.  This changes if the subject RENTAL property is funded by TIF (Tax Increment Financing).  In that case the AMI drops to 50%; and for owner occupied it drops to 80% of AMI.  Units are required to remain affordable for 30 years. If the owner occupies the unit for a continuous period of 30 years the city will release the affordable housing agreement.

 

Getting one of these “affordable” apartments is  not easy and not everyone  can qualify.  It is possible to live in  a “luxury building”  in a  $2000  1 bedroom  apartment for under  $900!  BUT,  you must have great credit, usually  above  675  and  make under  $35,000  a year.  – and these figures will vary  from building  to building.

The demand for affordable apartments is off the charts  and not nearly  enough inventory  to keep up with the demand.  This is a complex topic and always changing.  Same  goes  for  the proposed  rent control bills.

I will try to cover more on the topic, in the near future!

What Can an Agent Discuss With You Legally?

Your real estate agent and/or leasing agent can’t talk demographics, schools or crime, but there are ways to voice your needs and wants in ways that don’t violate fair housing laws.

Many people like to ask, “Is this a good neighborhood?” But don’t expect a straight answer. 

Certain details about a neighborhood or community can violate the Fair Housing Act, which was enacted in 1968 to eliminate housing discrimination. The law protects against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or family status. In particular, it prohibits any real estate professional from steering prospective homebuyers or renters toward or away from a community based on any of the classes under federal protection.

 

Essentially, Fair Housing aims to provide equal access to housing for all groups of people and safeguard from discrimination. But even with the good it does, it can be frustrating for prospective homebuyers who get tight-lipped answers from agents.

Voicing an opinion about a neighborhood, even done unconsciously, can violate the law. For example, an agent might say, “This neighborhood is great for young families.” The comment implies the neighborhood demographic consists of parents and kids. Unmarried individuals or older couples may be inclined to pass on a house because they feel the neighborhood doesn’t cater to their lifestyle. If that was the case, the agent would be violating fair housing laws.

I encourage clients  to use sites  like  Walk Score  or  Crime Reports  to find certain types of information. The internet holds a wealth  of  knowledge  and date – but you have to sift through it and determine how it best serves you and your needs.

Parts of this article came from Real Estate.US News

 

 

 

 

Renters Rights in Chicago Illinois

According to the city of Chicago’s website, more than 60 percent of the city’s residents are renters. Just as certain responsibilities are required of them, they are also afforded certain rights under Illinois and Chicago laws and can hold landlords and building/unit owners responsible for their duties. Chicago renters’ rights and responsibilities are subject to national, Illinois state and city laws.

In Chicago, the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO) governs the relationship between the two parties, a summary of which must be attached to every lease to which it applies signed within the city. (The ordinance does not cover hotels, school dorms or units in owner-occupied buildings with six or fewer units, though it does cover oral agreements.)

The CRLTO states that tenants must buy and install batteries to keep smoke detectors working properly, keep the unit safe and clean and avoid disturbing other residents. A resident must also allow a landlord access to a unit after two days’ notice.

The attorney general’s office also says that tenants must pay rent on time, keep the unit “clean and undamaged” (and pay for any damages beyond “normal wear and tear” for which a tenant is responsible) and give a written 30-day notice if you intend to leave at the end of your lease in order to get your security deposit back.

Chicago landlords also have responsibilities according to the CRLTO and the Illinois Attorney General’s office, which first includes keeping the unit fit to live in. They must also make necessary repairs to buildings and units in compliance with health codes and cannot cut off access to water, heat or electricity.\

See more  at Huffington Post By Reboot Illinois

MICHAEL “LOVE”  SNELL,   LEASING AGENT

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