February 15, 2017

Shovel Your Sidewalk or Face Fines up to $500

In 2015, the City Council approved a new ordinance that clarifies existing guidelines for when sidewalks need to be cleared of snow and increases fines for failure to do so. Some of the key changes to the ordinance are outlined below.

  • The new ordinance increases fines from $50 to anywhere from $50-$500 per occurrence. Fines are determined on a case-by-case basis by an administrative hearings judge.
  • The previous ordinance gave Chicagoans the day off from shoveling on Sundays. The new ordinance requires residents to shovel seven days a week.
  • The City Council
  • ...

Last summer, Ravenswood got a jolt that would make morning commutes a little more bearable: Groundswell Coffee Roasters.

In just over a year, Groundswell went from founder Jason Foster’s 55-page business plan to a top-quality up-and-coming coffee roaster. Now with three locations, Groundswell sets itself apart with rare Yemeni coffee (when available) and is perhaps the only coffee shop in Chicago with two handmade Japanese slow-drip towers for making cold brew.

Foster, a former athlete who attended the University of Illinois at Chicago on a baseball scholarship, ran into...

On the first business day of each year, the City Comptroller announces the rate of interest to be paid on security deposits for residential lease agreements governed by the City of Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (CLRTO). The new rate is effective January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. The 2017 rate remains unchanged at .01%.

In other words, a landlord holding a $1,000 security deposit under a lease made or renewed in 2017 will owe a tenant 10 cents in interest at the end of the lease year. The City bases the rate on average interest rates at Chase Bank, the...

Any landlord who's been around the block knows that every successful tenancy begins with careful tenant screening. There are many tenant screening services available to landlords, but we'll share a few great resources that make it quick and easy to check a potential tenant’s credit and criminal background. The services below are user-friendly and affordable.

First, it’s worth noting that federal law mandates that all three major credit bureaus—TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax—require landlords to undergo a rigorous on-site inspection by a licensed third party inspector before...

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