As the calendar hits October and we start to see the leaves change colors, in Chicago that generally means one thing…winter is coming. Sorry to spoil the good fall feels but as we all know, soon the frigid air will hit. That means there are a few things landlords need to keep up on.
First off, if you’ve been holding off on giving that eviction notice or filing that case, there is no reason to keep up on the delay. Around this time of year we get a number of panicked calls from landlords who have heard from someone the sheriff won’t evict at all during the winter. While that is a bit extreme, the fact is there is certainly a slow down at the sheriff’s office for a couple major reasons.
First off, historically the sheriff goes on a moratorium at the end of the year. While we do not yet know the dates the Sheriff will go on the moratorium, the good bet would be that they will not evict during the weeks of Christmas and New Years. In addition, the Sheriff will not evict when the temperature is below 15 degrees. We don’t buy into these things too much, but the Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a brutal winter. Additionally, there can be other weather hazards (i.e. snow, ice) which result in additional days the sheriff does not come out. While you might not be able to avoid the winter slowdown altogether, the sooner you can get in line with the Sheriff, the better.
The other issue landlords in Chicago will want to keep an eye on at this time of year is heat in an apartment. City ordinance provides that the temperature must remain at a minimum of 68 degrees from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm and 66 degrees from 10:30 pm to 8:30 am from September 15 to June 1. If you haven’t already make sure you get a check on your heating units at your buildings to ensure you are not dealing with a much bigger headache and potential bill when the cold sets in.
Hopefully by keeping these things in mind, you can keep from getting frozen out this winter.