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Rising assessments may cause rise in rent

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Maureen Wilkey

Writer on real estate from any angle

The Sun-Time reported yesterday that rising assessments on apartment buildings could cause landlords to raise their rents by up to $150.

Landlords are concerned that they'll have to raise rents even though demand for apartments is going down, and don't see why their assessments have been raised. While many people would think there would be more demand for apartments because of the number of recent foreclosures, that isn't the case. Many foreclosed homeowners don't go out and rent straight away, they find alternative housing like doubling up with family members. And other traditional renters are staying as cheap as possible. Recent college grads coming out of school with no job are having to live with their parents for a longer time.

The average rent in Chicago right now is $1385, according to www.rentbits.com. The average one-bedrooom is $1127 and the average two-bedroom is $1628. Even with a $150 increase, we'll be far from the most expensive 25 cities in the world to rent in (New York is the only US city on there). But still, I can understand where the gripe may be: apartment owners are losing value, but having to pay more taxes and pass the expense on to renters.

My advice: use section 8 if you can. If not, use any way to lock into a rent now before it goes up.

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