As a local Property Management firm in Roselle we have managed hundreds of townhouses, condos, & single family homes in Elgin since our start in 2003. Since Elgin is so large it falls into two different counties Cook & Kane which means depending what part of town you are in there may be different rules. If you are renting now or looking to rent your property in Elgin these are a few things you must know to reduce your risk.
City Of Elgin Rental Requirements
Elgin Rental License Requirement - If you are currently renting or planning to rent your home in Elgin you must acquire an annual rental license under Elgin city code. Depending on the size of your building it may cost just $149.00 per year for a single property and as high as $448.00 if you have a 25 unit building.
Elgin Rental License Inspection - All residential rental property is subject to an inspection as a condition of the issuance of the license. A rental property with no violations, or two or less non-life-safety violations which are identified and brought into compliance within 10 business days, shall receive a two year extension of the license at no additional charge and with no additional inspections being required for the following two years.
Crime Free Housing Seminar Required - The city of Elgin in conjunction with the Elgin Police Dept requires all housing providers to take a 4 hour Crime Free Housing Seminar Course. There may be an additional fee for this seminar.
Cook County Elgin Rental Requirements
Cook County Just Housing Amendment - For Elgin, or anywhere in Cook County, all housing providers must follow the Just Housing Amendment that was passed in 2019 and dictates how you underwrite potential rental applications. See “Just Housing Amendment - Are You Screening Correctly in Cook County/Chicago?” for more information on what you must know.
Cook County RTLO - For Elgin, or anywhere in Cook County, all housing providers must follow the new Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance that was passed in 2021. This ordinance was the largest set of restrictions put in place for Elgin housing providers ever and there are severe consequences if not followed. Read more on what you must know about the Cook County RTLO.
Kane County Elgin Rental Requirements - You’re in luck! Other than following the previous three city of Elgin requirements above there is no specific Kane County rental/landlord laws you must follow. Now of course this can change so be sure to stay up to date on what is going on or hire a Property Manager that understands the requirements.
With so much experience in Elgin over the last 20 years we are able to handle all of these rental license requirements and know how to comply with all of the laws and regulations on behalf of our clients. If you work with a company like GC Realty & Development LLC you, as the owner, are not required to complete the 4 hour Crime Free seminar so our service starts paying for itself immediately. Below are some additional commonly asked questions when it comes to renting a property in Elgin.
Q. Do I have to obtain a rental license if I am going to rent my property in Elgin?
A. Yes. All housing providers renting out their property in Elgin are required to meet the rental license registration requirements.
Q. If I am looking to rent my home in Elgin do I have to follow Cook County rules or is that just in Chicago?
A. Yes. Part of Elgin still falls in Cook County (large part of Elgin east of Route 25). The newer Cook County laws do apply to all housing providers in Cook County sections of Elgin. This means the Just Housing Amendment and the Cook County RTLO must be part of your process.
Q. Is there a specific lease template I must use if I lease my home in Elgin?
A. Yes. If you are in Cook County, there is a specific lease template and many addendums and attachments Elgin housing providers must provide when signing up a new tenant. In addition to what is required by the Cook County RTLO, there are additional forms the city of Elgin will require under Crime Free Housing.
Q. Is there a limit to the rent amount I can ask for from a tenant?
A. No. There is no limit to what amount you can ask for but the renter pool will dictate supply and demand reaction. When you ask too much you do attract little showing activity or less than qualified activity.
Q. My condo/townhome in Elgin is within a Homeowners Association (HOA) so do I have to follow Elgin and Cook County rules or just my HOA?
A. Yes. You must still follow Cook County (if located in Cook County) and Elgin laws and ordinances in addition to the rules and regulations your Homeowners Association has in place. I would seek permission to rent your condo/townhome from your HOA as soon as possible because there may be restrictions you are not aware of or a possible wait list for owners looking to rent.
Q. I live out of state so do I still need to take the Crime Free Seminar for my rental in Elgin?
A. Yes. All housing providers are required to complete the Crime Free Seminar no matter where you are located in the world. Many people will hire a Property Manager like GC Realty & Development LLC to avoid having to fulfill that time consuming requirement.
Q. I have been renting my rental in Elgin for 4 years and I never registered for the rental license or the crime free seminar and now that I know what should I do next?
A. The city of Elgin is easy to work with if you go to them and admit you are not following the rules vs them finding you. It is in your best interest to be compliant sooner than later because fines can be hefty for non-compliance. Often housing providers unaware of these rules will hire a company like GC Realty & Development to take over and make the owner compliant since GC Realty & Development has a long standing relationship with the city.
Q. Should I hire a Property Manager to manage my rental in Elgin?
A. Yes. A Property Manager can take the risk off your back with our extensive experience managing properties in Elgin, working with the City of Elgin, and following the Cook County RTLO and Just Housing Amendment. In 2020 GC Realty & Development took an active role alongside the NBOA to advocate on behalf of housing providers to limit restrictions Cook County was trying to put in place on everyday housing providers like yourself. It was our podcast, Straight Up Chicago Investor, that helped get the word out to Housing Providers and Property Managers around Chicago.
Q. How much can I rent my home for in Elgin?
A. We would love to help you determine a rent range of what you home can demand in the open market so reach out to us today or feel free to to use our free rental analysis tool and get pricing and comparable properties on a single report immediately.
Q. Should I sell or rent out my home in Elgin in today’s real estate market?
A. To help determine your financial gain by renting out your property over selling we have developed a Sell Vs Rent Calculator where you can see what your wealth being built over time can look like by NOT selling and renting the property out. Remember, there are 5 ways to make money in being a real estate investor.
Q. Does it make sense to lease and manage my Elgin rental myself?
A. No, not if you value your time and want to limit your risk. The list of five items you must know when renting your place in Elgin above each has an amount of time it will take to learn and revisit plus there is a level of risk for each if not done 100% correctly. I am not saying private housing providers are not able to figure it out and do it by the book but I am saying your time is worth a lot more than what you will pay a company like GC Realty & Development to handle it all for you. Not to mention the risk you pass on for us to reduce for you.
Q. How much does it cost to hire a Property Management or Property Manager in Elgin?
A. Less than most will think when you account for the time it takes you to operate a rental as a housing provider yourself in Elgin. For 7-8% of the monthly rent we can handle 100% of the entire process saving you 30-40 hours per year and take so much of the risk off of your shoulders.
Q. Do I have to hire a Property Manager for my Elgin rental or can I hire someone to just find me a qualified tenant and screen them properly?
A. Yes, real estate brokerage firms like GC Realty & Development, LLC offer “Tenant Placement” options only for their clients. For one month's rent we can guide you through getting your place rent ready, handle all marketing, showing, screening, lease creation, and initial fund collection.
Every day homeowners / housing providers have questions about renting their property in Elgin. We create these articles to help owners find this information easily and all together in one place. Oftentimes owners don’t know what questions to ask or what they need to know. We would love to talk more about your plans to rent or how things are going with your current tenants so you can reach out to us anytime. Our goal is to provide value to housing providers like you through being a resource for all things when it comes to being an investor in Elgin.
Disclaimer - All info in the chart and attached spreadsheet is subject to change without knowledge of GC Realty & Development, LLC. All info is deemed accurate as of 12/2/22.
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