The Chainlink

I'm shaken and shocked from a conversation with my landlord intercepting me on the dozenth time he's seen me come and go with bike from apartment. This peculiar conversation started innocently but soon he casually informed me that bikes aren't allowed in the building. Calmly offered compromise suggestions such as improving storage security or making an exception only escalated his anger. Within a minute seemingly seething with restrained rage he snarled "You are in violation of building rules, no bikes in apartments, and this is your verbal warning. Bring it in again and I'll give you a ten day notice."

Never mind that he knows I'm a known local cycling activist and extremely reliable tenant, that the outside bike storage area is insecure and full, that I always used the back steps and my bike is light, that the rule is out of sync with an increasingly carless renters market, nor that I am likely not the only one doing so in the building.
In my book he's drawn first blood. This building has declared its incompatibility with modern times, and me.
On fine reading, some lease rules addendum clauses do apply, but could be disputed.

For now I may capitulate. But thinking ahead, any known bike friendly northside/andersonville/uptown/lakefront apartments? I'd rather not roommate. Any recommended resources for bike friendly apartments search?

Tags: apartment, bike, friendly, landlord, rental

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I think a letter writing campaign from the chainlink to your landlord might be in order.
This is pretty much BS. I don't see how bikes can be prohibited unless it's actually in the lease, which would still be BS. I provide a secure space for bike parking inside the entrance to our basement behind a deadbolted door, so everyone in the building has secure parking. I have also rented to a messenger who had multiple bikes and let him keep a workbench on the back porch. All I asked was that he brought in his bikes up the back stairway.
(Woke up this morning in fright, something was wrong, things were too quiet, like my baby had been kidnapped... No fixie at foot of bed.)

Thanx for the awesome feedback so far! Lauren, LOL++. TGee suggested gradually accumulating bikes locked somewhere lease does allow. Skater Kirsten suggested taking CCM by here...

I'll followup with bike friendly landlords posting here later.

My landlord's concern is imagined risk to interior surfaces. Shows up in controlling behavior when anyone moves any large object. (I got scolded once for carrying a microwave up front steps). I'm on lease (until April 30th), so long that security was already refunded.

Sorry to have summarized before. Details: Lease, Rules and Regulations addendum, item 5 (of 17, among items such as no pets, no signs, no water furniture...)
"No vehicle or bicycle is allowed in the Apartment, building or any common area of the property, unless there is a specific designated area for same."
Later, in Rider One, Building Policies, item 9 "Bikes should be stored or locked only in designated areas."
Haven't clearly determined how rules violations lead to notice.

If push came to shove I figure this can be easily debated on lines such as what about wheelchairs, skateboards, folding bikes, ... and succeed in arbitration. But fundamentally I can't live where landlord is adversary.

If one concedes that ample and safe free in-building bike space is not a right, how about set aside a rear ground floor apartment and charge fractional rent to N users, $/mo +perbike. How much would you pay a month for secured indoor bike parking?
Andrew Bedno said:
(I got scolded once for carrying a microwave up front steps).
I don't want to comment on the legality of storing bikes in your apartment, but your statement above just indicates it is time to move. A landlord that has a problem with that is simply unreasonable. I would not expect that your reasoned and well worder arguments go anywhere with this guy...
I like your Idea. I say keep bringing it up. Good luck to him finding a renter.






for your situation, i say have as much fun with it as you can!! experiment bringing different not-quite-bicycle things inside, like a kid's bike ("it's not a vehicle, it's just a kid's toy!"), or perhaps trikes and unicycles ("you said no BI-cycles!"). or, just start taking your bike up piecemeal: "you didn't say no bicycle WHEELS inside!" is your excuse for the first trip; "this isn't a bike, it's just the frame!" should get you up the second.

oh, and just before you move out (you're moving out, yes?) you need to throw a HUGE byob party. and yes, i do mean Bring Your Own Bicycle. picture bicycles covering your front gate. picture bicycles piled in your apartment. picture your building's hallways completely covered in bicycles. do you see it? i see it.

good luck with whatever you decide!
I find that an apartment in a three-flat (better yet, a two-flat, but Chicago doesn't seem to have any of those) is more convenient in many ways for things like keeping multiple bikes. I lived in a two-flat for years and years in MI and required the same (well, three-flat) when I was looking for a place here. I also find that living in a small building owned by an individual (or couple) rather than a management couple is helpful.

I have a 2br apartment in Avondale in a three-flat house, owned by a very nice now-widowed woman who lives two blocks up the street. There is a common laundry/storage area in the basement where I and the other two tenats keep our bikes. I told her when I first met her that I had multiple bikes and asked if it was OK. It did eventually get to be a bit much for her (my five, three others) so she limited the total number, but I am still able to keep three in the basement, and I keep one in my 2nd garage (I have multiple cars) and one in my sun room. No way I'd be able to keep all these out of my flat if I lived in an apartment building.

I do recognize, though, that there aren't a lot of such buildings in the neighborhoods you are looking in, so these points may be of limited use to you. But nonetheless, I thought I'd contribute.

David
There is a sign in my building that says bicycles are prohibited, but I just ignore it. I'm not leaving thousands of dollars worth of bikes in the relatively insecure basement, where there is virtually no place to lock them up. My landlord is never around, and no one has said anything to me when I'm going through the building with one of my bikes. The notion of prohibiting bikes from a residential building is ridiculous.
I think if you own a building you have a right to do whatever the law allows, when you cannot that means your personal freedom is being restricted and this is not Iran. Best thing for Andrew to do is move to a place where he and his bike are welcome. I know everyone is gonna be there to make it a fun experience and an improvement in the living situation.
So rich people can do whatever they want and the rest of us can do whatever the rich people allow us to do? If those are my choices, then Iran may not be so bad.

cutifly said:
I think if you own a building you have a right to do whatever the law allows, when you cannot that means your personal freedom is being restricted and this is not Iran. Best thing for Andrew to do is move to a place where he and his bike are welcome. I know everyone is gonna be there to make it a fun experience and an improvement in the living situation.
What does being rich have to do with anything ? If you own something and the law says you can do something then that is the way it is. I mean you have the right to say what goes on in your house. I mean if I just light up a smoke, you have the right to tell me not to smoke in the house. Right is someones eyes is wrong in others and vice versa. It just depends whos interests are being served. The only reason the landlord is a prick is because the other people who bring bikes inside the apt(s) are usually inconsiderate people who mess up the walls and then they need to get fixed. It is nothing personal to Andrew except for the actual tension between the 2, it is just the sucky way it is. This guy lets him do it and then everyone can. I mean unless someone is gonna change the law (which is what rich people usually do) then it is time to move to a more friendly scene. This is actually a good thing for him because it institutes change and I know he will find something much better. That is the way it works for the cool people. Also I do not side with the Landlord I can only back up Andrew and the way I will do that is by helping him move all his stuff. I mean if change was going to be really instituted, all the renters would have to be contacted and pressure put on the owner to make lease riders and most likely some sort of extra security deposit. It is a high rise not a 6 flat.


Tony Adams said:
So rich people can do whatever they want and the rest of us can do whatever the rich people allow us to do? If those are my choices, then Iran may not be so bad.

cutifly said:
I think if you own a building you have a right to do whatever the law allows, when you cannot that means your personal freedom is being restricted and this is not Iran. Best thing for Andrew to do is move to a place where he and his bike are welcome. I know everyone is gonna be there to make it a fun experience and an improvement in the living situation.
Way to make it an rich vs. poor issue when it is exactly NOT that.

I think the point that was being made is that regardless of what we all think is right the landlord owns the building and has the right to place the rules and conditions he sees fit up on his tenants. Trying to take a way his right to do that is exactly the same as somebody trying to take away your right to bring a bike into the home you own... Notice I said own, not rent.

I know it sucks and no one wants to hear it but it sounds like the lease clearly states that bikes are not allowed in the apartment which puts Andrew in the wrong. It's a stupid thing for the landlord to battle with him over but it is their right to set the rules.



Tony Adams said:
So rich people can do whatever they want and the rest of us can do whatever the rich people allow us to do? If those are my choices, then Iran may not be so bad.

cutifly said:
I think if you own a building you have a right to do whatever the law allows, when you cannot that means your personal freedom is being restricted and this is not Iran. Best thing for Andrew to do is move to a place where he and his bike are welcome. I know everyone is gonna be there to make it a fun experience and an improvement in the living situation.
I didn't see anyone post this but the Illinois Tenants Union (nonprofit) is a great resource for help in these situations.

http://www.tenant.org/

Also, my landlord has 20+ buildings on the north side (lakeview and rogers park) and is pretty bike-friendly...I believe almost all of them have bike parking in the basement/laundry rooms.

http://dlgmanagement.com/

Good luck, Andrew.

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