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Market Watch: Condo Rentals

In today's Deal Estate column, Dennis Rodkin taps a pioneering force in the condo rental market for some good 'ol fashioned Q + A. Fulton Grace Realty, led by T. J. Rubin, began piloting recession-bitten condo owners through the process of renting out their condos in 2008 after inquiries began flooding the office. Here's why individual owners might become reluctant landlords, according to Rubin: "100 percent of them say, 'Do I want to take a $50,000 bath at the [sale], or do I want to lose $200 a month while I wait for prices to recover?' It's the lesser of two evils." Of course, if and when projected losses creep above $500/month, owners start choosing the sale option. Fulton Grace is also in the management biz, so nearly every aspect of landlording is taken on by the firm for fees of first month's rent and 7% thereafter. That might sound like a lot, but this submarket is booming— it's now 60 to 70 percent of Rubin's business. [Chicago Mag]