The Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO, Chicago's largest member-based "renters organizing group", is launching the nation's first Landlord-Renter mobile interface with funding from the MacArthur Foundation. Dubbed "Squared Away Chicago", the phone app furnishes four primary web-based features, per MTO's press release:
· Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO): Accessing the law provides users with knowledge about the rights of tenants and landlords.
· Photo Sharing: Tenants can take/upload photos of issues, creating a visual record that is instantly accessible to the landlord.
· Letter Templates: Specific details of housing-related issues can be inserted in template documents and then accurately and quickly shared with landlords.
· Open A Ticket: Provides the ability to track communications about issues and organize and save the string of communications for reference and documentation.
The advantages of this app are manyfold, but mostly it provides a platform for accurate documentation of potential gripes/crises and the possibility of real-time troubleshooting before the asbestos tile in that busted old kitchen of yours crumbles and goes airborne or that hole in the drywall becomes an even bigger hole in the drywall. Who knows, you might even make an unlikely friend over the lease term. The app officially kicks off today with a presentation and reception at the Chicago Community Trust (see details at right).
·Press Release: Launch of New Web App--"Squared Away Chicago" [MTO]