Its important to get research and prepare when you are looking to rent Chicago Apartments. Its a big city and it can be especially intimidating if you are not from the city originally. Even if you are a lifelong Chicagoan, you would be surprised to see how fast the rental market can change. Its important to be prepared.

I have worked in the Chicago apartment renting field for over 6 years. I have been on both sides of the table, as a renter and as an agent. I’ve worked with landlords and management companies. Here are some basic tips:

1) Start your search at the right time. Most landlords won’t know what current tenants are renewing until starting about 3 months before your starting lease date. Don’t waste time before that.

2) Know your requirements. If you have a dog or must have parking, let landlords and agents know that so you don’t waste your time. Get as specific as possible. North side apartments is too vague, but Lincoln Park apartments will help narrow your search. Do a little bit of research so you aren’t trying to find a new construction $1200 2 bedroom in River North. Understand what is realistic.

3) Bring a camera. If you are looking at 10 apartments in a day its easy to forget the details of the apartments. The interiors start to run together.

4) Have your checkbook ready. Just filling out an application won’t reserve the apartment. Most landlords require one month rent at a minimum to hold the apartment. You could be beat out by a faster applicant who has the check in hand.

5) Get your lease and any amendments in writing. That’s great that the agent said you would get new carpeting, but it can easily be forgotten at the time you move in.

Do some basic preparation before looking for a Chicago apartment and you can make your search much easier.

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