Tips for finding and Renting an Apartment.

Determine your budget: It’s important to have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend on rent each month. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to budget for utilities, renters insurance, and any other expenses.

Decide on a location: Chicago is a large city with many neighborhoods to choose from. Consider factors like proximity to work or school, public transportation options, and the overall vibe of the neighborhood.

Do your research: Look at listings on websites like Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads, and read reviews from former tenants. It’s also a good idea to drive or walk through the neighborhood to get a feel for the area.

Consider renting with a roommate: Splitting the cost of rent with a roommate can make it more affordable to live in a desirable neighborhood. Just make sure to have a clear agreement in place to avoid any misunderstandings.

Be prepared: When you find an apartment you like, be ready to submit an application and any required documentation. This may include proof of income, a credit check, and a letter of recommendation.

Start looking early: The rental market in Chicago can be competitive, so it’s a good idea to start your search several months before you need to move. This will give you more time to compare options and make a decision.

Check for hidden fees: Be aware of any fees that may not be included in the listed rent price. These can include application fees, security deposits, and pet fees. Make sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Tour the apartment: It’s always a good idea to visit an apartment in person before signing a lease. This will allow you to get a feel for the layout and condition of the unit, and to ask any questions you may have.

Read the lease carefully: Before signing a lease, make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions. Pay particular attention to any rules or restrictions on things like subletting, overnight guests, and the use of common areas.

Get renters insurance: Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive and can provide protection for your personal belongings in the event of a fire, theft, or other disaster. It’s a good idea to have coverage even if it’s not required by your landlord.


In most cases, when you rent an apartment you are responsible for setting up and paying for your own utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, and trash removal. Some apartments may include some utilities in the rent price, so it’s important to ask the landlord about this when you are considering an apartment.

If you are responsible for setting up your own utilities, you will need to contact the appropriate service providers to have the utilities turned on in your name. You may be required to pay a deposit in order to have the utilities turned on, especially if you have no credit history or if you have a low credit score.

It’s a good idea to compare prices and plans from different service providers to find the best deal. Some service providers offer discounts for signing up for automatic payments or for bundling multiple services (such as internet and cable).

It’s also important to be mindful of your usage to avoid any unexpected costs. For example, you can save money on your electric bill by using energy-efficient appliances and turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use.

Security Deposit

When renting an apartment a security deposit is a usually asked for by the landlord at the beginning of a rental agreement. The security deposit is held by the landlord for the apartment as collateral in case the tenant damages the property or fails to pay rent. The amount of the security deposit is typically equal to one month’s rent, but it can vary depending on the landlord and the terms of the lease.

The security deposit is intended to cover the cost of any repairs or cleaning that may be needed when the tenant moves out. For example, if the tenant causes damage to the walls or floors, it can be used to pay for the repairs. If the tenant leaves the apartment in good condition, the it will be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease.

It’s important to note that landlords are required to follow specific rules and regulations when it comes to security deposits. In most states, landlords are required to hold the security deposit in a separate, interest-bearing account and must return it to the tenant within a certain timeframe (usually 30 days) after the tenant moves out. Landlords are also required to provide the tenant with a written itemized list of any deductions made from the security deposit.