Renting 101

Renters 101

When should I start looking for my next apartment?

30-60 Days from your target move date. Apartments generally come on the market once the owner or management has determined that the current tenant will not be staying.|(see more) Owners and Management typically begin contacting their tenants by no later than 60 days prior to the end of their lease and want to know if they will stay or move by 30 days prior to the end of the lease.

How much rent can I afford?

Taking into account the upfront costs (application fee, first month’s rent, security deposit, etc.) and the expenses of moving, how much each person is able to afford depends on their individual situation. As an industry standard, most landlords expect renters to have an income that is a minimum of three times the monthly rent. An apartment that rents for $1000/Month would require its future tenant to have a gross income equal to or greater than $3000/Month. This ratio is chosen as a minimum requirement so that a tenant can comfortably pay for food, recurring monthly bills, and their rent. For more information on average rental rates by neighborhood, check our Neighborhood Guide.

How do I decide where to live?

Often one of the toughest choices in our client’s apartment searches is narrowing down where they want to live. With so many fantastic neighborhoods to choose from, each with their own appeal and personality, making that choice can be tough. For descriptions of Chicago’s neighborhoods, check out our Neighborhood Guide.

How do I decide what features I want my apartment to have?

If you are moving with someone else, or even just by yourself, you should come up with your set of criteria. Since the type of apartment you want as well as the features it should have are a very personal decision, you should make a list of criteria; features the apartment must have (cannot do without) and features you would like the apartment to have (could sacrifice for the right place). Once you know what you want and can live without, your leasing agent will help you determine which places will be a good fit.

What details about my apartment search should I share with my leasing agent?

As much as possible! What neighborhoods do you like? Where do you commute to each day? Do you drive or prefer public transportation? Would you rather hand wash your dishes or is not having a dishwasher a deal breaker? Do you have pets? What kind? To be as accurate as we can in locating rental options for you, the more we know about your search, the better! Want to submit a list of criteria to Rentology? Follow this link to our Forms & Info page!

How much money will I need to secure an apartment?

To show that you are committed to renting an apartment, in addition to signing a lease, the owner or management will want you to be able to pay for your application, and at the time you sign your lease, supply the first month’s rent.

How does the application process work?

Once we have helped you to find the right apartment, you have to be willing to move fast to secure the apartment (See our Market Tempo Guide). In order to make sure that you qualify for the apartment, you must first submit a completed application to our staff. Once we have received the application and the processing fee, we will begin processing your application; pull your credit history, verify your income, and verify your rental history with your current landlord. Once that information is known, we consult with the owner or management of the property to make sure you meet their criteria. Once approved, we immediately move to a lease signing to secure the apartment.

How much does my credit rating play a role in the determining if I am approved?

The answer to this question can only truly be answered by the owner or management of the apartment you are going to rent. Your credit rating, in addition to the credit rating of those applying with you, is used to determine your track record for paying your bills on time. The better the history you have of paying your bills, the easier it is to get approved.

How does the lease signing process work?

Though most leases are standardized, each owner or management company has their own set of criteria that must be included. With much of this information already on file, Rentology will be ready to present this information to you as soon as the application has been completed and approved. After you have reviewed the documents and have asked any questions you may have, you will be assisted in signing the lease.

When can I move in?

To complete the full application and lease signing process, you should allow 2-3 days. If you are applying for an apartment that is vacant and would like to move in right away, you should make your desire to move quickly known to your leasing agent.If your move date is anywhere from a week to a month or more away, you will generally get your keys the day before or day of your lease start date.