Rental Basics in Chicago>Question Details

Li Wright, Other/Just Looking in 60640

I'm going Friday to look at an apartment in Chicago. I want a list of questions to ask about the apartment & building. Can you send me a few?

Asked by Li Wright, 60640 Sun Nov 3, 2013

I know to ask about storage and bike storage. Can I ask about tenants and if the building is noisy?

Help the community by answering this question:


If you are worried about noise, ask if there is cement in between the floors. If not, make sure you spend alot of time in the unit to hopefully hear if there are any noise issues from squeaky floors above. Check for proper hot water/decent water pressure by flushing the toilet while running the shower. Ask if there have ever been any reported bedbug problems. Look up the property address to see if there are any complaints about the building/unit. Make sure the building appears secure. Do all the common gates lock? The best way you learn about all your rights as a tenant is to read the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
Ask about:

1. Foreclosures in the building.
2. Assessments
3. Number of rentals
4. Restrictions on renting
5. Crime, schools, restaurants in area
6. Average market time for properties in the building


Obviously, you will also want to ask about anything that you notice while at the property (noise, water pressure etc.).

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 6, 2013
I think this person was looking to rent not buy. You know we legally cannot discuss crime in the area, by Federal Fair Housing Law.
Flag Wed Nov 6, 2013
Li, it sounds like you need some professional assistance. The biggest piece of advice is not to wait! If you're making an appointment to see an apartment nearly a week later, that's too long. You need to move quickly to get the best properties in the city. Get a leasing agent to assist you and you'll get the information you need to make an informed decision about your new home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 6, 2013
you can ask any question that you desire, and your leasing agent should be able to answer most, as long as they can respond legally.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 6, 2013
You can ask WHATEVER you deem necessary! And I'd go as far as even Google-ing for some pre-made lists and creating your own from those.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
Can I sublease the apartment?
What utilities am I responsible for?
What are the move in/move out fees?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
There are very good leasing agents and very bad leasing agents. Ask for an experienced one. I have known new leasing agents who didn't know where Michigan Ave is. (not kidding) As a tenant you can ask whatever the heck you want. You are not held to standards or rules and regulations, like realtors are. One thing that is often overlooked is water pressure. I have lived in apartments with bad WP. Always ask that and feel free to run the faucets. Also, your leasing agent should have experience in the area you are interested in. Realtors CANNOT legally comment on racial breakdown in the building or areas. You will have to figure that out yourself. Or find an agent willing to break the law.
Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
A good leasing agent can help make the rental process smoother. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013

Get a good leasing agent. They can guide you through the process, at no cost to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
Yes of course you can ask questions regarding those factors and leases
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
You can ask about noise, but the agent will not really know that, since they are only there 30 minutes at a time, unless they live in the building; and what they consider noisy is different from you. Check water pressure, flush the toilets, look for signs of leaks, really consider the closets space. Find out if the owner is planning on selling soon and is the owner financially stable so that you will not have to pick up and move again. What are the utility bills like and what is included in the rent, what amenities are included in the rent, what are the move in/move out fees.

For the units you like best, visit the areas at different times to get a feel for the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
Thanks all. I thought of another one -- why is the unit available? Sometimes the person died. Also, what are the penalty fees? Such as if you lose your keys.
Flag Mon Nov 4, 2013
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