Rentals in Portage Park>Question Details

JenB, Renter in Chicago, IL

Can a landlord ask for the age of my child, during the application screening?

Asked by JenB, Chicago, IL Thu Dec 6, 2012

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Alvin Dobbs’ answer
The landlord may be walking a very gray line. Realtors and landlords need to know how many people and how many are over 18-they really do not need to know the ages of the children. Of course, there are some municipalities that have rules that may contradict what we have been taught. Because of the way it was asked during the application period--you may need to contact someone who specializes in fair housing.

A Dobbs
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
I can start a search for you and try to help you out. I would be happy to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 14, 2015
I would consult with Jim Schultz for all your questions on this matter at 773 680 7426 tenant rights advocate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
I should also note that this question was not in response to any application that I provided for this listing. JenB may have been viewing the page for this listing immediately before asking the question but she is not referring to my business practices. When it comes to kids, my standard application only asks to list the names of occupants under the age of 18.

Jen, my apologies to you for the number of agents who have chosen to take this opportunity to try and push you into buying a home instead of answering your question. Whether you choose to rent or to buy, I hope you find the right home for you and your family that suits your budget, your lifestyle and your future plans.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
They ask for date of birth, so if they can add, its totally legal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
If you're talking about Chicago landlords, they'll want to know if the kids are over or under the age of 18, and run a background check on them if they're over. If they're asking for more info than that they're tipping into the grey area of a fair housing violation, as they can't discriminate based on family status.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
Credit, Income, Assets, Dates of Birth of All occupants, and other info is all legitimate data that a landlord can ask for and have on file.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
What does the rental application say?
I am not sure why you wonder if they can or can not.... they may just want to make sure that
you are talking about a child and not an adult child, as that may require an application etc.

Seldom requested but often willingly provided by the tenants like "let the landlord know who is moving into their property"
Landlords want to know your income, your employment, your references, your credit score and your background check.... the ages of children may just be asked to know who is moving into their home or did you think the question was asked for a different reason.

Feel free to get back to us...

Most Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago and North Shore Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients with @Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
Sure. If they want to reject you there are lots of ways to do it other than the age of your children. They are asking 125/mo more than they did the last time they rented it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
I love Matt' answer, and hope you will give this some thought.
Yes, they can ask, but they cannot discriminate based on the answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012

Absolutely . So many adult children and parents are living together today as extended families to save monies. Parents still refer to adult children as children.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
Also, Evelyn Fred (who already answered) is an excellent realtor. So now that you've got your lender (me) and your realtor (Evelyn) I don't see why you're waiting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
a land lord owns the are a guest..they need to know exactly who is in the unit
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012

Do you realize you could BUY that house for less than it would cost to rent it? I've got loan programs available with $6000 down payment assistance, where the minimum investment on your end would be 1% of the purchase price.

And I don't know about renting, but on our application, there is a place for the ages of your children, so I'm assuming it's also legal to ask on a rental application.

Give me a call or shoot me an email if you'd like to exercise EVERY option for you and your children, including LOCKING in a low monthly payment on a house your family will be happy in!


Matt Bukovy
Senior Mortgage Consultant
Wintrust Mortgage
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
Hi JenB,

Yes for the sole intention of qualifying if it's an adult. Usually, a credit/background check is done on each adult intending to occupy the space.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
If you are applying for an apartment in Evanston, it happens to be a requirement. In general, there is nothing to prohibit a landlord from asking the question in Chicago, although it may be somewhat uncommon.

Rusty A. Payton, Broker
iMove Chicago
1225 W Morse
Chicago, Illinois 60626

773-856-6200 [Office]
773-856-6201 [Fax]
773-682-5210 [Mobile]


0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
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