Twitter’s Opinion of Chicago Apartment Hunting

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In February of 2016 I ran an article where I searched through Twitter to see the adjectives that people used to describe their landlords. As it’s been a while I figured it might be good to go back and see what Twitter has to say about another topic. I’ve actually had this geographically restricted search running for a while now, sitting in my Tweetdeck and building up. The Chicago area Twitterverse has quite a lot to say about apartment hunting, and most of it isn’t good.

Here are the adjectives that were used in posts that mentioned apartment hunting over the course of roughly twelve months, filtered to exclude posts from property managers, agents and landlords.

Appearing Multiple Times
Stressful (5 times)
Difficult (Twice)
Frustrating (Twice)
My least favorite part about living in Chicago (Twice)
Overwhelming (Twice)
The worst (Twice) Continue reading Twitter’s Opinion of Chicago Apartment Hunting

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Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

RentConfident’s Top Content of 2018

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It’s that time of year again when bloggers engage in a bit of navel gazing. We jumped on the year-end bandwagon last year and we’re going to do it again this year. You know the drill. We’re going to list the 10 most popular posts in this blog from the past 12 months based on traffic, and then we’re going to throw in a few which we really enjoyed in-house but the rest of the world slept on.

To all of you who have supported us through the year by reading our articles, sharing them, subscribing to our newsletter or, of course, by buying an apartment safety report, thank you! We hope this retrospective is a fun walk down memory lane for you. Let us know your favorites in the comments!

Your Favorites

We track our stats using Matomo, which is similar to Google Analytics but it lives entirely on our own servers. We do this because we don’t like sharing our own data with Google and we figure you don’t either. The articles in this list were the ones we published last year that saw the most traffic. They are not the absolute top performers, as those are all from previous years. (If you’re curious, our top two articles are “How to Rat out a Bad Landlord in the City of Chicago” and “Is Your Grill Legal?“, which doesn’t surprise us at all.) Continue reading RentConfident’s Top Content of 2018

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

An Open Letter to House Guests in Chicago Apartments

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Two years ago we ran an article for renters called “Is Your Apartment Suitable for Hosting Guests?” which uses the same artwork as this one because it’s my birthday this weekend and I didn’t feel like drawing anything new. But there are two sides to a host/guest situation. This is for the other half of the equation.

Before we begin, take this grain of salt and hold it in your hand for the duration. Got it? Good. Let’s go.

Dear House Guests,

So you will be spending a few days living in someone else’s apartment. Maybe you’re visiting family for the holidays. Maybe you’re a tourist staying in an AirBNB. Either way, you are visiting the very small home of someone else who may or may not be present and you have never been in a similar environment before. Your host might be too polite to comment when you’re doing something cringy. Or they might get so annoyed that you never get a second invitation to visit them. So from all of us who live in high density buildings year-round to all of you who do not, here are some pointers to bear in mind so that your host does not earn the wrath of their neighbors and/or landlord. Continue reading An Open Letter to House Guests in Chicago Apartments

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Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

The Naughtiest and Nicest Landlords of 2018

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Ho Ho Ho! It’s Christmas season and that means it’s time for our annual tradition of calling out the year’s worst and best landlords. This is now the fourth year in a row that we’ve done the annual N&N list.

We had an easier time this year finding landlords for the “nicest” list. Unfortunately this is because the large number of natural disasters that plagued the country in 2018. Of course, as always, we had a huge number of “naughty” landlords to choose from so your favorite villain with a vacancy might not appear. Notably we have chosen to omit the parties involved in the Ghost Ship fire as we don’t think that matter is truly settled yet.

But you’re not here for the intro. You’re here for the best and worst landlords of the year. Let’s get to it. Continue reading The Naughtiest and Nicest Landlords of 2018

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

Brainstorming Apartments for Niche Markets

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There are very few occupations that have housing set aside just for them. There are military barracks, but those are only for active duty military. There is specialty housing for religious devotees such as convents, monasteries and rectories. For college student there are dorms of course and a subset of landlords that cater to students, with an even smaller subset catering to medical residents and interns.

In Chicago there’s also a handful of buildings dedicated to artists with rooms in the building set aside for music practice and studio use. Until recently, all of these niche markets have been gussied up ways of making low-income, run down housing acceptable to build in otherwise hostile neighborhoods due to the innate but socially acceptable poverty and traditional whiteness of these select groups of people.

But lately the “artist apartment” has seen a renaissance with new communities popping up across the south side. These buildings are still low income housing, but underwritten by grants and spearheaded by community champions they are not your average run down fleabag artist communes. They’re brand new construction and quite fancy.

The rebirth of artist apartments in Chicago led me to think about other job and interest based niche communities that might do well to have apartment buildings created just for them. After all, if the often outrageous artistic temperaments can get along living together in a single building, certainly some other groups can find enough common ground to share an address as well. Here are some of our ideas and how to make them happen. Continue reading Brainstorming Apartments for Niche Markets

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.