The Businesses That Profit From Your Move

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If you are a renter the statistics say that you’ll move once every two years. If you have a higher income or live in a studio you’re likely to move more often than that. If you have a lower income or a larger apartment you’ll probably stay longer. But on average with all renters figured into the situation the frequency is once every two years.

Moving is an expensive endeavor. Every time an apartment vacates there’s a whole bunch of businesses who have their hands out looking for a piece of that fat cash drop. Sometimes the tenants pay them, other times the landlords do. In a few situations it’s even the employers of the tenants or the government who foots the bill. Today I’ve got a list of the business types that come together to form the tenant-facing modern rental industry. Continue reading The Businesses That Profit From Your Move

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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.

Classified History: Housing Ads in Chicago 1901-1933

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I’m back with another trawl through the Chicago Tribune archives, looking at classified ads placed for apartments throughout the city’s history. This is the third installment. I’ve previously covered the periods of 1849 – 1870 (Early Days) and 1871 – 1900 (Great Fire and World’s Fair #1). Today we’ll be looking at the era from 1901 to 1933, an era spanning two depressions, the Roaring Twenties, World War I and another World’s Fair. Since the majority of Chicago renters still moved on May 1 during this era I’ll be bouncing from April to April to find the newspaper issues that had the most ads to pick from.

This is the first era we’ve covered where many of the listed buildings may still be standing. The bulk of Chicago’s “vintage” apartment buildings were constructed during these three decades. Continue reading Classified History: Housing Ads in Chicago 1901-1933

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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.

Apartment Tropes in Fiction: Myth or Reality?

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Towards the end of last week’s article I went off on a bit of a rant about the importance of studying apartment life as a reflection of modern culture. Longtime readers will know that I’ll sometimes go back in after an article has launched and add a sentence or two as an afterthought. Last week I added the following sentence: “When a topic so central to the lives of so many people is viewed through the distorted lens of folklore, policies and behaviors arise based on assumptions that are most likely false.”

Tropes are fictional shortcuts. They are used by authors, scriptwriters and playwrights to quickly indicate character traits, setting, or get the plot moving in a particular direction. When it comes to apartments there are tons of tropes. Apartments themselves are a trope used to show that the setting involves young, urban characters who are not all that wealthy and don’t have kids. Today we’re going to look at four common apartment-related tropes and see how they measure up to reality based on my own experience and statistics I’ve been able to dig up. Continue reading Apartment Tropes in Fiction: Myth or Reality?

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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.

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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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.

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.