Do You Know Who Has Keys to Your Apartment? (Lock and Key Day)

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This article will go live on October 18, 2019. Chances are that Chicago teachers will still be on strike and public non-charter schools will still be closed. This means that a lot of Chicago residents will be allowing babysitters into their homes. Those babysitters will be given keys to the property which may or may not be returned when the work is finished.

According to the FBI’s annual report on crimes across the nation during 2018, about 38.5% of burglaries in major metropolitan counties like Chicago had no sign of forced entry. It is very tough for the police to take action on these kinds of crimes. So today I want to start a new annual special day, to occur each year on the Friday after Columbus Day, called “Lock and Key Day”.

If you’ve never changed your apartment locks since you moved into your apartment, I want you to take some time today to get permission from your landlord and get it done.

If you’ve already changed your locks, give some thought to who might have copies of your keys and get them back if you think they shouldn’t still have access to your home.

If you’re reading this article for the first time on some day other than Lock and Key Day, put it in your calendar or just get it out of the way now while you’re thinking about it. Read on to find out why. Continue reading Do You Know Who Has Keys to Your Apartment? (Lock and Key Day)

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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.

How to Find a Good Apartment Sight-Unseen

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Sometimes you have to move to a new city in a hurry. Sometimes that city is too far away for you to make two trips out for house hunting and your actual move. We’ve covered relocation a little in the past before but there’s a very special scenario that arises when you have to pick a new home without being able to visit any of your options in person. Today we’re going to give you some pointers on how to find an apartment in a different city sight unseen.

In some cases, people who need to move in these situations can ask their employer to put them up in temporary housing until they can find new digs. Some others may have family or friends with couches or guest bedrooms that are alright for a week or two. This is not for you guys. This is for the folks who are moving on short notice with no anchors in the new city, as well as for the very kind and generous folks who are serving as proxies for them. Continue reading How to Find a Good Apartment Sight-Unseen

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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.

The 6 Ws of Apartment Inspections

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The concept of regular apartment inspections by the landlord or property manager is a very old one that is seeing new popularity among property managers across the U.S. Some tenants are surprised the first time they encounter a landlord who wants to inspect their apartment on a regular basis. Some have been regularly inspected without knowing it. Others, especially those on government rent subsidies, are accustomed to it. Today we’re going to go over the 6 W’s (what, why, who, when, where and how to prepare/avoid) of the apartment inspection process so that renters can be ready to deal with these encounters and come out of them on top. Continue reading The 6 Ws of Apartment Inspections

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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.

The 10 Most Common Neighbor Complaints in Apartments

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For those of you wondering, I haven’t given up on finding the data I needed to finish last week’s article. It’s in process but it is taking a while. There’s hundreds of cases to sort through in two different courts and neither court system is particularly strong on the public documentation.

High density living can at times serve as a constant reminder of how we haven’t quite yet achieved the American Dream. Every time you hear your neighbor walking around, watching TV or throwing a party you’re reminded that you haven’t yet earned your own plot of land. It chafes at some people more than others.

In my years working in an apartment property management office I took a lot of voicemails and angry emails from neighbors who were upset about the activities of their fellow tenants. I say voicemails deliberately as most of them came in during the middle of the night when the office was closed.

Not every building has the same problems. We didn’t have a lot of issues with people stealing each others’ wifi or cable but in other areas that might be more of a concern. However, not every landlord reacts the same to complaints. Some will tell you about them, some will silently put them in your file for future use against you, others will ignore them completely.

No matter the situation today I have compiled the most common ones that I encountered into a list for you, in case you want to avoid being “that guy.” Continue reading The 10 Most Common Neighbor Complaints in Apartments

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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.

Moving in a Hurry

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In an ideal world we would have an ample amount of time to make a sensible decision for our next address every time we move. We’d be able to lovingly pack up our belongings in newspaper and bubble wrap, give our old place a deep cleaning and drop the keys off at our landlord’s office like respectable adults. But we all know that for renters this sort of nice, leisurely move doesn’t always happen. There are plenty of times when we have to get out of our housing immediately.

For some folks who get new jobs, they may have a weekend to complete a transfer. Then there’s the more dire situations. Breakups, fights, house fires, natural disasters and violence can all force us to move on short notice, sometimes only a few hours or minutes. Today we’ve got a quick guide on what to do when you have to move in a hurry. Continue reading Moving in a Hurry

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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.