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.

Questions to Ask When Relocating to a New City

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Right around this time of year most Chicago landlords are sending out their final lease renewals for the year in preparation for the end of the rental season. Right around this time of year Chicago landlords area also fielding requests from tenants to go in and do the “mandatory annual repainting” that is supposedly required by law.

Newsflash: it is required by law. In New York City. Not in Chicago. Even in NYC it’s only required once every three years. According to Chicago law your landlord only has to keep the walls in sound condition and good repair.

I have no idea how this New York only law became something that tenants across the country assume is in effect everywhere, although I have my suspicions as to what occurred. But it never fails that every year at least one renter within a landlord portfolio of decent size will ask for their annual paint job when they get their lease renewal offer. It came in so often at my old job that I had to make an email macro to handle the responses. The important takeaway here is that rental and real estate laws vary wildly from state to state and city to city. Continue reading Questions to Ask When Relocating to a New City

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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.