While you're always welcome to contact us with specific questions, here are some answers to the ones we get most frequently.

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  1. What is a RentConfident Report?
  2. Why should I order a RentConfident Report?
  3. Is a RentConfident Report a credit report?
  4. What is the difference between RentConfident and advertising or review websites?
  5. Can RentConfident help me find an apartment to rent and set up showings?
  6. Can I see some sample reports?
  7. How can I use RentConfident Reports to avoid rental scams?
  8. How recent is the data gathered by RentConfident?
  9. When will RentConfident expand outside of Chicago?
  1. Which RentConfident Report should I order?
  2. When should I order my Reports?
  3. I'm working with a rental agent. Should I still order a RentConfident Report?
  4. What is the difference between the Fingerprint Report and the Signature Report?
  5. Why can't I order an Initial Report on a single address?
  6. Why do Signature Reports take a few hours for delivery?
  7. Can you explain the pricing of RentConfident Reports?
  8. Can I really pay any price I want for a Fingerprint Report?
  1. Can I share my reports with my roommates? How about with my agent?
  2. Someone gave me a printed RentConfident report. How can I be sure that it's the real thing?
  3. What is the Confidence Factor™?
  4. How is the RentConfident Confidence Factor™ calculated?
  5. Why don't your Fingerprint Reports have a Confidence Factor™?
  6. My landlord has a common name. Why isn't there very much background information on him or her?
  7. For how long is the information in my RentConfident report valid?
  8. What is a "massive part-time landlord"?
  1. I'm a landlord with a good Confidence Factor™ on my property. How can I use RentConfident to help boost my business?
  2. I'm a landlord and your report on one of my properties has an error. What can I do?
  3. Do you think you're being too harsh to landlords?
  4. Can landlords or management companies pay for a higher Confidence Factor or to hide information from reports?
  5. I'm an investor looking to expand my portfolio. Can RentConfident help me with due diligence?
  1. I work with renters on a regular basis. Do you offer a bulk option for RentConfident reports?
  2. I'm an agent. How can I use RentConfident Reports to boost my business?
  3. Do you think RentConfident Reports will scare renters away from potentially great places?
  1. What is a RentConfident Report?

    A RentConfident report is an easy way for the Chicago renter to get good information on an apartment or rental property before signing a lease. We research information from over 60 government and real estate sources and organize it into an easy-to-read report. Our reports provide useful and often hidden data on the owner, condo association, property manager, building, and neighborhood for any Chicago rental property so you can be sure that your next apartment is right for you.
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  2. Why should I order a RentConfident Report?

    As with any major life decision, changing residences will impact your quality of life. There are many risks: rental scams, litigious landlords, buildings in foreclosure, and areas of the city that don't meet your needs. Around seventy-five percent of renters will limit their research to a price comparison and area crime statistics. There are hundreds of others factors that might affect your rental experience. We are professional researchers with extensive real-estate knowledge. We will gather all available data and provide it to you in a user-friendly format. A RentConfident report will give you the information you need to both avoid potential problems and to increase your peace of mind.

    We are not an advertising site. Apartment marketing sites may provide basic information such as rent, fees, amenities, and nearby neighborhood features. This information is provided to them by the landlord (who pays for the listing), often resulting in a partial truth. Advertising sites may provide a small amount of information about crime or code violations, all without explanation. We are a research company, and we seek to provide the entire truth.

    The average Chicago renter spends 35-50% of their income on rent. Moving costs can be as high as 5 months rent once fees, deposits, utility set up charges and moving vans are taken into consideration. Breaking a lease can be just as costly as moving. You want to be sure you're making the right choice before you make a huge commitment.

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  3. Is a RentConfident Report a credit report?

    We do not pull information from any credit agency. This would require knowing your landlord's social security number, birthdate and home address, none of which are likely to be distributed to renters. However, just like a renter's credit report doesn't reflect their whole story as a human, a landlord's credit report only shows part of picture on how they behave as a property owner. We feel that the over 250 points of industry-specific information provided in our tenant-tailored Reports provide a far more relevant snapshot of the landlord and their property than a credit report could hope to portray.
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  4. What is the difference between RentConfident and advertising or review websites?

    RentConfident is a research company and produces personalized research reports. Other websites which give rental property information are either advertising sites, where landlords pay for the privilege of listing their information (and only give you the information that they want you to know) or review sites, where mostly angry tenants go to vent. Neither of these paint an accurate picture of an apartment.

    We use objective government and real estate sources to give you hard data, not opinions or advertising. We have no agenda. We do not want to sell you anything except good, clear information.

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  5. Can RentConfident help me find an apartment to rent and set up showings?

    No. We are a research company. Leasing agencies and Realtors can help you set up showings and find an apartment to rent. However, once you find some apartments you're thinking about renting, then you can order reports from us to help you make your decision.
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  6. Can I see some sample reports?

    Sure! Here's a sample RentConfident Signature Report.
    Here's a sample RentConfident Fingerprint Report

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  7. How can I use RentConfident Reports to avoid rental scams?

    The most common rental scam involves copycat scammers reproducing legitimate apartment ads at too-good-to-be-true prices. The scammers prey on lower income renters who are looking to live in pricier neighborhoods. RentConfident tracks the current market rates for apartments throughout the city of Chicago and will notify you if your selected address appears to be a scam based on the asking price.
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  8. How recent is the data gathered by RentConfident?

    • Crime: 8 days
    • Property sales, debts, fines and foreclosures: 21 days
    • Demographics & school performance: 1 year
    • Court cases: 24 hours to 21 days depending on which court is hearing the case
    • Building code violations, permits and administrative hearings: 21 days

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  9. When will RentConfident expand outside of Chicago?

    We would love to bring RentConfident to other areas of the country. However, we're still a new company and want to make sure that we can properly serve our Chicago customers before we expand to other locations. Our development team is always scouting new areas of the country, looking for cities and towns with strong rental populations and the good open data policies that our business requires to operate properly. If you would like to see RentConfident in your city, let us know on the Contact page and we'll make sure it's on our list of places to review.
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  1. Which RentConfident Report should I order?

    We can create Fingerprint Reports quickly, and they are less expensive than Signature Reports. However, they only look at the building you request, while Signature Reports look at all of the buildings owned by the same landlord. Fingerprint Reports do not offer the interactive area map, nor do they investigate the condominium association in the case of rental condominiums. If you're renting a condo or unable to drive around the neighborhood in person you should definitely go straight for the Signature Report. If you're in a time crunch or budget crunch and it's okay with you to not have this information, you can order a Fingerprint Report. However, we consider it best for you to order the more thorough Signature Report before signing a lease and committing to a long stay at any apartment.
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  2. When should I order my Reports?

    As long as you know the address of the apartment(s), you can order at any time.

    Fingerprint Reports are designed to be brought with you to apartment showings. We email highlights of the report straight to your inbox so that you can take the most important issues right along with you and discuss them with the landlord or their agent while you walk through the apartment together.

    We recommend ordering the Signature Report after you apply for an apartment and are approved, but before you sign a lease or pay a security deposit. In most cases, you will have at least a couple of days between being approved and your lease signing to order and review a Signature Report. The average time for us to complete a Signature Report is 4-6 hours during our hours of operation.

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  3. I'm working with a rental agent. Should I still order a RentConfident Report?

    Yes. Although your agent will be able to provide you with a lot of information regarding apartments, many agents are very busy. A rental agent needs to close about 4 deals a week to remain profitable, and many of their deals may fall through. They do not always have time or knowhow to do the extensive research that RentConfident does, although they can certainly help you to understand your Report if you have questions. Ordering a report will both save your agent time and provide you with the facts so you can make the most informed decision possible.
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  4. What is the difference between the Fingerprint Report and the Signature Report?

    The difference is the purpose, as well as the depth and dimensions of the report. The Fingerprint Report is a quick, inexpensive look at a single address. It tells you substantial information about the specific address you request, basic information about the landlord, and accounts for basic risks. It gives you everything you need to make the most out of an apartment showing.

    The Signature Report looks at an apartment from all angles and uses the Confidence Factor™ and star ratings to help guide you through the itemized data. Signature Reports track a landlord and property manager's performance across every building that they own or manage. This can reveal hidden financial troubles, their likelihood to take you to court, and city violations in other buildings that may indicate a habit of poor maintenance. The Signature Report also provides an interactive map showing everything from political boundaries and school districts to parking issues, crime and zoning.

    You're generally committing a year of your life and a third or more of your income to any apartment you choose. The Signature Report is designed to give you the peace of mind that comes with proper preparation.

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  5. Why can't I order an Initial Report on a single address?

    The Initial Reports are designed to help you compare and decide between apartments. They are not designed to give you the full range of risks like the Signature Report. To order an Initial Report on one property would not be very useful. If you would like an Initial Report on a single property and currently live in Chicago, we recommend using your current address as the second address so you can compare against a known location.
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  6. Why do Signature Reports take a few hours for delivery?

    RentConfident Reports are not automated. Each report is researched by hand. It is this personal touch that allows us to make sure that the information we give you is correct. It allows us to avoid giving you confusing or unnecessary information. It means we can be available to help answer your questions once you have your Report in hand. Most renters are only in the market for a few weeks every couple of years. It would take many of them ages to track down all of the information that we can assemble in a few hours. We're doing research for renters every day. Our streamlined approach and custom research engine allow us to get you the greatest amount of data as fast as humanly possible without sacrificing accuracy. Yes, it takes a few minutes for us to create a Fingerprint Report and a few hours for a Signature Report, but we think it's worth it!
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  7. Can you explain the pricing of RentConfident Reports?

    Our reports are priced very comparably to what a landlord charges to run a credit report on you. However, they get a robot-generated, often incomprehensible mess of numbers that doesn't necessarily reflect how you'll behave as a tenant. With a RentConfident Report you get a report formatted specially for renters, manually assembled by a professional rental research expert.

    We believe these reports can prevent much greater future expenses such as moving costs, attorneys fees, or insurance deductibles. It takes time to compile these reports by hand, and we must use our real estate industry expertise to gather and analyze the information that may affect your rental experience.

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  8. Can I really pay any price I want for a Fingerprint Report?

    You can pay anything from $1 and up. We will provide the same level of research regardless of what you pay us.
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  1. Can I share my reports with my roommates? How about with my agent?

    Yes. Once you are registered on our website, you can share any report you have purchased from your account page. This feature is great for sharing with your agent, sharing between roommates, and even for parents ordering reports for their children. All you need to know is their email address.
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  2. Someone gave me a printed RentConfident report. How can I be sure that it's the real thing?

    At the bottom of the PDF Signature Report there is a code unique to that report. Contact us with the code. We will verify the report's address, order date and score so you can be sure that the report has not been changed in any way.
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  3. What is the Confidence Factor™?

    The Confidence Factor™, included in our Signature Reports, is a score between 1-100 that shows the risks and benefits involved in renting at a certain location.

    Much like a school exam, the "average" rental will rate somewhere between 70-79, with excellent rentals scoring higher and weaker rentals scoring lower. We consider rentals that score below 50 to be too high of a risk for the average tenant.

    Not all of the details in this report are included in the calculation of the Confidence Factor™, but here are some things we consider:

    • Balances due on mortgage and property taxes
    • Debts and fines
    • Pending foreclosures
    • Building code violations and construction permits
    • Nearby violent crime rates
    • Landlord reputation
    • Landlord major court history (bankruptcies, evictions, contract disputes, etc.)
    This report is based entirely on data available to the public on government and real estate websites. RentConfident collects the available data and presents it in a single location for easy review.
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  4. How is the RentConfident Confidence Factor™ calculated?

    The Confidence Factor™ is calculated by our research engine using a proprietary formula developed by RentConfident. For each risk factor we find, we deduct points from a starting score of 100. Risks are given point values based on how severely they could affect your health and well-being. One apartment's Confidence Factor™ will not affect those of other apartments. We treat each apartment individually and equally in order to give you the most accurate prediction of an apartment's risks and benefits.
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  5. Why don't your Fingerprint Reports have a Confidence Factor™?

    Fingerprint Reports are designed be in your hands quickly for a very low price. A fairly calculated Confidence Factor™ takes a lot more information to calculate than we are able to obtain in the few minutes that we spend creating a Fingerprint Report. This level of research is only included in our Signature Reports.
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  6. My landlord has a common name. Why isn't there very much background information on him or her?

    Though we make every effort to give you as much information as possible, we are not always able to distinguish between people with the same name. We would rather provide you limited information than incorrect information, especially regarding court history and criminal background. Our reports are only as good as the accuracy of the information. We must be careful in order in order to give you the best report possible.
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  7. For how long is the information in my RentConfident report valid?

    RentConfident Reports are compiled using the most current data we can find. However, once the Report is in your hands the information within is locked down and does not automatically update over time. New problems and new fixes can completely alter a property within a matter of days. As such we only recommend relying on the information in your RentConfident report for at most 10 days after completion. You will always have access to every Report we prepare for you. Once a Report has aged past the point of reliability, we will mark it as "archived" in your account so you know that the information may be outdated.
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  8. What is a "massive part-time landlord"?

    When creating our Signature Reports we strive to find all properties owned by the same landlord and to investigate the landlord's behavior as custodian of each of them. This allows the renter to identify trends across the landlord's entire portfolio, as problems in one location may carry over to other locations. However, there are some landlords with portfolios that are so large that identifying and screening every property is impossible for us to do in a timely manner. We refer to these landlords as "massive part-time landlords," or "MAPLES" for short. In order to qualify as a massive part-time landlord, the following criteria must be met:

    • Landlord is a corporation or not-for-profit.
    • Landlord is a government entity, college/university or business with over 1000 properties in their portfolio.
    • The main focus of the landlord's business does not involve maintenance and management of apartments.

    MAPLES tend to assign management of their apartment buildings to smaller in-house departments or outside property management companies. These smaller groups are the ones that tenants will deal with on a daily basis. When researching Signature Reports for an apartments owned by MAPLES, RentConfident will survey a sample of up to 50 of the properties in their portfolio and encourage customers to pay considerably more attention than normal to property manager section of their final Signature Report.


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  1. I'm a landlord with a good Confidence Factor™ on my property. How can I use RentConfident to help boost my business?

    If you are satisfied with the apartment's Confidence Factor™ and the information contained within the report, then you may wish to use it as a marketing tool to rent that apartment. You could include the Confidence Factor™ in your Craigslist ads, share copies with agents who show the apartment, or show it to prospective tenants if they are unsure about signing a lease. If your Report contains negative information, such as serious city violations or unpaid property taxes, then you can use the report to better understand where to focus your resources. Any use of the RentConfident Confidence Factor™ must include mention that RentConfident and the RentConfident Confidence Factor™ are trademarked of RentConfident, LLC.
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  2. I'm a landlord and your report on one of my properties has an error. What can I do?

    As a research company, we are only as good as the data we find. The sources we use to gather information are listed at the end of every Report. Once you have determined which source the wrong information came from, contact that government office to fix the problem. If you cannot find which source the information came from, please contact us and we can point you in the right direction.
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  3. Do you think you're being too harsh to landlords?

    It is not our goal to be harsh to landlords. The RentConfident founders are both former property managers. We know that many Chicago landlords are doing good work in one of the strictest rental environments in the country. It is our goal to provide all available information to renters, while also drawing attention to exactly how tough it is to be a good landlord. The same factors are considered on every report. Some of those factors will showcase a landlord's strengths. Some of that information may reflect negatively on landlords. If a landlord is consistently making a good effort to maintain his or her properties, following city rules and regulations, and properly screening tenants, the landlord should score well on our Reports.

    Tenants who have suffered through bad housing arrangements get hardened, and carry their past problems with them into their later homes. They require more intensive customer service and are more prone to escalating problems into the court system. By helping to protect renters from these bad arrangements and increasing accountability for the worst of the landlords out there, we hope to make the serious landlord's job a little easier.

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  4. Can landlords or management companies pay for a higher Confidence Factor or to hide information from reports?

    No. RentConfident is committed to the integrity of our reports and earning the trust of our customers. Only the data we find in our research will influence the Confidence Factor™. The same set of data is provided to our customers for every address requested.
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  5. I'm an investor looking to expand my portfolio. Can RentConfident help me with due diligence?

    RentConfident Reports are designed for renters, but there's plenty of information in them that a landlord could use when getting ready to buy new multifamily property in Chicago. They can give you insight into potential money sinks, and show you how a discerning renter might see your property once it's in your portfolio. If you're new to being a landlord in Chicago, they can also serve as a compliance checklist for some of the finer points of Chicago's strict landlord-tenant environment. However, while our Reports are great cost-effective snapshots, when it comes to large capital investments RentConfident Reports are not a substitute for full attorney review.
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  1. I work with renters on a regular basis. Do you offer a bulk option for RentConfident reports?

    We are working on a bulk option for real estate professionals and social workers who interact with tenants on a regular basis. If you would like to use RentConfident Reports as part of your business, please reach out to us on our Contact page and we will be happy to discuss some options with you. We hope that we will be able to offer a more formalized program for industry members in the near future.

    In the meantime, we recommend using our referral code program to earn discounts on your RentConfident Reports. For every 5 new customers who buy a Report from us using your referral code, you will receive a $10 coupon towards your next purchase.

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  2. I'm an agent. How can I use RentConfident Reports to boost my business?

    RentConfident Reports provide value-added data that Realtors can use to demonstrate the breadth of their rental knowledge. Our Reports will save you time, consolidating all of the information you would want a renter to know before signing a lease. Sitting down to review a RentConfident Report with your clients allows you to demonstrate the breadth of your market awareness and the depth of your concern for their well-being.

    Realtors who wish to minimize rentals in their business may want to suggest RentConfident Reports as an alternative tool to renters that they cannot take on as clients.

    Realtors who work in the investment market may also find RentConfident Reports useful when preparing offers on multifamily property. While some agents find that our Signature Reports are useful for this purpose, you can also contact us about designing a custom report that you can use to help your investor clients make solid decisions.

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  3. Do you think RentConfident Reports will scare renters away from potentially great places?

    RentConfident believes that renters are smarter than many marketing experts give them credit for. They deserve to know the whole picture about their next home, not just the good parts that are highlighted in a listing. Many Realtors have sat through or heard stories of terrifying home inspections with inspectors who seem determined to blow the deal by scaring the buyers away. We don't want to do that to you. We have made sure that RentConfident Reports show both the positive and negative aspects of a property.

    When you use a RentConfident Report to help a renter find the best property with the lowest risk, you're showing them that you've done everything you possibly can to ensure their safety. You're telling them that you trust them to make the best decision. Going the extra mile to reduce your clients' risk will help you stick in their mind next time someone asks them for an agent referral.

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