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How to Get Ready to Apply for Apartments and Other Rental Properties

Get Ready to Apply!

You’ve made a big decision: it’s time to move to Chicago! You might have already taken the details of moving into consideration. Maybe you’ve even found the perfect apartment, condo, duplex or rental home. But are you ready to quickly apply and beat the competition to land that perfect place before someone else does? Different landlords have different application requirements, but many are expecting very similar things from applicants before they sign a lease. Get ready to apply by following these simple tips!

Check Your Credit Reports

This is the first step in any successful apartment search. Almost every Chicago property management company will be checking your credit. If you are not sure what they will find, now is the time to check it for yourself! There are many places to do this online for free – no need to pay for it. If you find that there are negative items on your credit, try to correct those items as far in advance of apartment hunting as possible. Before you apply, call the property management company or landlord to ask about their application criteria.

Know Your Budget and Stick to It

If you try to apply for a rental that is beyond your means to afford, you will likely find your application declined or be asked to provide a cosigner. Instead, take a good look at your monthly income and expenses. You must decide how much rent you can reasonably afford each month. A general guideline to follow is that your monthly rent should not be greater than 30% of your gross monthly income. Many Chicago property managers and landlords also use this as a guideline to determine whether you will be able to pay the rent in full each month, and will ask for proof of income.

Gather Your Proof of Income Documents

Make sure you are able to gather any required documents, such as paycheck stubs, bank statements, or tax returns in advance. Most Chicago property management companies and landlords will ask for these. Calling in advance to confirm what documents are required is a great idea. Send in everything all together if possible, and be sure to confirm it was all received. If you already have the documents ready, you will be able to finish your application quickly. Being the fastest applicant can make the difference between signing a lease and losing the apartment!

Know Your Timeline for Moving

It is a great idea to start looking at available rentals in advance, so that you will know what might be available. You should get ready to apply about 1 month before you plan to move. Most Chicago landlords and property management companies will not want to sign a lease that starts more than one month in the future. You also do not want to wait until the last possible minute – if you have to move tomorrow, applying today is too late. Allow enough time for your rental to be cleaned and any needed repairs to be done before your move, and you will be more satisfied.

Explore Your Options

The best way to be sure of what you want is to view as many potential places as possible! If you do not have much time to search, consider working with a broker or leasing agent. Be clear when telling your agent your budget and your other requirements, so they will be able to find places that best suit your needs. Even if you do use an agent, keep in mind that it is best to view your potential Chicago rentals yourself as well. Schedule as many showings as possible. Don’t ever sign a lease for an apartment or rental home you have not viewed in person, because only you can determine if it fully fits your needs.

Be Sure of What You are Applying For

It is very important to ask questions at the showing and to take notes. Keep notes on each apartment you view, take lots of pictures, and keep those organized by address! It helps to keep organized if you are viewing multiple rentals. When you get ready to apply, make sure you are clear on all the details. Ask about utilities, community amenities, and parking details. Save the online listings for each rental you view and read them carefully to see what is included. If you have a pet, be sure that your pet is allowed before you apply. Review any rules and regulations about your use of the property as well.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will definitely be ready to apply for Chicago apartments and other rental properties! If you are apartment searching in Chicago and the surrounding area right now, please consider our available rentals in and around Chicago. Real Property Management Chicago Group is a professional Chicago property management company that strives for high tenant satisfaction! Get ready to apply with us today!

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