Renters Frequently Asked Questions

QHow does your service work?
APlease visit the How it Works page for a complete description of how we help you find the perfect apartment.
QSo how do you make money?
AArea landlords pay us a fee for helping them find qualified tenants like you.
QHow long does it take to find an apartment?
ATypically it takes 3-4 hours, but this varies based on each apartment search. Our commitment is to give you as much time and attention as you require so that we can match you with the perfect apartment.
QAre the leasing agents licensed?
AYes, all leasing agents are licensed leasing agents.
QCan I lease an apartment for less than a 12 month period?
AYes, our database includes a variety of listings, some of which will accept shorter term leases. In large part, this depends on the time of year. Please explore these options through our short term housing section.
QWhat should I bring with me for my apartment search?
APlease bring a photo ID with you. We also recommend bringing a camera and a note pad. You'll be looking at a number of places, so it's helpful to compare notes and pictures.
QWhat will I need if I want to apply for an apartment?
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • Current and previous landlord phone and fax number
  • Current and previous employer phone and fax number
  • Driver's license or photo identification
  • Income verification, if self-employed
  • Co-signer application, if a student or unemployed
  • Student loan documentation, if student loans will be used to pay rent
QWhat form of payment can I use for my first month's rent and security deposit?
AWe accept the following types of payment: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Personal Check, Certified Funds, and Debit Card. Security deposits must be paid with certified funds made payable to the Landlord. (Chicago Apartment Finders does not hold or manage security deposits on behalf of the landlord.)
QWhat if I have no credit history or a challenged credit history?
AWe work with a variety of landlords, each of whom have different approval guidelines. We will do our best to match you with an apartment that fits your needs.
QDo I have to pay a security deposit? If so, how much will it be, and when is it due? When can I expect that it will be returned?
AEvery landlord is different. Some do not collect security deposits and charge a move-in fee instead. For owners that collect security deposits, the standard is typically one month's rent. However, some landlords charge more than a month depending on credit history. Bear in mind that landlords typically require additional deposits for pets. Security deposits are typically due at lease signing. The security deposit must be in the form of certified funds made payable to the landlord. A landlord is required to return the security deposit less any damages within 45 days from the day you move out. A landlord must include a written explanation for any damages along with receipts for the repairs. We recommend that you take pictures of the unit before you move in and after you move out.
QDo I need renter's insurance?
AThis is a personal preference. Renter's insurance is affordable and will provide you with an extra sense of security.
QIf I live out of town and cannot come in to your office, can you still help me find an apartment?
AYes, using our remote rental service we can find you a great apartment without you having to come in to the office at all. Just give us a call and we will help you get started.
QWhat if I have to sublet my apartment?
AYou are allowed to sublet the apartment at any point during the lease. However, you remain liable for all rent payments to the landlord. Occasionally, the landlord will allow you to "re-let" the apartment, in which case your lease would be terminated and a new lease between the landlord and the new renter would be created.

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