Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Rental Market

Well, for most landlords in Chicago the rental season is fast approaching. You should always try and give yourself two months to rent an apartment. If you have leases that are coming up, I recommend contacting current tenants three months ahead of time. You can give them one month to decide if they are going to stay or go. No matter what, you have to give a full months notice to tenants if you are not renewing their lease. If tenants are leaving or just not responding send them written notice that you will start showing their apartment for rent. That letter serves as their notice, but you should still call before coming over. Since Chicago requires 48 hours notice prior to entrance a blanket notice will usually suffice. If you have an angry or particular tenant they can require you to give 48 hours notice every time. In this situation I recommend open houses on the weekends, that makes giving notice easier.
Once you have an apartment to rent you need to start advertising. You can put up a sign, but these days that isn't usually enough. I recommend the Reader which is free or pretty inexpensive, or craigslist (craigslist.com) which is free, but you have to run adds almost daily. If you are having a hard time or you are too busy you can turn to a rental agency, though they tend to focus on the near north side and lake front. Rental agencies like the Apartment People charge a fee equal to one months rent. They do all the work though, including the showings and verification of the application. Many of them will even sign the lease on your behalf. If you have a very expensive or unique property you can pay a real estate agent to list it on the MLS. Personally, as a Realtor, I find this only works for single family homes or expensive condos. Realtors also usually charge a one month fee for their services. Using Realtors is more popular in the suburbs. All of these agencies only get paid if they rent the unit, so you can keep trying on your own in the mean time.
Good luck and don't get desperate. It is better to wait for a good tenant then suffer through a bad tenant.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Great Rental Properties in Chicago

Stay tuned! In the course of my day-to-day business as a realtor I get to see tons of rental buildings in Chicago. Particularly 2-4 unit buildings on the near north, south and west sides of the city. If I see one I like that I think is in good condition I am always trying to think of pontential buyers. Last spring I saw a two flat on Thomas with some clients. It did not work for their needs, but I called a few people I knew and one of those contacts ended up buying the building. They are, of course, very happy there. This spring I intend to start posting buildings, I like, on my blog. So keep and eye out. If you are looking for anything in particular let me know what it is and I will let you know if I see anything good. Great buildings sell fast so it helps that I am looking on a regular basis.

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