Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Rent In Chicago

February 9, 2013

Betty asks…

Will i have to pay back the amount of financial aid that I use for off campus housing?

I received around $21,000 in financial aid (including merit scholarship) for 2012-2013 school year at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Im looking to living off campus; personal preference and because there isnt much difference in the monthy cost. However, apartment rent in Chicago even with a roommate is expensive, so my parents may not be able to pay for much of it. Is there a way to pay for my education including apartment rent?

Administrator answers:

Sort of. In theory, if the aid you are eligible for is more than the amount of the school’s direct charges, you could use the rest of it for living expenses. However, I’m guessing that your school is expensive enough that you will have to use your entire eligibility just to pay the charges and there wouldn’t be anything left for living expenses. You would be much more likely to be able to do this at a low cost school like a community college.

Incidentally, when doing your budgeting, don’t count on getting the merit scholarship for the second year. Many schools give a lot of merit aid up front in order to lure students into enrolling, but cut it back the next year. Talk to some upperclassmen at your school to find out what their experience was to give yourself an idea of what you can expect.

Carol asks…

Where can I find a list of apartments for rent in Chicago?

I know about craiglist, but I wonder if there’s another website with a more organized interface. Also, I’ve noticed that most apartments had no beds. I’m a visitor, and I’d like an apartment for rent with a bed and other utensils. Any clue as to where I can find something like that near downtown?


Administrator answers:

Web sites are a good place to find an apartment or house to rent, if you want to go through the entire list to find one in your state and then city.

The best place to look for places to rent is to go to the yellow pages of your telephone book, look under property managers.

These individuals list properties for rent in certain areas, so make sure you select the areas in which you wish to rent.

Call several of the property managers listed there, tell them you want a list of properties that they have for rent. Some will fax, email or mail the list of local places to rent along with the address, number of bedrooms and bath rooms, amenities available, such as washer and dryers or gyms, the monthly rental of the unit. Most will include a rental application. These list will include the monthly rental required, if a lease or month to month agreement will be signed. They will also indicate if they will accept Section 8 vouchers. They will also indicate it they have disabled access, allow pets and if so the type allowed.

They might indicate a web site that you might visit to get their list of places to rent. It does not cost to get a rental list from a reputable property manager.

Some will require you to stop by their office and pick up the list. A lot of them post their list outside so the list are available 24/7 365.

Make sure you don’t fall for the scams and purchase a list as 70%-80% of these list are composed of free list they have compiled. They are not the property managers of any property in most instances.

You might also google Property managers in whatever city or community you want to live in and see what comes up. Again do not pay for this information as it is free from reliable property managers.

I hope this has been of some benefit to you, good luck.


Charles asks…

How do i rent an apartment in chicago from another country without getting scammed?

I would like to rent an apartment in chicago from another country but im afraid to get scammed and for economical reasons i can’t just go ahead and fly to chicago to see the apartment. what security steps and general steps would you take if you were in my position?
P.D. im trying to rent an apartment through zillow listings.
i am a us citizen, just not resident.

Administrator answers:

If you’re not a US citizen, you just can’t move to Chicago and rent an apartment. You really need to look at the visa situation.

Daniel asks…

Suggest safe neighborhoods around University of Chicago- Medical center?

I am looking for rent near and around University of Chicago- Medical center for sometime for a year or so. I am getting too confused by online apartment/rent and not sure if they are safe neighborhood to move in.

Administrator answers:

Hyde Park/South Kenwood compares favorable with other Chicago neighborhoods in terms of having a relatively low level of violent crime. Here is a link to U of Chicago information on 2009 Hyde Park crime statistics. Chicago has 25 police districts and only 5 of them have less violent crime than Hyde Park. Neighborhoods to the north, west and south of Hyde Park have higher crime rates. See the chart at the bottom of the page below. You will see Hyde Park has less crime per capita than the Near North Side. Also Hyde Park is only about 12-15 minutes from downtown by the Metra Electric trains.

George asks…

what is the best rental site for homes and apartments ?

I live in Chicago, im looking for townhomes/single family homes or apartments for rent. I have tried some sites, but they did not seem to work well. Is there a very good site widely used ?

Administrator answers:

A local realtor is your safest bet.

Sandra asks…

If you rent an apartment who is responsible for the telephone jacks?

I just moved into an apartment in Chicago and find it has no telephone jacks anywhere. I inform my landlady and ask if they can install one so I can have phone service. They tell me they are not going to put one in because it is not there responsibility but I can put one in if I pay for it. Now am I crazy or shouldnt they be responsible for at least one? The phone company charges me $90.00 to come out and another $40.00 per jack. Does anyone know the actual law here or should I just do it myself.

Administrator answers:

A phone is not a necessity , it is a convenience.

Michael asks…

how do I get the credit report for someone who wants to rent my apartment?

I have a apartment in chicago that I am renting.I have people that have filled out aplications.I want to check on the history of them paying their bills on time or have they gone to collection agencies.How do I find this information?

Administrator answers:

The easiest way is to ask them to submit their own credit report that they can access online for free once a year. Or, you can have them sign a waiver and pay a fee to cover your costs so that you can access it, but it seems like you probably don’t have a lawyer and it might be easier the other way.

Have them start here:

John asks…

Can I deduct rent if own a home in one state, and rent an apartment where I currently work in another state?

I currently live (own a home) in St. Louis but I recently got a job in Chicago and have decided to rent an apartment rather than live out of a suitcase. I still live in St. Louis and travel back and forth about twice a month. What all, if any, am I allowed to deduct… rent from my chicago apartment?… travel expenses?

Administrator answers:

No you cannot. You can deduct moving expenses for a job, but your not living expenses (moving Co. Not security deposit or rent payments). You can deduct the space if you only use it for business, which you are not. You may consider buying in Chicago and then you can deduct interest, points, and taxes on both properties. Unless this is a short term assignment.

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