Think twice before renting an apartment sight unseen
“Be wary of ads posted online that ask for your bank account information prior to seeing the apartment or insist on renting the property sight unseen,” advises Croegaert. If you’re securing a rental from out of town, either have a trusted friend check out the unit for you, or work with a reputable agent who will ensure things are on the up-and-up. Alternatively, try looking for management companies you’re already familiar with. “If you’re moving from another city, you might have an experience with a management company that also has buildings in Chicago,” says Zekas.
Make sure your landlord isn't actually a slumlord
While the City of Chicago does publish a list of Problem Landlords, that list only features the city’s absolute worst slumlords. Noticeably absent from that list are dozens of landlords that are notoriously awful to rent from, yet aren’t technically breaking any major city laws. Be sure to search the landlord’s name on sites like Google, EveryBlock, and Yelp. Most importantly, always trust your gut instinct.