December 22, 2022

Helpful Information for Landlords in the City of Chicago

December 22, 2022

Helpful Information for Landlords in the City of Chicago

Being a Chicago landlord is just like running your own business. The better you operate it, the more profitable you will be. Owning a rental property takes hard work and commitment. It stretches the limits of your communication skills. Whether you are just starting out or have a large portfolio of rental units, sometimes it is helpful to familiarize yourself with best practices. Here are a few quick suggestions to help you be the best Chicago landlord possible and maximize the return on your rental investment.

Give New Tenants a Fresh Start
A new lease means no trace of the previous tenant. Anything that is broken should be repaired including, but not limited to:

Any visible damage or marks
Securing your rental property is also very important! Take the time to check and calibrate smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, and appliances before a new lease will decrease your potential liability.

Hire Professional Cleaners
Sometimes calling in the pros makes total sense. When deep cleaning a rental property in preparation for a new lease, you should invest in a professional cleaning crew. A professional cleaning service will wipe down woodwork, clean the inside and outsides of cabinets, and thoroughly shine floors and windows. You will save time and the results will speak for themselves.

Keep Your Rent Competitive
Do your research and set your rent within the average price for your neighborhood. Charging reasonable rates for monthly rental fees will assure fewer months of vacancies. Staying competitive without asking too much per month will increase your chances of finding tenants. You will want to research comparable units in your neighborhood that:

Have similar floorplans
Offer like amenities
Are in similar aged properties
If your property has a unique feature or amenity that increases its value, that will increase the amount of rent you can charge. Likewise, if your property has some sort of negative feature, you should decrease your monthly rent to compensate for that fact.

Immediately Set Clear Expectations with Your Tenants
Try to start off on the right foot with your new tenant. If you give your tenant an inch, they will take a mile. Make it very clear from the start of your relationship that lease terms are non-negotiable. Be certain that your lease encompasses all aspects of your expectations. Some of these crucial areas would be:

Rent payment procedures
Late fees
Subleasing policy
General use of the unit
Safety, cleanliness, and respect for neighbors
Damage to the unit
Handling of security deposit
While your goal is to outline everything in detail within your lease, expect the unexpected. For detailed information about the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, you should familiarize yourself with the City of Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.

Hire a Professional Property Manager
Managing a Chicago rental unit can be overwhelming and is often better left to a pro. A professional property manager will coordinate maintenance activities through a trusted network of vendors, freeing you from the hassle. They will also raise rents to keep pace with the market, something individual owners sometimes find challenging.

Ginger Menne has been providing support to Chicago landlords for over 15 years and would love to help you make an educated decision about your property’s future. Please do not hesitate to reach out for more information.

Ginger Menne


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New Eastside Living

Ginger Menne
737 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel (312) 927-0852
Off (312) 216-5887
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