Renters looking for available houses in Chicago are in luck: even though the Second City is largely recognized by its skyline that's replete with skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, the outlying neighborhoods -- and more than a few close to downtown -- have houses for rent. Some of the most popular Chicago neighborhoods for renting houses can be found on the city's south side, with neighborhoods such as Hyde Park, Bronzeville, Chatham, and Washington Park offering many rentals of single family homes.
The NW side and SW side of Chicago are also characterized by their relative abundance of classic detached homes, many being built in the iconic bungalow style. Renters seeking houses for rent in Chicago can usually find homes in the Portage Park, Jefferson Park, Mayfair, Hermosa, and Belmont-Cragin neighborhoods.
Houses for rent in Chicago aren’t confined to a select few neighborhoods or styles, though. While the bungalow style accounts for a large portion of houses for rent in the neighborhoods further out from downtown Chicago, many of the neighborhoods near the core of downtown Chicago will have classic A-frame houses, greystone manors, workers cottages, colonials, Victorians, foursquares, Queen Annes and a few modernist houses scattered throughout.
Renting a house in Chicago isn’t quite the same rental experience as living in an apartment; after all, a house will tend to be larger in terms of square footage and usually contains more bedrooms and storage. There are some houses for rent that require tenants to perform light maintenance or upkeep of the grounds. Renters who aren’t keen on a bit of light landscaping during the spring, summer and fall months -- or shoveling snow from sidewalks during the winter -- may want to reconsider renting a house in Chicago. But for those renters who aren’t willing to compromise on space or privacy, a rental house is a fine experience that can be rewarding in its own right.
Landlords who lease out their house(s) for rent are often lifelong Chicagoans who’ve kept ownership of their house but opted to rent it out instead of putting it on the market for sale. In these cases, renters will be dealing with small scale landlords who might have downsized to a more manageable home or moved out of state. These arrangements are common and tend to be less formal than dealing with property management companies. Renters are wise to get everything in writing, though, even if they’re dealing with small scale landlords. A lease can be a renter’s best friend -- even if they’re on good terms with their landlord.
More management companies have been making forays into the houses for rent market in Chicago in recent years. These companies will often take on the responsibility for leasing and managing the property, sharing the rental income with the home’s owner. These types of houses for rent are typically listed as single bedrooms, or rooms for rent, within multi-bedroom houses. This arrangement has its advantages for renters; instead of dealing with a single landlord who may have another full-time job, or might even live outside the state of Illinois, renters build a relationship with the property management company. These businesses typically have a team of employees who manage everything from rent payments to maintenance requests.