The cost of apartment utilities can be a major factor when finding apartments for rent in Chicago. When searching for Chicago apartments, always be certain to find out what utilities are included in the rent. Unless the lease provides otherwise, the tenant will probably be responsible for paying apartment utility charges. In vintage apartment buildings with boilers and radiators, the cost of heat is likely included. In high-rise downtown apartment buildings, Chicago landlords typically charge a flat fee for heating, air conditioning, and gas based on the size of the apartment. Virtually all Chicago landlords include the cost of water in the rent. In condo buildings, Internet and basic cable TV may be included in the owner’s monthly assessments, which are typically not added to the monthly rent. Of course, don't just stop there. Ask the landlord to estimate any monthly utility expenses not included in the monthly apartment rent so you can perform apples-to-apples comparisons with other potential apartment choices. If you’re really diligent, you can even contact the public utilities directly. Simply provide the address of the apartment for rent, and the utility will approximate your monthly charges. Once you sign a lease, be sure to contact all the utilities and arrange for service at least a week in advance of your move-in date.
And for even more useful tips about finding a new apartment for rent in Chicago, please be sure to consult Domu's Resources for Renters.