When should you look for apartments in Chicago?

Typically, Chicagoans start looking for a new apartment about three months before they need to move. But if you have flexibility in the start date for your lease, consider Domu's market tips for finding your apartment.

Domu analyzed data for the time of the year when Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods have the most apartments for rent, and by looking at the numbers, the answer was apparent: apartment hunters should start looking for a place to rent before the middle of summer.

If you’re wondering when do apartment prices drop or start to go up, the most significant month-over-month increase, in terms of available apartments, occurs at the end of February. So the market heats up in spring, then gets red hot by the time August rolls around.

When Can I Find a Cheap Apartment in Chicago?

The chart above illustrates the availability of apartments by volume, but what does that say about price? If you’re wondering when do apartment prices go down, then you might want to start looking during the tail end of summer.

Domu looked at the numbers for average apartment rents, and the time span of September to December provides apartment renters with the best chance of finding cheaper rent in Chicago’s more densely populated neighborhoods.

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Can My Landlord List My Apartment for Rent While I Live There?

If you’re currently renting an apartment in Chicago and you’re wondering if your landlord can advertise that the apartment will be available for rent, there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 

  • Many landlords will send a letter that sets (or hikes) the rent about three months before the apartment lease expires. Landlords will typically ask apartment renters to commit to re-signing the apartment lease within 30 days. If, at the end of that 30-day period, the tenant hasn’t committed to re-signing the lease, then all bets are off. 
  • The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance ("CRLTO") prohibits a landlord from requiring a tenant to renew a lease more than 90 days prior to its scheduled termination. 
  • The CRLTO allows a landlord to start showing a unit 60 days before the lease expires. The landlord must give two days' notice before entering the apartment for the purpose of showing it to a prospective tenant.

How do I find Chicago apartments for rent near me?

The old days of paging through classified ads in the pages of the Chicago Reader are long gone. Ask any millennial who’s searching for an apartment in Chicago and their first instinct will certainly be turning to the wide open world of apartment search results online.

When it comes to searching the largest variety of rental apartments in Chicago, you should utilize an apartment site that lets you search apartment buildings both large and small. Many national apartment search sites give preference to the large apartment buildings with many vacancies over smaller apartments that are posted by individual landlords. 

Other sites cater more to individual listings. But there are apartment search sites that are agnostic when it comes to large or small apartment listings. Domu is one of these sites. If you have a clear preference when it comes to searching for apartments in large buildings or smaller apartment buildings, cater your choice in apartment search engine accordingly. If you want to search all available apartments for rent in Chicago, then you should use Domu as your go-to apartment finder.
Good luck in your apartment search

Photo courtesy of Seven 10 West Apartments

More reading: Does your apartment fall under the guidelines of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance? Learn more about the CRLTO