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Documents Needed to Rent an Apartment in Chicago

Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a home or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to Curbed Chicago's tipline.

Looking for an apartment in Chicago is exciting. When you find the one for you, the urge to nab it up before someone else does is perfectly natural, but there are a few important steps you must take before the place is yours.

The Application: The landlord or leasing agent that showed you the apartment will begin by running your credit history, for which you will be charged a small application fee (usually around $30). Then, you'll probably have to fill out a formal application (like this) which includes your income, rental history, and other general information. You'll also be required to provide a photo ID and a recent pay stub to verify your income.

The Lease: The only thing left to do now is sign your lease and pick up the keys. At the time of the lease signing, you'll also pay you first month's rent. Read up on your rights as a tenant in Chicago.

Utilities: Some final expenses to consider before moving in are monthly utility bills for Internet/cable, gas and electric. In some buildings, heat is included in the cost of rent; others offer free Internet or other utilities as well, which can be used to sweeten the deal. Be sure to sort out what utilities come with the apartment before signing the dotted line.
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