The easiest place to begin your search is to use online apartment listing websites to get an idea of what prices are like in each neighborhood you’re interested in. On these sites, you can narrow your results by applying filters with your preferences such as price range, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, whether it allows pets, etc. They will show apartments from many different management companies, and sometimes from individuals renting out their condominium or house.
Here are a few of the many sources for apartment listings throughout the Chicago area. Almost all of them will allow you to contact the landlord or even apply for an apartment through the site, and some, such as Apartment Finders, can even arrange in-person showings for you.
Please note that the University does not endorse or promote any specific company, vendor, or rental agent; the companies mentioned here are offered for informational purposes only.
In addition to sites which focus on housing, there are other sites which have advertisements for a wide range of goods and services. These are usually posted by private individuals, and not companies, and so it is a good idea to exercise caution when arranging to meet someone you have contacted through a classified ad. However, in addition to apartments, these can be a good way to find used furniture, appliances, and other items you may need. Please note that the University does not endorse or promote any specific company, vendor, or rental agent; the companies mentioned here are offered for informational purposes only.
- Craigslist: A national site which allows you to search by location and category
- Hyde Park Herald: The local neighborhood newspaper, with online ads
- University of Chicago Marketplace: The University community’s classified site, which has apartments, jobs, furniture, and services; you will need a UChicago email address to access this site
Property Management Companies
There are two types of property management companies –those that own and manage one or more buildings, and those that manage units or buildings on behalf of other owners. Because management companies usually work with a large number of tenants, they offer services like leasing agents to show you available units, 24-hour emergency service numbers, and so on.
Please note that the University does not endorse or promote any non-University company, vendor, or rental agent; the third-party companies mentioned here are offered for informational purposes only.
Listing Agents or Realtors
While you can do your own search for properties listed on online resources, working with a listing agent, or even a realtor (real estate agent), may provide you access to units that are not listed yet. Some of the sites listed above, and all of the major property management companies, have staff who will assist you in identifying which of their listings or properties are a good fit for you, and if you can visit, will show you several units. Realtors typically focus on selling properties, but a few also work with rental units.
A listing agent or property management representative can help you with a search for housing based on your criteria. A good agent with past experience of the neighborhood can also keep you away from buildings with a history of problems, or even help you negotiate the terms with your future landlord. Be sure to discuss any fees they may charge in advance - while in some cases the renter is responsible for paying any fees, in others the fees are covered by the landlord.
Where to Stay if You Visit Chicago
If you do decide to visit Chicago to conduct your apartment search, it is a good idea to line up your appointments for showings in advance. Making sure that your visit includes a week day may be helpful, since not every management company will be open on the weekend.
Once you have decided to visit, there are a few ways to arrange accommodations during your stay.
- Contact your school or department and ask if any current students might be willing to put you up during your stay
- Consider a hostel, such as the HI Chicago in downtown, the Freehand Chicago in River North, the Urban Holiday Lofts in Wicker Park, or several others, which you can find on HostelWorld.com or Hostels.com.
- If you have the budget for a hotel, options in Hyde Park include the Hyatt Place-Chicago South/University Place and the La Quinta Inn & Suites Chicago-Lake Shore.
- There are hundreds of hotels across the city, so feel free to explore for more ideas.
Please note that the University does not endorse or promote any specific non-University company, vendor, or rental agent; the third-party companies mentioned here are offered for informational purposes only.