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The Search Process - Tips and Steps

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Or contact us at to arrange another time to connect with a member of our team.

Complete a Virtual Training - Apartment Search Interactive Guide
We have developed a virtual training for you to complete at your convenience. This training covers the basics of the apartment search process, responsible hosting, and your rights as a tenant. Consider starting here to learning the basics and to educate yourself on your rights and responsibilities in the City of Chicago: Online Interactive Guide - Apartment Search

General Overview of the Apartment Search Process
Before starting your search, we advise you to consider the followings steps:

First Decisions

  • Identify potential roommates (review our Off-Campus Listing Page here).
  • Determine expectations, responsibilities, and preferences.
  • Identify your ideal neighborhood or region. The following resources can be helpful in identifying your new neighborhood.
  • A Guide to Chicago Neighborhoods:
  • Interested in learning more about the crime statistics for a prospective apartment? On the Chicago Police Department – Clear Map Crime Incidents webpage, you can search a community, address, park, and etc. for crime statistics. Visit the site here:


  • Establish your “non-negotiables” – what does your future home need to have?
  • Develop a “walk through” checklist for your apartment search.
  • Inspect the unit or any signs of rodent or insect infestation (i.e. chew marks or droppings).
  • Bring a phone charger to test available outlets.
  • Check doors/windows for possible drafts or gaps.
  • Test water pressure in the unit by briefly running the water in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Confirm that apartment appliances are functional (i.e. microwave, stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.)
  • Visit for more tips and resources.
  • Obtain any changes to your lease in writing. Connect with UIC Student Legal Services (SLS) for support.

Moving In

  • Secure renter’s insurance.
  • Research utility options.
  • Gas, electric, cable, internet, etc.
  • Activate your utilities.

Living Well

  • Review the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO)
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors and exchange preferred contacts.
  • Notify your neighbors if you plan to host a gathering.
  • Provide an anticipated start time and end time.
  • Offer a direct contact for neighbors to connect with you directly should they experience an issue (i.e. noise or trash from guests).
  • For further guidance on how to be a Good Neighbor, visit: