FAQs

MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where are you located?

Hotspot Rentals is located in downtown Chicago. We have a team of fantastic, full-time only leasing professionals to help you find your next luxury apartment.

How do I contact you?

We’re always available by phone at 312-782-8404. You can also fill out this form and we can contact you too.

Are your services free?

Yes! So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one. Our services are free because we are paid through the marketing budgets of our properties. Our fees are part of their advertising expense and do not affect the market rent. It is literally like a free personal shopper, which is actually pretty cool when you think about it!

How does all of this work?

If you’ve never worked with a leasing agent before, you might be wondering how this all works and if using a leasing agent is right for you. Check out these 7 Reasons You Need an Amazing Leasing Agent and find out how we take the confusion and stress out of finding your next Chicago apartment.

Do you have reviews I can read?

Yes! Hotspot Rentals has a 5-star rating on over 2,600 Google Reviews. 

I’m relocating to Chicago. Can you help?

Yes, we love out of towners! If you’re going to be visiting Chicago to look for apartments, we’ll set everything up before you arrive, take you on the building tours, and help you get familiar with the city and the neighborhoods. Don’t be surprised if we call to ask some questions before the big day – we want to make sure we show you the apartments that are best for you. If you aren’t going to be able to visit Chicago to look for your apartment, we can still help. We’ll head to the buildings for you, take photos or video, and walk you through the units virtually. Trying to apartment shop remotely can be stressful, so we might ask a few more questions to make sure we have everything we need to help make you as comfortable as possible.

What neighborhoods do you cover?

We’ll find you an apartment in one of downtown Chicago’s best neighborhoods.

South Loop to Lincoln Park, Streeterville to Wicker Park – we’ve got you covered. Check out all our apartment listings by neighborhood to see them all.

YOUR APARTMENT SEARCH

How quickly can you help me find an apartment?

If time is of the essence, we’ve got your back, but communication is key. Don’t be surprised if we ask a bunch of questions. The more we know what you’re looking for, the better, and faster, we can match up your best options. Contact us to get the ball rolling.

How long does an apartment tour take?

On average, plan for 30 minutes. If we know a building has a longer tour, we will usually let you know or schedule appointments accordingly. Additionally, if you are short on time, just tell us and we will speed things up!

What do I need to bring with me on apartment tours?

Every property will require you to bring a government-issued photo ID for the tour. It’s also helpful to have a credit card for application fees and a copy of your pay stub or offer letter.

What about my income and credit score?

You should plan on having an income that is 2.8 to 3.3 times one month’s rent and a credit score that is 550 or greater. If you believe you will not be able to qualify on your own, you can add a co-signer or guarantor. If you have a roommate that will live with you, the property will consider both incomes, and typically the average of both credit scores. Buildings will also do background checks on all applicants.

Why do rent prices change daily?

Pricing for many properties is now driven by supply and demand. In many cases, unit prices change daily based on a number of factors including: current tenants who give notice to end their leases, new leases signed, quantity of prospective tenants touring, seasonality, proximity of move dates, and the current price of comparable units in the area.

How long does an apartment stay on the market?

Not very long if a property is priced correctly. “Lease ups,” the term used for brand new properties, typically have several units that meet similar requirements, so timing is usually not as critical with new properties. However, if a property has a high occupancy rate and knows how to price their units, many won’t stay on the market longer than a few days. If a unit is on the market too long, many properties will run a special to move the unit more quickly. These specials can be “pulled” at any time, which encourages prospective tenants to act quickly.

How far in advance are units listed?

Our properties require their tenants to give no less than a 30-day notice before they move out. As soon as the building knows a tenant is moving out, the unit is put on the market. This means if you are looking to move within the next 30 days, inventory will only decrease, as all of the tenants who planned to move out during that time have already provided notice.

If I apply, how do I know that I’ll get the unit?

Unlike renting from a private individual, managed properties take applicants on a first come, first approved basis. This simply means that if you are the first person to apply for the unit and your income, credit, and background check meet the property’s requirements, then the apartment is yours. There is no bidding or selection process.

When should I begin my apartment search?

Between 30 to 90 days before your move date is best. Buildings have limited inventory beyond 90 days typically, but getting an early start helps on pricing. Current tenants are required to renew leases no later than 30 days before their lease expires, so if you are looking to move within 30 days, the inventory is only going to get more scarce (which often means higher prices).

What’s the best time of year to move in Chicago?

There really is no “best time” to move to Chicago, but generally rents are cheaper in the winter than the summer. The winter months are less crowded, so building and elevator access is easier, but summer is great because you can finish your move and go lounge by the pool. Seriously, though, we work with move dates all year long. You really can’t go wrong.

How safe is the neighborhood?

Fair Housing Laws do not allow us to talk about the safety of a neighborhood or property. If you have questions, we recommend doing a little research on your own, or just walk around the property and observe, or even talk with people in the area.

RENT AND YOUR BUDGET

What are the admin fees, deposits, etc.?

The typical application fee is around $50 per applicant, and the standard admin fee is anywhere from $350 to $500 per unit. In a very limited number of properties, there is a small deposit required or the admin fee is calculated on a per person basis (rather than per unit).

What is net effective pricing?

Net effective pricing is the “prorated monthly rent” of a unit when specials or promotions are factored into the rent. For example, if a unit has a market rent of $2,400, but the property is offering “1 Month Free on a 12 Month Lease,” the net effective monthly rent will be $2,200, which factors in a savings of $200 off per month for the duration of the lease term.

APARTMENT LIVING

What is a managed apartment building?

A managed apartment building is a wholly-owned property that is staffed by a full-time property management and maintenance company. The properties we work with usually range from fifty to several hundred units, but the biggest benefit is that the whole property, including the common areas and units, are managed by one company.

What is a utility package?

If you have never lived at a property that has a utility package, you are missing out! Instead of charging you for individual usage on utilities, some properties offer flat-rate utility packages. The packages, based on unit size, include some or all of the standard utilities (water, sewer, trash, heat, air conditioning, and gas). Cable and internet are sometimes part of the package, but standard electrical usage (like plug-ins) is always separate.

Do apartments in downtown Chicago include parking?

Nearly every property we work with has on-site covered parking, but it is not included in the rent price. Some buildings even have valet!

What are the contract terms for parking, and are there parking alternatives?

Parking is typically a separate contract from your apartment lease and is month to month, allowing you to turn it on and off based on your needs. But, some buildings do pair parking with your lease term. We are happy to provide information about free parking, permit parking, and off-site paid parking that is convenient to each property.

What is a walk score?

A Walk Score® is a number between 0 and 100 that defines the walkability of an address based on several factors including: access to public transportation, bike paths and sidewalks, and proximity to everyday needs like grocery stores, hospitals, and restaurants. It also includes parks and public space. All of our properties are located in highly walkable areas. Chicago, in general, is a very walkable city with very convenient access to public transportation.

I’m relocating to Chicago. Can you help?

Yes, we love out of towners! If you’re going to be visiting Chicago to look for apartments, we’ll set everything up before you arrive, take you on the building tours, and help you get familiar with the city and the neighborhoods. Don’t be surprised if we call to ask some questions before the big day – we want to make sure we show you the apartments that are best for you. If you aren’t going to be able to visit Chicago to look for your apartment, we can still help. We’ll head to the buildings for you, take photos or video, and walk you through the units virtually. Trying to apartment shop remotely can be stressful, so we might ask a few more questions to make sure we have everything we need to help make you as comfortable as possible.

What neighborhoods do you cover?

We’ll find you an apartment in one of downtown Chicago’s best neighborhoods.

South Loop to Lincoln Park, Streeterville to Wicker Park – we’ve got you covered. Check out all our apartment listings by neighborhood to see them all.

RENTING WITH YOUR DOG

Are downtown Chicago rentals dog-friendly?

100%, yes! Chicago is a very dog-friendly city and most luxury apartment buildings cater to pet-owners. Read up on the best dog-friendly Chicago neighborhoods, dog-approved apartment amenities and more in our Ultimate Guide to Dog-Friendly Apartments in Chicago.

Are there breed and weight restrictions for dogs?

Standard breed restrictions include Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, but there are a limited number of properties that are a bit more picky. Weight restrictions vary substantially from 30 lbs up to no weight limit. Over 80% of our properties are dog friendly!

What are “dog-friendly floors”?

Some properties allow dogs on all floors, but others have designated floors they allocate specifically to accommodate dogs.

What is pet DNA?

Pet DNA is a requirement some buildings have to insure the cleanliness of the common areas of the building. Pets are “DNA Identified” when they move in, and if one of the pets leaves “a mess” inside the property (that isn’t cleaned up by the owner) the pet can be identified, and the owner contacted for notification or a fine. It’s sort of like “Big Brother” for pet owners.