Frequently Asked Questions

Leasing Questions

  • Do I have to allow pets?

    You do not but we recommend considering pets to try and attract as many potential applicants as possible. The more potential tenants see your property the more likely you are to get quality tenants and better lease terms.
  • Is it better to show vacant or occupied?

    Typically a property shows better vacant.
  • Who determines what my property will rent for?

    The market. Owners and agents can list properties at any price but we've noticed around 20% of rental listings in our area expire or cancel without renting. We will do a market analysis and give you a range of what properties similar to yours are renting for along with how long they're on the market. If the property is vacant we typically recommend to list it lower in the range to try and get a qualified tenant as soon as possible to cut down on your vacancy cost (income you're losing daily from not getting rent). If you have a couple months and it shows well (neutral and newer carpet and paint) then it may warrant being at the higher end of the range.
  • How long does it take to get my property listed for rent?

    We have ads up within 24 hours of getting signed paperwork, marketing photos, and a key.
  • Do I have to have the carpets cleaned?

    Yes. We expect the tenants to clean the carpets when they move so we want to give them the property in the same condition as we expect it to be returned.
  • What do I need to get started?

    No fees are due upfront. All we need is signed paperwork, marketing photos, and a key for showings.
  • Can I pick my tenants?

    No. We use the same criteria when qualifying tenants to rent a property. Owners who are not aware of the laws can unknowingly discriminate. We attend many classes on what is allowed and not allowed and that's why owners hire us to rent their property. Involving owners in the process also slows it down which can cause us to lose prospective tenants as they continue searching for a place to move.
  • What is your screening criteria?

    Our criteria can be found online here. We consider credit worthiness, employment, income, and criminal records.
  • Do I have to paint before I rent my property?

    Maybe. Is it neutral? Is it all one color? Has it been painted recently (within 3 years)? We can discuss when we meet to review your property and go over comparables.
  • Does your office have an after-hours drop box?

    No, we don't. If you need to drop off rent or any other paperwork you'll need to come during our normal business hours.
  • Should I provide appliances?

    In our area it is typical for the landlord to provide appliances.
  • If I provide appliances do I have to repair or replace them if they break?

    Yes. Unless there was a provision in the lease for you to not then they would be part of the lease.
  • What will my property rent for?

    We pull up current listings and properties that are pending or have leased recently and go over them when we meet with you. Every area and every price range within that area is different.
  • Are you licensed real estate agents?

    Yes. You must have a real estate license to manage properties for other for a fee for others in Illinois.
  • Do you do sales?

    Yes but mainly for our management clients. Our primary focus is residential leasing and property management.
  • Do you manage associations or commercial and retail properties?

    No. We only manage residential properties (condos, townhomes and houses).
  • Do I have to change my homeowners insurance?

    Yes. Call your insurance company and switch it to a landlord policy. Also, if your property sits vacant for more than 30 days there may be some exclusions so ask about that since vacant properties are more likely to have theft and vandalism issues than occupied ones and your insurance company may not cover some things.
  • How much should I set aside?

    We recommend having 3-6 months in reserves. While we try to pick the best tenants possible and have less than a 1% eviction rate there are no guarantees with being a landlord and you do not want to be in a position where you canot pay for needed repairs or your mortgage if your tenant stops paying rent.
  • Can I say no children and/or pets?

    You can say no pets (except service animals). You cannot say no children as that is discrimination. Information about discrimination can be found online here.

Management Questions

  • My tenants want to break their lease, what happens next?

    Contact your property manager to go over what to expect and how to prepare. We work with tenants to find a replacement as soon as possible but lease breaks can be very stressful for both owners and tenants.
  • What is the lease renewal process?

    60-90 days prior to the end of the lease term we will reach out to owners and tenants to see if both parties are interested in renewing. Sometimes owners want to move back or sell and sometimes tenants are buying or moving out of the area. If that's the case and you want to keep it as a rental we relist the property to find a new tenant. If both parties are interested in renewing then we will complete the paperwork and schedule a renewal walk through where we go and see how the tenant is maintaining it.
  • My tenant wants to move out, how soon do you start the process of finding a new tenant?

    Depends on the area and time of year. Properties in some areas rent in 1-2 weeks and other take 2-3 months. Generally spring/summer is better than fall/winter. We recommend putting it on the market 45-60 days before your current tenant moves.
  • My tenant wants to paint, should I let them?

    It depends. How old is your paint? Is it neutral and one color throughout? If not then we usually recommend to let your tenant paint as long as the colors are light and neutral and it's done in a workmanlike manner (we have a paint addendum that everyone signs prior).
  • My tenant wants to get a pet, is that okay?

    We will check with your association if you have one to see what the pet restrictions are. Assuming the type of pet is allowed by the association and okay with you we have the tenant submit a photo of the pet, a refundable damage deposit, and sign a pet addendum.
  • My tenant wants to extend their lease by a few months but not renew for another year, how does this work?

    If your property has an association this may not be allowed. We will check with the association and if a shorter term lease is okay and you are okay with extending then we complete the paperwork with the tenant. The only thing we recommend is that you don't let it end during the winter months (October-April) or have the tenant give more notice (i.e. 90 days) during the winter due to the longer marketing time.
  • My tenant called about a silly repair that I don't want to fix, do I have to?

    Depends on what it is. Some things you do have to fix as a landlord and others you do not. Discuss with your property manager or maintenance coordinator.
  • Who picks the contractors to come and fix things at the property?

    If you have a home warranty or preferred vendor(s) that you like we're happy to use them as long as they're responsive and can do the job. If your vendor is unresponsive, doesn't show up to appointments that we schedule with the tenant, and/or cannot fix the issue then we send one of our vendors. If you do not have anyone then we have vendors that charge responsible rates.
  • Who determines if a repair is normal wear and tear or tenant damage?

    The vendor is the person who can determine why the repair is warranted and what the cause was. Usually it's fairly obvious if there are rocks in a garbage disposal that the tenant used it incorrectly or if a garbage disposal breaks after 10 years then it's normal wear and tear. If it's unclear then the owner pays.
  • If my tenant breaks something, do they get charged the full cost to fix or replace it?

    Usually no. Everything in your property has an estimated useful life. The tenant is only responsible for the useful life that you didn't get out of the item. For example, carpet is expected to last 8-10 years so if your carpet is 3 years old when they moved in and they live there for 1-2 years and it needs to be replaced then they can only be held responsible for half the cost of new carpet since you got 4-5 years of life out of it. Most lawsuits involving rentals involve security deposits and landlords charging tenants for things that the tenants feel they're not responsible for.
  • Can I sell my property while the tenant is still living there?

    Yes but the lease follows the property.
  • My bank account has changed that I want the rent to be deposited into.

    You can download a new Direct Deposit form here and fax to (630) 566-1880. We will confirm when the change is made, typically takes 48-72 hours