"A Huge Billion Dollar Slumlord." That is how one tenant describes her landlord - one of a new crop of investment firms buying and renting residential homes by the tens of thousands across the United States. This article from the Huufington Post is eye opening. The lesson here is to know your landlord. These days it is well worth your time to do a little due dilligence of your own to learn who is the atual owner of the property you wish to rent. Are they local? What is their reputation for maintenance and repair? Do they have local offices and management and maintenance personel? These are important questions that if you take the time to ask can make your rental home an enjoyable experience.
Today it happened again. A tenant who viewed a ver nice condo rental unit in Andersonville on Thursday and seemed to be committed to renting decided to "sleep on it" and make a decision over the weekend. Guess what? The unit was rented by the time she came in to our office to apply today. This scenario is playing out much more frequently than we have ever encountered in the past. No, we don't have a bunch of government surveys and statistics to confirm our hunch. What we do have is day to day evidence of the fact that apartments in Chicago are renting far quicker than they ever have in the past. One agent in our office also experienced a bidding wat on Friday over a Gold Coast studio apartment. The rent started at $1,000 but settled out at over $1,200. We have never heard of that happening before. We have recently had many clients facing multiple, competing applications on apartments in Chicago. The trend doesn't seem to be limited to the popular neighborhoods of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Downtown, Loop. Rather, we are seeing first hand evidence of a very tight rental market throughout Chicago, in communities like Andersonville, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Uptown, Albany Park, Evanston, Roscoe Village, and Wrigleyville.
We can only speculate as to the reasons underlying this trend. Perhaps, give that the housing market remains in the doldrums, more folks are staying put. People who have lost homes to foreclosure are also returning to the rental market. Builders and developers have all but stopped new construction. Many units caught up in the mortgage foreclosure mess are sitting idle and vacant as cases work their way through the legal system. All of these factors seem to be contributing to the tightening rental market.
The end result is that competition for value priced units seems to be at an all time high. We are about to enter the spring rental market and this will reveal whether the trend continues. What we are observing is that rents for many large rental companies are on the increase, reflecting what these apartment owners must be seeing in terms of vacancy rates. Stay tuned, it looks to be a rough ride.