Complete House Renting Guide For Chicago, IL – 2024

Understanding the Chicago Rental Market

The Chicago rental market presents a range of options, from high-rise apartments to single-family homes. Rent prices vary widely across the city.

  • Houses in Chicago, IL rent between $200 – $40,000 monthly. The median rent is $1,950. (More details)
  • Apartments have seen different rates of change in various neighborhoods. For instance, Hyde Park experienced a 12.63% increase for one-bedroom apartments. (Neighborhood trends)

Renting Statistics

YearMedian Rent ($)Households Renting (%)
  • Stability: The rental rate in Chicago has stayed relatively stable since 2012, with 54-58% of households renting.
  • Neighborhood Differences: Rental prices vary by neighborhood, significantly affecting affordability. Areas like Hyde Park and Douglas have seen notable rent increases of 12.63% and 10.61%, respectively.

Rent Ranges

  • Single-bedroom apartments cost approximately $2,363 on average.
  • Two-bedroom apartments cost around $3,017. (Chicago pricing)

Fair Market Rent: For 2024, the HUD fair market rent is a useful guide for determining reasonable rents across different property types. (HUD Guide)

Understand that rent affordability in Chicago, IL can vary dramatically. It’s important to research specific neighborhoods to find the best rental options for your budget.

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Popular Neighborhoods for Renters

Chicago has a variety of neighborhoods, each offering unique experiences and amenities. These areas cater to different lifestyles, from vibrant nightlife to historical landmarks and family-friendly environments.

Logan Square

Logan Square, located on the northwest side of Chicago, is known for its historic boulevards and large green spaces. This neighborhood is popular among young professionals and artists due to its eclectic mix of coffee shops, bars, and eateries. The area boasts a strong sense of community, with a farmers market that runs from late spring through early fall. The public transportation system, including the Blue Line, makes commuting to downtown convenient.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park offers a mix of natural beauty and urban convenience. It is named after the expansive public park that runs along the lakefront, providing residents with numerous outdoor activities such as biking, jogging, and visiting the free Lincoln Park Zoo. This area is also known for its high-end shopping and dining options. With DePaul University located here, the neighborhood has a lively student population, contributing to its vibrant atmosphere.


Lakeview is one of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods for renters, especially those seeking an active social scene. It contains Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, making it a hub for baseball fans. The area is also known for its diverse nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and live music venues. Lakeview is divided into smaller sections like Boystown, known for its LGBTQ+ friendly community, and Southport Corridor with its boutique shops and trendy restaurants.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is home to the prestigious University of Chicago, making it a hotspot for students, academics, and families. The neighborhood has a rich cultural history, with landmarks such as the Museum of Science and Industry and former President Barack Obama’s house. Hyde Park offers a blend of high-rise apartments and historic homes, providing various housing options. The community is noted for its intellectual environment and cultural richness.


Austin, located on the west side of Chicago, is one of the city’s largest neighborhoods by area and population. It features a variety of architectural styles, especially its historic buildings. Austin is known for its strong community organizations and active local groups. The area has several parks and green spaces, providing residents with ample outdoor recreation opportunities. Its proximity to Oak Park adds to its appeal, offering additional dining and shopping choices.

Rogers Park

Rogers Park, situated along Lake Michigan, is one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods. It is home to Loyola University Chicago, which enhances the area’s youthful vibe. The neighborhood features various cultural amenities, including theaters, galleries, and a rich culinary scene with restaurants offering global cuisines. Its numerous beaches provide residents with easy access to waterfront activities. Public transportation is robust, with the Red Line and multiple bus routes serving the area.

Types of Housing Available in Chicago

Chicago offers a diverse range of housing options to suit different needs and preferences, from apartments and high-rise buildings to studios and single-family homes for rent. Each type has unique features and benefits, catering to various lifestyles and budgets.


Apartments in Chicago come in many shapes and sizes. They are usually part of a larger building and offer different amenities like gyms, laundry rooms, and sometimes swimming pools. Apartment living is a popular choice for many because it often includes maintenance and repair services. This makes it convenient and hassle-free for residents. Rent varies widely depending on the location and size.

High-Rise Apartments

High-rise apartments are prominent in areas like Downtown and the Loop. These buildings can offer stunning city views and often come with premium amenities such as rooftop lounges, doormen, and secure parking. Many high-rises are close to public transport and major city attractions, making them ideal for urban professionals. Though usually more expensive, they provide a luxurious and convenient lifestyle.


Studios are typically small, single-room apartments that combine living, sleeping, and kitchen areas into one space. They are an affordable option for singles or students. Despite their size, many studios are well-designed to maximize space and functionality. Studios are common in bustling neighborhoods where space is at a premium. Rent for studios is generally lower than for larger apartments, making them a budget-friendly choice in prime locations.

Houses for Rent

Single-family houses for rent are found in various neighborhoods across Chicago, such as Lincoln Park and Hyde Park. These homes offer more space and privacy compared to apartments. They often include yards, garages, and multiple bedrooms, suitable for families or those looking for extra room. Renting a house can provide the feel of homeownership without the long-term commitment. Options range from modern constructions to historical homes, each with unique charm and appeal.

Search Tools and Platforms

In Chicago, finding the ideal rental property involves leveraging various search tools and platforms. Key options include online listings and realtor cooperation.

Online Listings

Online listings provide a vast array of options for renters. Websites like Zillow feature over 417 single-family rentals in Chicago. These platforms allow users to filter by price, neighborhood, and amenities, making the search process streamlined and efficient.

HotPads and Redfin also offer extensive databases of rental properties in Chicago. HotPads emphasizes a map-based search, which is helpful for renters looking to visualize where properties are in relation to key locations like schools and public transportation.

On Redfin, renters can find detailed property descriptions, high-quality photos, and virtual tours. This platform is particularly useful for renters seeking newly remodeled homes with modern appliances.

Realtor Cooperation

Cooperating with realtors can significantly ease the rental process. Realtors in Chicago have in-depth knowledge of the local market and access to resources unavailable to the general public. They can offer personalized advice based on one’s needs and budget.

Realtor.com is a notable platform for connecting with realtors who specialize in rental properties. This site lists approximately 930 houses for rent, including various types from affordable units to luxury homes. Engaging a realtor through these platforms can provide renters with inside information on new listings and help negotiate favorable rental terms.

Realtors can also assist with paperwork and ensure that the leasing process adheres to local laws and regulations, making their cooperation particularly valuable for first-time renters or those unfamiliar with Chicago’s market.

Key Features and Amenities

Renting a house in Chicago comes with various features and amenities designed to make life more comfortable. Here’s what renters can expect:

Swimming Pool

Several rental homes in Chicago offer access to a swimming pool. This amenity is highly sought after, especially during the hot summer months. Pools in these properties range from private backyard pools to community pools shared among residents. A swimming pool provides not only a place to cool off and have fun but also a space for exercise and relaxation.


A dishwasher is a common feature in many rental homes in Chicago. This appliance significantly eases the burden of cleaning up after meals. Homes equipped with dishwashers often use water and energy-efficient models, which help reduce utility bills. Tenants find this feature valuable as it saves time and effort, making daily chores less tedious.

Air Conditioning

In Chicago’s variable climate, air conditioning is an essential feature. Most rental homes come equipped with either central air conditioning or window units. This amenity ensures comfort during hot and humid summers. Properties advertising air conditioning attract renters who prioritize a comfortable living environment, especially during heat waves.

In-Unit Laundry

In-unit laundry facilities are highly desirable among renters. Many homes in Chicago now include washers and dryers within the unit, eliminating the need for trips to communal laundry rooms or laundromats. This convenience allows tenants to handle their laundry on their own schedules, greatly enhancing day-to-day living.

Fitness Center

Some rental homes, especially those in larger complexes or high-end properties, offer access to a fitness center. These centers might include weight machines, free weights, cardio equipment, and sometimes even classes or personal training sessions. Having a fitness center on-site makes it easy for residents to maintain a healthy lifestyle without needing a gym membership.


Parking can be a critical feature for Chicago renters, particularly in areas with limited street parking. Many rental homes provide designated parking spots, garages, or covered parking. This amenity offers added convenience and security for vehicle owners. In densely populated neighborhoods, secured parking is a significant draw for potential tenants.


Additional storage space is a valuable amenity in rental homes. Properties may offer basement storage rooms, attics, or dedicated storage units. Adequate storage helps keep living spaces uncluttered and organized. Renters with seasonal items, sports equipment, or extra belongings find this feature extremely practical, enhancing their overall living experience.

Financial Considerations

When renting a house in Chicago, it’s essential to plan your budget carefully and understand the associated monthly rent costs. This will help ensure you make a sound financial decision.

Determining Your Budget

Before searching for a rental in Chicago, it’s crucial to calculate how much you can afford. Financial experts often recommend spending about 30% of your monthly income on rent.

For instance, if your monthly income is $5,000, your rental budget should be around $1,500. Consider additional costs like utilities, internet, and renter’s insurance when creating your budget. It’s also wise to set aside a financial cushion for unexpected expenses.

Understanding Monthly Rent

Chicago’s rental market varies significantly across different neighborhoods. As of April 2024, the median rent in Illinois is about $1,795. In the city, average rent prices can be higher, particularly in popular areas like Gold Coast and River North.

For example, as of April 2024, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago is around $2,140, while a two-bedroom costs approximately $2,700. Potential renters should research neighborhood-specific prices to find something within their budget.

The Leasing Process in Chicago

Renting a home in Chicago involves several key steps, from the application process to signing the lease agreement. Understanding these steps helps ensure a smooth renting experience.

Application and Approval

Before renting a home in Chicago, potential tenants must complete a rental application. This often includes personal information, employment history, and rental history. Chicago landlords may also require a credit check and background check.

Application fees can vary but are usually non-refundable. Some landlords may ask for proof of income to verify the tenant can afford the rent. It’s common for tenants to provide pay stubs or bank statements.

Once the application is submitted, landlords review it to determine eligibility. This process can take a few days to a week. An approved application typically leads to the next step: signing a lease agreement.

Lease Agreements

In Chicago, lease agreements detail the terms and conditions of the rental. These documents include the rent amount, payment schedule, security deposit, and duration of the lease. It’s critical for tenants to read the lease thoroughly before signing.

According to the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO), landlords must provide specific disclosures, such as any known building code violations. The RLTO also covers rules for security deposits, outlining requirements for interest payments and storage.

Tenants should note policies on maintenance and repairs, as these are important aspects in the leasing process. Knowing the procedures for handling issues can prevent disputes later on. Also, understanding the notice period for lease termination helps both parties plan accordingly.

Moving and Settling In

When moving to Chicago, planning the relocation logistics and setting up utilities are essential steps in ensuring a smooth transition. From hiring movers to connecting electricity, every detail matters.

Relocation Logistics

Hiring a moving company in Chicago can cost between $500 and $1,000 for local moves and $1,200 to $9,000 for long-distance moves. It is important to compare different companies and read reviews to find reliable services offering good value.

Consider the type of housing and neighborhoods. Lincoln Park, known for its tree-lined streets and historic brownstones, offers a vibrant community. Additionally, rental rates in Chicago tend to be lower than the national average, making it a more affordable option for many.

Setting Up Utilities

Setting up utilities in Chicago includes electricity, gas, water, internet, and waste removal. The average monthly utility cost is about $132.39, which is lower than the national average. Contact local providers ahead of time to ensure services are in place when you move in.

Some common providers include ComEd for electricity and Peoples Gas for natural gas. For internet, popular options include Xfinity and AT&T. Having these services arranged early ensures a more comfortable and hassle-free move-in experience.

Local Resources and Services

Chicago offers a wide variety of resources and services to renters, including emergency services, community amenities, and educational opportunities. These resources are essential for ensuring a comfortable and safe living environment.

Emergency Services

Chicago has robust emergency services to support its residents. The city’s 911 system is efficient and works with the Chicago Police Department, Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services. For non-emergencies, residents can call 311 for assistance with issues like street maintenance or city services. Renters facing housing emergencies or potential homelessness can also seek help from the Chicago Department of Housing’s resources.

Community Amenities

Chicago has a wealth of community amenities that enhance the quality of life for its residents. The city boasts numerous parks, recreational facilities, and libraries. The Chicago Park District manages over 600 parks, offering activities like sports, classes, and events. Public libraries provide free access to books, computers, and educational programs. For those in need of affordable housing, the Affordable Rental Housing Resource List is a valuable tool.

Schools and Education

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system serves the educational needs of the city with hundreds of schools offering a range of programs from early childhood education to high school. CPS schools are known for both academic and extracurricular opportunities. Various private and charter schools also provide alternative educational options. For higher education, Chicago is home to several renowned colleges and universities, making it a vibrant educational hub. Additionally, the Housing Resources Guide offers information on housing programs that can support students and families.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses several common concerns related to renting houses in Chicago, IL, including rules for rent calculations, landlord obligations, and tenant rights.

What is the 3x rent rule in Illinois and how does it affect renters in Chicago?

The 3x rent rule typically requires renters to earn three times the monthly rent in gross income. This rule helps landlords ensure that tenants can afford their rent while managing other expenses.

What legal requirements must a landlord meet in Chicago, Illinois?

Landlords in Chicago must comply with city and state laws. They are required to provide a safe and habitable living environment, which includes timely repairs and maintenance. They must also adhere to the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO).

What actions are prohibited for landlords in Illinois when dealing with tenants?

In Illinois, landlords cannot evict tenants without proper notice or due process. They are also prohibited from discriminating against tenants based on race, color, religion, sex, or familial status. Other prohibitions include changing locks without notice and retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights.

Is the city of Chicago considered tenant-friendly in comparison to other US cities?

Chicago is often seen as tenant-friendly due to strong local laws protecting renters. The CRLTO provides significant rights and protections, making it harder for landlords to exploit tenants. This is in contrast to some other cities with less robust tenant laws.

How can I find affordable houses for rent in Chicago that fit my budget?

Affordable housing in Chicago can be found through various means, such as Illinois Housing Help programs and local community resources. Checking sites like Zillow, Craigslist, and local housing agencies can also be useful.

What are the best ways to search for apartments for rent in Chicago?

Searching for apartments can be done through online listings on websites like Zillow, Apartments.com, and local sites. Additionally, visiting community service centers in Chicago can provide information on available rentals and assistance programs.

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