How to search for a Chicago rental starting April 1 in Chicago?
January 24, 2019 4:07 PM   Subscribe

How do I find a rental condo or apartment, in Chicago, that's available on a certain date 2+ months in the future?

For me, searching for housing is challenging, so I'm starting early. I'm interested in renting a condo or apartment. I'm starting my search now for a (hopeful) April 1 or end of March move-in date.

Now, though, when I look at listings (on Zillow,, etc.), I don't see a way to search by availability date.

Is there a good way to do this? This is for Chicago.

(The thing I really want is _not new_ flooring, so finding a place way in advance of the rental date will help me possibly stop the landlord from "improving" it by putting in laminate or other"wood" flooring).

Other search fields I'd love: stairs/no stairs/number of stairs (elevator maybe, but a way to include ground floor units would be great), washer/dryer in unit, type of floor, dishwasher

Attempts to work with rental agents in the past have been a little frustrating (for me and them). They're fine if you just want a certain price range/neighborhood/number of bedrooms, but they seem constitutionally uninclined to filter listings for the other things I care about. So, if it's the only way, fine, but they don't seem to be much of a benefit over just searching a database myself, for me personally.

Thanks for any help.
posted by amtho to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You may have already tried this, but Craigslist has a "beyond 30 days" filter for availability, and you can also set up a search with IFTTT to notify you for Craigslist listings with a keyword of March or April (and whatever else you want to filter for). But most apartments aren't listed that early, since the landlord might not even know that the current tenant is leaving at this point.
posted by pinochiette at 5:49 PM on January 24, 2019

Put the month "march" or "april" in your keyword search. I agree, in NYC you don't see apartments open up until 3 weeks or so in advance; Chicago is def a little longer but outside of garbage behomoths you find in (Presidential Towers maybe) you probably won't find apartments until a month or two from now.
posted by sandmanwv at 10:09 AM on January 25, 2019

Keyword it, but really in Chicago part of this really depends on your income bracket as well.

I did low income housing searches (basically defined as a percentage what fair market rent is in the area... So something like 850 for a 1 bedroom was about the price range when I did it).

Larger companies that own multiple properties are going to have a better idea of lease availabilities in advance smaller private owners less so. Smaller landlords are also less likely to have people moving out at any given time. They tend not to be as organized IMHO.

Depending on your price range and desired neighborhood there will be different landlords/property management companies who may be worth contacting individually or looking at their websites instead of an aggregators like

A realty agency I've recommended to friends is Kass Realty,
a friend was very happy with what she rented. They worked well with her. Based on what you are writing you may find something you like. I've never rented from them directly either professionally or personally so YMMV.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:38 PM on January 25, 2019

You might call some of the larger rental companies and ask. On the North Side, Peak Properties and TBS have a lot of properties.
posted by Mid at 2:53 PM on January 27, 2019

The thing I really want is _not new_ flooring, so finding a place way in advance of the rental date will help me possibly stop the landlord from "improving" it by putting in laminate or other"wood" flooring

I think that targeting the type of landlord/owner that provides what you want is your best strategy. Unfortunately for those looking ahead, most apartments in Chicago will be advertised starting 30 days ahead. Tenants only need to give 30 days notice, so unless the owner has vacancies you won't see it advertised two months in advance.

Types of owners that may be more likely to advertise that far in advance are large buildings, buildings owned by companies with a lot of properties (e.g., MFishman owns a ton of the larger buildings in Logan Square), high end/expensive apartments, new buildings (which will be high end).

Those types of owners are more likely to be the type investing/renovating or installing new flooring. A smaller building, two flat, or apartment listed as "vintage" would be more likely to have the original (wood) flooring... but those are typically the type that don't advertise with agencies or more expensive services.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:03 PM on January 27, 2019

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