7 Tips to Safely Secure a New Apartment Lease During the COVID Pandemic

By 33 on January 27, 2021

The pandemic has changed many aspects of life as we once knew it, but with the vaccine here and hope on the horizon, there are brighter days ahead. Both renters and buyers are looking forward to the causal days of touring real estate and hosted open houses. The people, the brochures, and the snacks! While we cannot do all those things yet, people still need a place to call home. The good news is, real estate has adapted to the times and finding your perfect place safely is possible. These tips will help you be a smart, savvy and safe apartment renter not only in Chicago, but wherever you are looking.

#1. Use the internet and do your research online  

Sit back, relax and search listings online from home. Take your time. Look at what is most important to you as renter. From location to square footage and amenities to extra space, dig into the details. Ask yourself; will your furniture fit the space? Does the floor plan meet your needs? What is included in the rent? Make sure the unit will work for you before calling your REALTOR® to schedule an appointment with the showing agent. 

#2. Ask for more photos and a virtual tour 

Technology is one way the industry is adapting. Virtual tours allow you to safely tour a property while getting a better feel for the layout and flow of the space. Many building rentals feature virtual tours online, but you can also ask the leasing agent, property manager or owner to take you on a virtual tour (thanks to technology) so you can interact and see it for yourself.  

#3. Ask a lot of questions 

Asking questions gives you answers. It is simple but effective. You have already asked about the pet weight limit and cable provider, so ask about the safety precautions being implemented at the building in question. Building managers and owners want to ensure the safety of all residents and should have policies and procedures in place to share. This simple step can help ease your mind. 

#4. Think about your “work-from-home” needs 

Does the space lend itself to a constructive work-from-home arrangement; is it worth taking that 2 bedroom with the small second bedroom to serve as an office?  How is sound attenuation?  Concrete floors generally prevent sound transfer better than timber.  Amenity space has also become more prevalent in newer and rehabbed buildings and shared office space is often available.  Look for buildings that have organized that shared office space in a manner that adapts to COVID-oriented health precautions. 

#5. Request a virtual lease signing process 

Once again technology plays a big role here. You have searched and found your perfect place. Now, thanks to software, like DocuSign, completing your application and signing your new lease are just a click away and should not require meeting in person. 

#6. Research the management company 

Ask about the property management company and look them up online. Sites like Google, Yelp and others are great resources to read what past and current renters have to say about the management company and life at the building.  

#7. Follow CDC guidelines 

And finally, be sure to wear a mask, keep proper social distance and wash your hands! 

For more information please contact:  

Ryan Storck, 33 Realty Operations Manager at 773-269-6411 or rstorck@33realty.com 

Mark Kurgan, 33 Realty Director of Leasing at 847-651-5868 or mark.kurgan@33realty.com  

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