Are you looking to rent out your condo? Here is what you need to know as a landlord

landlordtenantRenting your condo?  Be a good Landlord

What are the do’s and don’ts when renting out your condo or townhome? As a homeowner, you are still just as responsible for your tenant’s behavior and actions as you would be if you were still  within the community association.   I am pleased to publish this article that was recently written by a guest contributor, Stacy Karel, from @Properties.


If you own a condo that you want to rent out, as a landlord for your condo you need to:

  1.  Screen tenants.  Even if you are using a Realtor to procure a tenant, it is your responsibility to follow up and check the information provided in applications.  Check with references, previous landlords and employers.  In addition to a credit check, it is a good practice to do an eviction and criminal check including sex offenders on all tenants before signing a lease.
  2. Make sure that your tenant receives and understands the rules and regulations of the condo association.  The owner is usually responsible for fines- if you expect your tenant to pay, you need to have that provision in your lease.
  3. Be familiar with the City of Chicago Landlord laws.  These include information on how to handle security deposits, tenants rights, and remedies.
  4. Be aware of the new City Bed Bug Ordinance and make sure your tenant agrees to comply.
  5. It is good practice to use the ABOMA standard lease for condo association rentals, as it includes standard language that most declarations/bylaws require.   Request any move in packets from the management company to get them properly filled out and fees paid.
  6. Provide a clean, safe and functional condo for your tenant- set expectations about who changes the light bulbs, smoke detector batteries and furnace filters, your thoughts about painting, etc.

Here is a sample of additional terms I use or modify with leases I have written for clients:

  1. No Smoking
  2. No Pets or modify to what is agreed ie. 1 dog allowed with additional $200 security deposit
  3. Tenant must abide by the rules and regulations of the condo association and will be responsible for any fines
  4. Tenant will put all utilities in their name including- Com Ed, Peoples Gas, etc.
  5. Unit will be professionally cleaned upon move in, Unit to be professionally cleaned upon exit
  6. Tenant will procure renters insurance for their belongings.
  7. Rental payments to be made by bank transfer- account information to be provided
  8. 60 days prior to lease expiration, agent may show unit for sale or rent given 24 hour notice of showing.
  9. Tenant responsible for move in fees and deposits required by condo management

Bottom line, the better the communication of expectations from Landlord to Tenant up front will result in a better working relationship during tenancy.

Stacy Karel is a real estate broker with @properties in the Bucktown office.  You can search the MLS on her website at, join her Facebook page at and if you are curious about the market where you live, you are invited to visit


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