Frequently Asked Questions

How long are your leases for and what lease do you use?2021-06-22T19:42:00+00:00

Typically our leases are for a minimum of 12 months and are based on the standard Chicago Apartment Lease for Unfurnished Apartments. Some buildings may have additional riders specific to those properties. (View a sample of our lease)

I have informed you of my intent to move, however, my circumstances have changed. What can I do?2021-06-20T22:45:53+00:00

If you need to make changes to your move-out date, they must be completed in writing and agreed upon by both parties. We will make all efforts to accommodate you. However, in the event that we have pre-leased your apartment, we will be unable to honor this change.

What should I plan to do when I move out?2021-06-20T22:46:18+00:00

Make sure there is no damage to your apartment beyond normal wear and tear. The entirety of your apartment should be restored to the condition in which you rented it – including paint color and appliances.

Clean your entire apartment, including the range top, oven, refrigerator, bathroom, closets and cabinets. Floors must be vacuumed or swept. All debris and unwanted materials should be placed in the proper trash containers within designated areas.

What time do I need to be out of the apartment?2021-06-20T22:46:41+00:00

You are contractually obligated to vacate your unit by noon on the last day of your lease. If you have not vacated the premises and returned all keys by this time, you may be charged double the monthly rent for the period that you retain possession of the apartment following the end of your lease.

When and how do I return the keys after I move out?2021-06-20T22:47:09+00:00

Turn in your keys on or before noon the day your lease expires to the location or representative specified by Winnemac Properties. If keys are not turned in, you will be charged $250.00 for lock replacement.

What happens if I do not pay my last month’s rent or any outstanding charges?2021-06-20T23:16:31+00:00

Any outstanding charges will be turned over to a collection agency for processing and will become part of your permanent credit history.

If I have a security deposit, can I apply it to my last month’s rent?2021-06-20T23:16:56+00:00

Security deposits cannot be used as payment for last month’s rent, unless written authorization from our office has been obtained.

What happens to my security deposit after I move out and when can I get it back?2021-06-20T23:17:33+00:00

We will immediately perform a move-out inspection to assess the condition of your apartment, comparing it to the inspection report form you completed when you moved in. We will provide you with an itemized list of damages within 30 days, sent to your new address. We will return your security deposit and required interest, if any, minus unpaid rent and expenses for damages, within 45 days.

What if my security deposit does not cover my charges?2021-06-20T23:18:02+00:00

We will send you a letter notifying you of a balance due and detailed documentation regarding any charges. Payment will be expected promptly to prevent further action.

What do I do if I disagree with the disposition of my security deposit?2021-06-20T23:18:28+00:00

Submit your dispute in writing within 60 days from the date that you vacated the dwelling unit.

My application is approved. When can I move in?2021-09-09T20:57:16+00:00

Your move-in date is dependent on the occupancy of and the amount of work needed in your unit. The date of your move-in is negotiable, so please let us know your needs to see if they can be accommodated. In most instances, you should plan to move in no earlier than 12pm on the first day of your lease.

How do I terminate my lease or let you know I am not renewing? Can’t I just move out?2021-06-20T22:45:28+00:00

You must give 60 days’ notice to vacate in writing to Winnemac Properties prior to the end of your lease or if you are on a month-to-month lease, 60 days prior to when you plan to move. All leases terminate at the last day of the month, so if you notify us on the 15th day of the month, for example, your lease would terminate 60 days from the next month end and not from the 15th.

What happens to my security deposit?2021-06-22T19:29:25+00:00

Once you submit your security deposit, you will receive a receipt containing the building owner’s name, the date you submitted it and a description of your unit for signature. Your security deposit will be deposited in a federally insured interest-bearing bank account. This information will be provided in your rental agreement. Interest will be accrued annually at a rate set by the City Comptroller.

When you move out the unit, you will receive an itemized statement of damages – if applicable – to the unit that will be paid for with your security deposit. Your security deposit and required interest will be returned to you within 45 days of vacating the unit.

When is rent due?2021-06-22T19:29:46+00:00

Rent is due on the 1st day of the month and is late after the 5th. Rent must be in our office by the end of the business day on the 5th of the month in order to not incur a late payment fee.

Where can I get information on your available properties?2021-06-22T19:30:36+00:00

A list of current property openings can be found under the Apartments tab. You can also call us directly at 773-728-9901 to speak to one of our licensed, in-house leasing agents. Our inventory changes often, so if you are looking for a unit in a specific building, check back often.

Are your units pet friendly?2021-06-22T19:32:23+00:00

In general NO. However, since we manage buildings for several different owners, pet policies may vary. In most cases dogs are NOT allowed. If you are allowed to have a pet in your building, you may be required to pay a non-refundable pet fee. You are also responsible for any damage caused by your pet.

How can I view your available properties?2021-06-22T19:36:39+00:00

To schedule an appointment, contact one of the leasing agents listed on our “Apartments” listings or call us at 773-728-9901. We will make every attempt to work with your schedule. If a unit is currently vacant, we can show you the apartment quickly. However, if the unit is occupied, we must provide the current occupants with sufficient notice that their home will be shown. If you are interested in applying for the unit after your scheduled showing, simply click to submit your application online.

What do you look at during the approval process?2021-06-22T19:32:46+00:00

In accordance with the Fair Housing Laws, we use an outside credit evaluation company to review your rental or ownership history, income and employment, credit reports and criminal or eviction records to assist in our decision. If you have been subject to prior eviction proceedings, your application will be declined regardless of the outcome.

How long does it take to process my application?2021-06-22T19:33:11+00:00

The process usually takes from two business days to two business weeks based on the number of applications placed on the unit. We have a fiduciary responsibility to select the best applicant(s) for the property. If we are looking at multiple applications, we will inform you so you that you may continue searching elsewhere.

How will I know if I’ve been approved?2021-06-22T19:33:30+00:00

A representative from our office will contact you as soon as possible to let you know that you have been approved. We will schedule a time for you to come in and sign the lease. Any remaining funds due – move-in fee, first month’s rent, or security deposit – will be collected at this time.

What happens if my application is denied?2021-06-22T19:33:55+00:00

We will make every effort to contact you promptly regarding the denial and if it was based on information provided by a credit bureau or similar agency, we will provide you with contact information so that you may request a copy of the report directly from that agency. If any funds are to be returned to you, we will let you know how to collect them.

What is considered an emergency?2021-06-20T21:50:31+00:00

Anything that endangers life or poses severe damage or risk to the property if not corrected immediately is considered an emergency. Lock-outs are not necessarily considered emergencies.

How much is the late payment fee?2021-06-20T21:39:33+00:00

In compliance with city regulations, we charge a $10.00 per month late fee on rents under $500 and a 5% per month late fee on that part of the rent exceeds $500.

How do I make my rent payments after I have moved in?2021-06-20T21:49:24+00:00

Most of our buildings are now set up for online payments through our Tenant Web Access Portal. Payments made using a checking/savings account and routing number are free and payments made by credit/debit cards incur a 3% processing fee. For access to the online portal please email info@winnemacproperties.com.

If you are paying with a check or money order, send your payment to our office or drop it off in person. If the office is closed, you can slide your payment through the mail slot.

We also offer auto-draft payments from your checking or savings account at certain properties. If you are interested in automatic rent payments, download a copy of our ACH Authorization form. Once we’ve received this information, we can begin deducting your payments. Payments will be drafted between the 1st and the 5th day of each month.

What happens if my rent check or auto-draft payment is returned?2021-06-20T21:44:46+00:00

If your rent payment is returned to us, we will notify you and expect immediate re-payment, including any NSF or late fees due as a result. The fee for an NSF or similar check non-payment is $25.

What happens if I do not pay my rent on time or at all?2021-06-20T21:45:10+00:00

We follow the guidelines outlined in your lease and in the City of Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, so please be prepared for the addition of late fees and possible eviction.

What is the typical eviction process?2021-06-20T21:45:36+00:00

Five days after you have been served the Landlord’s Five Days’ Notice, if you have still not submitted full payment for all past due rent and late fees, we will file for your eviction. You will be served by a representative of the Cook County Sheriff’s office at your home with a court date for the eviction proceedings. Once a judgment is granted for past due rent and possession of the property, the court specifies the number of days you have to vacate the property.

If you do not vacate within that time frame, an Order for Possession will be filed. You will again be served by the Cook County Sheriff’s office informing you of the date for the Order for Possession. On that date, representatives from the sheriff’s department as well as a representative from Winnemac Properties will arrive at your home to remove all of your personal belongings and set them at the curb.

A judgment in favor of the landlord can stay on your record for 10 years and might make it difficult to obtain future housing and credit. An eviction filing can also be expensive and is the responsibility of the resident. Eviction filing fees start at $650. After the eviction, we will also turn over any unpaid accounts to our collection agency for further action.

What am I responsible for as a tenant?2021-06-20T21:46:28+00:00

The tenant, the tenant’s family and invited guests must comply with all obligations including:

  • Buying and installing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your unit
  • Supplying and changing heating and air conditioning filters as needed if your unit is equipped with a furnace and central air
  • Minor repairs, including replacing light bulbs
  • Keeping the unit safe and clean
  • Using all equipment and facilities in a reasonable manner
  • Not deliberately or negligently damaging the unit
  • Not disturbing other residents

For additional tenant responsibilities, review your lease and any additional building-specific riders.

Do I need Renters Insurance?2021-06-20T21:46:58+00:00

We strongly urge all tenants to acquire Renter’s Insurance. Residents are solely responsible for insuring their own personal property against any loss resulting from damage, destruction, theft, fire, storm and other hazards and casualties while in residence on the property. Many policies start from as little as $10 per month.

How do I arrange to get the utilities turned on?2021-06-20T21:47:22+00:00

Unless utilities are included in the lease, it is your responsibility as a tenant to secure any required utilities. Contact information can be found in your move-in packet.

What should I do in case of an emergency?2021-06-20T21:50:08+00:00

If your emergency is life threatening, dial 911 immediately.

If a maintenance emergency occurs during regular business hours, please call our office immediately at 773-728-9900. If no one is available and you reach our automated attendant, choose option 1. For an after-hours emergency, call and use our automated attendant. Be sure to leave your name, number, address, and the nature of the emergency. Once you complete your message, it will be forwarded to several of our on call staff members who will return your call as quickly as possible.

When is rent due?2021-06-20T21:48:11+00:00

Rent is due on the 1st day of the month and is late after the 5th. Rent must be in our office by the end of the business day on the 5th of the month in order to not incur a late payment fee. Any rent payments made after the 5th should include this fee.

How do I submit routine maintenance requests?2021-06-20T21:51:27+00:00
Do I have to be present for maintenance work performed in my unit?2021-06-20T21:51:59+00:00

No, but you are more than welcome to observe. Many requests can be handled by our in-house staff and are usually resolved during normal business hours. If we can’t handle it, we will call in an outside vendor and let you know when they are scheduled to arrive. Please note that if the situation is deemed to be a risk to the property or to other units, we will access the apartment whether you are there or not.

When can I expect non-emergency maintenance requests to be completed?2021-06-20T21:52:27+00:00

We will contact you the same or next business day regarding your request, will complete the assessment of the situation and will determine the next course of action. Because outside vendors and replacement parts may be needed, we may not be able to set a firm date for completion.

Can I have work performed and send the bill to you?2021-06-20T21:52:58+00:00

No. Unauthorized repairs will not be reimbursed. Should you wish to perform work in your apartment, contact our office first and we will let you know how to proceed.

If a repair is not satisfactory, what should I do?2021-06-20T21:53:21+00:00

Please contact our office immediately so we may investigate the issue.

Can I change the locks to the apartment?2021-06-20T21:53:58+00:00

Locks are changed before you move in. If for some reason they need to be changed again, please contact our office. This work must be done through Winnemac Properties and the tenant will billed the charges.

Can I paint my apartment a different color?2021-06-20T21:54:43+00:00

In order to paint any walls in your apartment, you must first request and receive written authorization from us. If you are given permission to change paint colors, any changes must be restored to our building standard – Benjamin Moore’s China White – before you vacate the apartment. In some instances, we may agree to paint using a different color prior to your moving in, so ask if this is an option.

What are my options if I want to move before the end of my lease?2021-06-20T22:44:32+00:00

You have several options to terminate your lease early – sublease, re-let, and buy-out.

  • Subleasing: In compliance with city guidelines, we must accept a reasonable subtenant offered by you without charging you any additional fees and we must make a good faith effort to find a new tenant at a fair rate. If a subtenant cannot be found through any party, you will be liable for the remaining rent as well as for the cost of advertising until your lease expires.
  • Re-letting: When an acceptable tenant is found, we will negotiate and sign a new lease, releasing you from any further obligation.
  • Lease Buy-Out: In some instances, you can buy out your lease. This usually requires paying three months of rent to break the lease.

If you have to break your lease, call our office to explore the best solution for your situation. Please be courteous and provide us with as much notice as you can so we can market your apartment.

My lease is expiring soon. What should I expect?2021-06-20T22:44:59+00:00

We will be in contact with you 90 days prior to the end of your lease. We may send you letter with a heads up, we may ask you for updated information, and/or we may send the actual lease renewal. If we do not receive any response, we will begin marketing the apartment to others 60 days prior to your lease end date or until a new lease is signed. If you do not hear from us, at least 60 days prior to your lease expiration, please contact us.

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Need Help Finding an Apartment?

If you are looking for an apartment on the northeast side of Chicago, Winnemac Properties is here to help you find you your new home. Our responsive and knowledgeable leasing staff is here to provide excellent customer service in your search. Buildings managed by Winnemac Properties are well maintained and we take pride in our buildings and apartments.

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