Related: Ultimate Luxury Touring Checklist

Looking for the Best Rent Deals in Town? AptAmigo Can Help You Find Them.

Did you know that luxury apartment buildings sometimes offer sales on their units? In the world of real estate rentals, we call these discounts concessions. And, while there’s no equivalent to Prime Day for apartment rentals, with the right timing and help, you could get your first month of rent free on your next Chicago apartment with the right deal.

Yes, that’s right. You can get a great deal on a Chicago apartment near your job and your favorite park. To sweeten the deal, your new building will probably come with cool amenities and will definitely be located in one of the country’s most exciting cities.

But, you may wonder why a building owner would put a dream apartment in a major city on sale. Leasing offices want to attract long-term tenants (as opposed to short-term ones) and sometimes need to reduce their vacancy rates as well. As of September 2022, in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area, the vacancy rate was 6.6%. Every apartment that sits empty could mean months of lost revenue, so countering that financial loss with concessions is a win for both tenants and leasing offices.

Types of Apartment Specials

  • Free rent for one month or more – Most buildings that offer this incentive opt for one month free rent, but, in some rare cases, will go as high as three months of free rent. Often, they’ll apply these free months at the end of the lease term to discourage tenants from receiving free rent upfront and then moving out after that time has ended.
  • Reduced rent – Sometimes, when a building suddenly has too many of one type of unit, such as 1-bedroom apartments, they’ll offer them at a lower rate to tenants willing to sign a longer lease of 12+ months. If the monthly rent is usually $2,000 per month, they might discount rent by $200 on a 12-month lease only, making the monthly cost $1,800 for a yearly savings of $2,400.
  • Waiving/reducing fees or security deposit – When first moving into an apartment, new residents can incur extra move-in fees for submitting an application, bringing a pet, or paying a security deposit. Often, these fees can amount to hundreds of dollars unless the building posts a concession that waives or reduces these charges and lowers your overall moving costs.
  • Paying for moving expenses – The cost of moving into a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago averages $808 for three movers over a five-hour period. Sometimes, the building owner will agree to reimburse you for a set amount of the moving costs to encourage you to sign a lease.
  • Neighborhood amenities – Many luxury apartments develop partnerships with surrounding businesses. Specials of this variety could include free gym memberships, or gift cards to museums, theaters, and restaurants as incentives for moving to their building.
  • Redecorating allowance – If an apartment needs some sprucing up with deep carpet cleaning or paint, you may be able to negotiate a deal for the building owner to clean and redecorate these areas before you agree to a longer lease. Alternatively, they may give you the option to do it yourself and reimburse you for the supplies.
  • Additional incentives  –  If the appliances are outdated, such as the refrigerator or the dishwasher, the building owner may be willing to replace them with newer, energy efficient models. Or, they could offer you free access to additional onsite amenities, such as parking, storage, or a swimming pool that would otherwise require a fee to use.

When Is the Best Time to Find Move-In Specials?

Short answer: Winter. 

When a blanket of ice and snow covers the streets of Chicago, the idea of moving heavy boxes and glassware in these conditions is not so appealing. Often, people would prefer to wait beyond the months of March and April when the weather cooperates better. But, when tenants are willing to face the harsh elements, they can be rewarded for their resilience with a great deal.

How Find Deals on Rent

Finding your dream apartment on your own is certainly possible, but expect it to take longer than it would if you worked with a free AptAmigo Apartment Locator. On average, an apartment hunt from start to finish will take weeks of sustained effort as you search through listings and attempt to contact your favorite options for information before scheduling and touring them. 

You can find concessions in Chicago by searching for “Chicago apartments that offer free rent” to get an idea of what incentives buildings advertise. However, most specials aren’t advertised, and you would need to call the building manager directly to ask about any unadvertised discounts. Once you confirm their current offers, you would need to schedule an apartment tour.

You can try to search for concessions on your own, or you can let the pros do it for you. AptAmigo’s apartment locators know the best deals because of the professional networks they build with the best apartment buildings in town. With a free apartment locator, you can tap into this network for exclusive deals that only our agents can access.

Search our Chicago listings to get started.

Get Your First Month of Rent Free on Your Next Chicago Apartment with AptAmigo

If you want to know the best concessions in Chicago, why not let AptAmigo save you time and money? Because of the partnerships that AptAmigo cultivates with building managers, they’ll be the first to know about available concessions that will make moving to your dream apartment an even better deal. Reach out today to get your first month of rent free on your next Chicago apartment.

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About the Author
Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in real estate topics.