1) Do we accept Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)?
All private housing providers in Cook County are required to consider voucher-holder applicants the same way they consider non-voucher-holder applicants. The amount we calculate to meet our minimum income requirement takes into consideration the rent payment under your voucher. Where the property is located determines which housing authority must issue your voucher. All our properties are in areas covered by the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), EXCEPT Chicago, Oak Park, Maywood and Cicero. Each of those towns have their own housing authority. If you want to move from or to those towns, your voucher must be "ported" over to the office with authority in that town. This will need to be complete before we can consider your application. Get more information at www.thehacc.org or from your housing authority case manager.
2) Who must submit an application?
Each adult who will reside on the premises must apply. An "adult" is anyone 18 years of age and older. All co-signers must also apply.
3) What are our tenant qualifications?
Like most housing providers, we use certain criteria to determine if a prospective tenant qualifies to rent one of our rental units: (1) Minimum of 3 times rent in gross household income. This is the monthly income of all applicants combined, before any deductions have been taken. (Housing Choice Voucher holders: Your voucher payment will be considered in our income calculation. Don't forget to upload the main page of your voucher in the application). (2) Good record of on-time bill payment. Collections, charge-offs, bankruptcies, foreclosures must be explained. We will be particularly concerned about collections or charge-offs with utility companies. (3) Criminal convictions will be carefully evaluated for risk to property or neighbors, and for risk of not paying rent, in accordance with the Just Housing Ordinance. (4) Those with eviction filings within the last 4 years which were not dismissed will not be accepted without a satisfactory and verifiable explanation. Evictions which were dismissed will be evaluated carefully and further research may be done. (5) We evaluate applicants based on an overall picture. We look at credit scores, but do not rely solely on them. We do not use a minimum credit score. We will consider circumstances of bankruptcies, foreclosures/short sales, high student loan debt, evictions and criminal records when making a rental decision.
4) Why don't we use minimum credit scores?
Credit scores can be affected by things we don't care about, like how many credit inquiries you had when getting a car loan recently. They can also be affected by activities we care about but which won't rule you out, like high student loan debt or a bankruptcy which is closed (we do care about your on-time payment record since a bankruptcy). We are most interested in indicators that you can afford to pay your rent and the likelihood you will pay it on time each month.
5) What if your credit score says N/A?
This simply means you do not have enough credit activity on which to base a score. You may not have a score even if you have some credit activity. Since we do not use credit scores to make rental decisions, the simple absence of a score will not keep you from renting an apartment with us. We use your credit report to decide whether you have enough income to pay your bills, pay your rent, and cover basic living expenses. We also use it to determine your likelihood of making on-time rental payments.
6) Do we accept pets?
Pets are allowed in many of our rental units. Each listing will indicate if pets are allowed. We follow municipal occupancy limits and breed restrictions, if any, for the town in which the property is located. Each property may also have breed restrictions based on homeowner's insurance. If dogs are allowed, we will require you to bring your dog into our office for a brief temperament test. This test happens after all human occupants have applied and been accepted (no need to bring your dog to the showing). We are looking for aggressive tendencies and your dog's ability to meet new people in an unfamiliar place and still behave. Your dog will most likely have to meet other dogs and people in hallways coming in and out of the building. We are also assessing your dog's propensity to relieve itself indoors. If your pet is approved, there will be additional "pet rent" or security deposit, the amount of which is specified in each listing. "Pet rent" is not refundable and becomes part of your monthly rent due under the lease. We love pets and expect that you will treat them with kindness and respect while living in our building. If you do not, you WILL be reported and the pet removed from the premises.
7) What are occupancy limits?
Occupancy limits refer to the number of persons (including children) who will be allowed to occupy the rental residence. Most municipalities have occupancy limits and all buildings listed by us have occupancy limits. Please check the limit before scheduling an appointment or applying. Occupancy limits will be strictly enforced in all cases.
8) Why was your showing appointment denied?
There are several reasons that you might not have qualified to see an apartment: We have minimum income requirements. You may have indicated that you do not have enough income (or a co-signer) and are not a Housing Choice voucher-holder. In this case, you will not be approved to rent the apartment. You may have indicated you have pets for a no-pets apartment. Or you may be trying to make an appointment to see a property which is available now, but you are not ready to move for more than 60 days in the future. You will not be able to schedule this appointment. And don't forget to read and verify that you understand that we do not represent you in this transaction, we represent the owner of the property. Without confirming that you understand this, you will not be able to schedule an appointment.
9) How long after the showing time will we wait for you at a showing site?
Agents will wait for 15 minutes after the scheduled showing time unless you let us know by text, phone, or through the scheduling system, what time you will be arriving. No agent will wait longer than 30 minutes. Keep in mind, we may have another showing to get to after yours at a different location. We cannot always wait for more than 15 minutes.
10) What if the agent is late?
If an agent will be more than 5 minutes late for a showing, the agent will call or text you to let you know how long they will be. The system allows you to let us know you are waiting at a location. Keep in mind that we do showings all over the western suburbs and a lot of things can keep us from being on time. We try very hard not to keep people waiting. Please wait in the designated location (usually in front of the building) so the agent can find you.
11) What steps are necessary for a friend or relation to move in with you?
Each adult (18 and over) must fill out an application and be approved BEFORE moving in. So your roommate must do the same. Find the application link on the homepage of our website at westurbanmanagement.com or in each listing under "apply now." Note that occupancy limits for each rental unit will be strictly enforced.