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Old 01-15-2012, 10:50 AM
 
40 posts, read 148,035 times
Reputation: 22

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You will be able to find some without the move in fees. You just need to look hard at web sites.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:53 AM
 
1,251 posts, read 2,513,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRise View Post
I have never heard of this. Must be something done in the more popular neighborhoods.
I know it's done in less trendy neighborhoods as well.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:27 PM
 
121 posts, read 216,682 times
Reputation: 50
I'm sure, but how often? It just doesn't appear to be a standard practice. Personally, I'd try to avoid this arrangement.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 15,344,644 times
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You shouldn't be paying a move in fee and a security deposit. Having said that, I wouldn't automatically run from a place w/ just a move in fee. Here are what I see as the pros and cons of a move in fee vs. security deposit:

Pros of security deposit:
-refundable if you leave the apartment clean and in good shape
-accrues a small amount of interest

cons of security deposits:
-if your landlord is even remotely less than professional, get ready to fight to get this back. Some may not return it in time, some may not return it at all, or some may return only a partial amount and tack on bogus reasons why they kept the rest.
-After a bad landlord situation last summer, I looked up some of the rules regarding security deposits and have discovered that NONE of my landlords, in the five years I've rented in Chicago, have followed all of them 100%. Some of these rules won't really bother you if they aren't followed, but some, like the requirement for the deposit to be in a separate account, may. You'll need to check the CRLTO to see if any unit you rent falls under it and make sure your landlord follows the major rules.

pros of move in fees:
-typically much lower than a security deposit. For example, a move in fee for a $1200 apartment may be only $300 vs. having to come up with $1200+ for a security deposit
-No hassles for the tenant-or landlord- in terms of returning the fee or rules regarding handling it. I put this under "pro" because the last thing I want to do is worrying about chasing down my own money or waiting months for it

cons of move in fees:
-non refundable
-no oversight. Granted, there's no real oversight in IL, as far as I can see, regarding how much landlords can charge for deposits, but fees especially can be ripe for abuse, as noted in your experience.

Personally, I prefer move in fees, especially in they are low, since it's less money up front and less hassle (I just mentally build in that amount into my rent so a $1200 with a $250 move in fee is really a $1221 apartment).
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:35 PM
 
1,044 posts, read 2,375,231 times
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The move towards fees, as opposed to deposits, is a nationwide phenomenon; especially among large corporate management companies, such as Gables, Post Properties, LPM, and Reside. The company I am currently renting from here in Chicago charged me a fee upfront, which I was ok with, because I much rather paid $300 up front, instead of having to front a full one month's rent.

I am in the process of possibly renting an apartment in Dallas, and they are charging the fee as well.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:58 PM
 
1,302 posts, read 1,950,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahKate104 View Post
Hello, my new Chicago friends!
I am very excited to be moving to Chicago next month. I'm looking for an apartment in Bucktown with my fiance. I lived in NYC for 6 years, so I am not unaware of the shady ways of some (some would say many) realtors.

I started emailing a Chicago realtor recently, and she implied that all apartments there charge a $400 "standard move in fee." This seems absolutely ridiculous to me, and I more or less, told her that I would not pay one of these. Is this really standard or is she trying to blow smoke up my...well, you know? I refuse to be taken advantage of just because I'm new to the city. New York kicked my butt when I first got there, but I wised up (eventually...lol). I'm hoping that you guys can help me out on here and let me know what the real story is with apartments in Chicago.

Thanks guys! Looking forward to being neighbors!

Sarah-Kate
Whatever small fee you pay to move in is nothing compared to paying a broker fee in NYC (typically 1.5-2x rent), I was shocked that renters do not pay that fee in Chicago.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:56 PM
 
6,438 posts, read 6,917,875 times
Reputation: 8743
Quote:
Originally Posted by FAReastcoast View Post
Whatever small fee you pay to move in is nothing compared to paying a broker fee in NYC (typically 1.5-2x rent), I was shocked that renters do not pay that fee in Chicago.
That's because there is no shortage of apartments in Chicago.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL SouthWest Suburbs
3,522 posts, read 6,102,489 times
Reputation: 6130
This kind of reminds me of a doc fee for a car dealer
or a doc prep fee at a title company.

Just another word for a junk fee

Hardly uncommon in any state , city or county.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Puerto Rico
355 posts, read 1,047,150 times
Reputation: 175
So it's either move-in fee or security deposit, not both, right? I'm guessing the move-in fee is a one time fee that has to be paid up front and never again during your lease or any renewal. If the building is sold or changes owner, would you have to pay this fee again?

It doesn't sound bad to pay a move-in fee, especially because it's usually lower than a deposit. The biggest con I see is not having it refunded. What's their excuse for asking this money and not returning it? Expenses for preparing the apartment for you?
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Berwyn, IL
2,418 posts, read 6,255,289 times
Reputation: 1133
I think that's the rub. Every time I've put a deposit down, I've gotten it back in full. Maybe I'm extremely lucky, but I take care of my places.

Having a more widespread use of 'move in' fees would upset me over the long run, as I tend to stay in a place for a year (more or less) and move to a different neighborhood. I would be less inclined to move if I had to pony up a few hundred bucks just for the hell of it.
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