Property Management Training Manual

written by
Larry E. McCarthy
published by
A practical guide for developing a property-specific procedures manual
Property Management
Procedures Manual
© Copyright 1999
Capacity Building Program Director for
Community Investment Corporation, began
his property management career in 1971.
Recognizing that spiraling costs of building
locked more families out of decent housing
each year, McCarthy decided to work on
finding solutions to the needs of lower
income families. This decision led him to
the Illinois Housing Development Authority
(IHDA) in 1978. During his four years
with IHDA, he was involved with the
management of more than 6,600 affordable
apartments throughout Illinois and was a
member of the agency’s team assigned to
turn around troubled properties.
McCarthy is a nationally recognized
affordable housing management expert. He
served for nine years as the President of
RESCORP Realty, Inc., which managed a
multi-family rental housing portfolio in the
Chicagoland area. Under McCarthy’s
guidance, that portfolio expanded from
1,600 to more than 4,000 rental units.
In July of 1991, a joint venture partnership
that McCarthy formed between RESCORP
Realty and Frank J. Williams Realty was
awarded the management of the Chicago
Housing Authority’s innovative Lake Parc
Place. Under McCarthy’s leadership, Lake
Parc Place received worldwide recognition
for excellence in publicly funded housing.
After touring Lake Parc Place, housing
officials from virtually every state in the
nation as well as dozens of foreign
About the Author
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
countries praised the quality of the property
management. Newsweek magazine called
Lake Parc Place “A housing program that
actually works” and CNN described the
property as “the best managed public
housing in the country”.
McCarthy was the Chairman of the
Chicago Board of Realtors’ Property
Management Council from 1988 to 1989.
He co-founded and served as President of
the Property Management Resource Center,
a non-profit corporation formed to provide
property management expertise to groups
who develop low and moderate-income
housing. In addition Mr. McCarthy has
been a member and director of the
Apartment Building Owners and Managers
Association (ABOMA) and a director of the
Chicago Association of Realtors, where he
also served as Chairman of their Govern-
ment Affairs Committee. He was a co-
founder and served as a director of The
Real Estate Job Bank, an organization
dedicated to employment opportunities for
minorities within the real estate industry.
Previously McCarthy worked for Draper &
Kramer (D&K), Inc. where he oversaw a
portfolio consisting of over 1,900 urban
and suburban residential apartments and
400,000 + sq. ft. of retail shopping centers.
Prior to joining D&K, McCarthy was a
regional Vice President with Security
Pacific, Inc. a property owner based in
Seattle, Washington. He was responsible for
the Midwest region, which included over
11,000 apartments in a five-state region.
We wish to thank the following individuals
who have provided either materials that are
included or assistance in the production of
this manual.
Sue Brady
Pam Gecan, American Marketing
Services for her assistance in Marketing
David A. Schucker of The
Leadership Council for Metro-politan
Open Communities
Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is a mortgage banking firm created in 1974, by Chicago’s
banking community. Fifty-one banks, plus Peoples Gas, Fannie Mae, and the Untied Methodist
Pension Fund, share proportionally in each CIC loan.
CIC’s mission is “to be the leading force in neighborhood revitalization through innovative financing
programs.” CIC is intended to serve as a catalyst for needed rehab lending and to foster the success
of cost-effective developers.
CIC specializes in multifamily rehabilitation lending. In its first 15 years of multifamily lending,
1984 to 1999, CIC has made 1092 loans totaling $415 million in CIC funds on buildings with
28,000 apartment units. CIC borrowers have received over $500 million in various financing
programs including no or low interest financing, tandem processed, and government second
mortgages. About 20% of CIC loans have government second loans.
CIC takes pride in its ability to offer timely loan processing and support through its dedicated and
experienced loan officer, construction review and closing staff.
CIC is committed to increasing the professional skills and knowledge of hands-on building owners
and property managers. In 1999 CIC will conduct fifteen basic level courses in property manage-
ment and maintenance. The courses will be conducted over four consecutive evenings, three hours
per evening, throughout the Chicagoland area. Additional one evening courses are regularly held on
seasonal topics such as landscaping (spring) or energy savings and heating systems (fall), plus
regular topics related to rehabilitation.
In the first ten of its twenty-five years, CIC helped pioneer single family rehab lending in low and
moderate income communities, providing $15 million in loans to rehabilitate 989 single family
units. CIC also provided home ownership counseling and technical assistance to 2,500 families.
Call CIC at (312) 258-0070 for information on loan products and rates, or to find out about training
sessions near you.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Table of Contents
Introduction ......................................................................................................... page 2
1 New Property Take-Over ................................................................................. page 4
2 Tenant Selection Plan ..................................................................................... page 9
3 Fair Housing .................................................................................................. page 21
4 Marketing ...................................................................................................... page 36
5 Tenant Handbook ......................................................................................... page 42
6 Rent Collection ............................................................................................. page 51
7 Evictions ....................................................................................................... page 53
8 Enforcement ................................................................................................. page 59
9 Illegal Activities............................................................................................. page 60
Budgeting ...................................................................................................... page 65
Maintenance ................................................................................................. page 70
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
here was a time when the
ownership and management
of an apartment building
were largely unregulated. Landlords
were virtually free to rent and operate
their property in any fashion they
deemed reasonable. All you really
needed was the money for a down
payment, a building to purchase, a
cooperative lender and you were in
Times have changed. Today’s
apartment industry has become
considerably more regulated. Land-
lords must comply with many Fair
Housing laws. In addition, some
municipalities regulate the way
properties are managed as well as the
manner and speed in which landlords
service the maintenance needs of
their tenants. Among the require-
ments today’s landlords face are set
minimum amounts of heat in the
winter and the installation of early
warning devices to protect against
smoke inhalation and carbon monox-
ide poisoning.
The task of managing residential real
estate has grown increasingly depen-
dent upon the ability to skillfully
operate within both the demands of
the marketplace and the laws that
regulate the industry. Today’s
property manager must be able to
compete with the manager of the
building down the street for suitable
tenants and, at the same time,
comply with federal, state, county
and local fair housing laws. In many
cities, including Chicago and smaller
municipalities, landlords must
comply with tenant/landlord ordi-
nances and with rules concerning
illegal activities committed by
tenants. Failure to comply can, in
some cases, result in seizure of the
The key to successful operation of
any property is planning. All prop-
erty owners need a written plan
guiding the day-to-day operation of
their buildings. In fact, the actual
planning should start prior to
purchasing a property. Pre-purchase
planning should include deciding in
what neighborhood or area you want
to buy, what size building you want
to buy, and what mix of bedroom-size
apartments you want. You will also
have to decide whether you want to
buy a fix-it-upper, a brand new
building, or something in between.
Additional planning should include
how and where to finance your
purchase, how much equity you have
available and want to invest, and
what improvements you want to
make upon closing the purchase.
Once you’ve answered these ques-
tions, you’re ready to decide on a
host of management and mainte-
nance issues including the prepara-
tion of written plan on how to
address those issues. This manual is
intended as a guide for owners and
managers of multi-family buildings
for use in creating an operations
manual for their own specific prop-
erty. This manual contains proce-
dures and policies that have been
employed in various types of build-
ings throughout the Chicago metro-
politan area. With minor modifica-
tions, this procedures manual will
serve the needs of most multi-family
building owners and managers.
When it comes to rental policies,
every owner must recognize that the
rental policies you develop must be
documented and enforced. Whether
they are based on objective rules or
subjective preferences, rental policies
must be put in writing and applied in
a fair and equal manner to everyone
who inquires about, makes applica-
tion for, or rents in your building
Negligence in the operation of a
building can and often will result in
legal liability for any violations.
Ignorance of the laws is no defense.
If you plan on owning or managing
an apartment building, you must be
aware of the rules and regulations
that affect the way in which you
operate that building. Once you
know those rules and regulations, you
must manage yourself and your staff
in a manner that will not jeopardize
your business or the building.
This manual is intended to enable
you to manage your property more
skillfully. The end result is that you’ll
be better able to obey the law, achieve
financial success, and be a valuable
asset to the community.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
aking over or assuming
either the ownership or
management of an apart-
ment building requires a systematic
approach to the many tasks that
usually await a new manager or
owner. There are numerous details
beyond the closing table that you
must learn and address in a timely
and proper fashion in order to insure
that you start out on the right path.
If you are purchasing an existing
property, the first step to a smooth
takeover is learning as much as
possible from the seller. You’ll usually
find that sellers are cooperative and
willing to take the time to answer
questions about the property. To
make your information gathering
session as effective as possible,
prepare questions in advance and
keep detailed notes of the answers
you receive. The New Management
Assignment Takeover Checklist at
the end of this section provides an
excellent starting point. It contains a
list of the key information you’ll
want to gather from the seller.
New Property Take-
Over Procedures
Tenants of a newly acquired building
are also prime candidates to provide
valuable information. Typically a
property takeover will be the first
meeting or communication between
the new management team and the
tenants of the building. This can be
an excellent opportunity for you to
set a positive tone for your future
dealings with the tenants of the
building. If not carefully planned,
the first meeting could be poorly
handled and result in a combative
and potentially disruptive relation-
ship with the tenants of the building.
Many novice property owners or
managers start out with the belief
that it’s their building, and they’ll
run it the way they see fit. They
often mistakenly start with attitudes
such as—
“The tenants, after all, are just
renters who can be easily replaced.”
“Why should I cooperate with
renters? They’re the enemy in the
Tenant Landlord Wars. It’s my
building. I’ll call the shots.”
When properly approached, the
tenants of the building can be among
your most valued allies. They
typically are more familiar with the
physical property than you are, and
they are certainly more aware of
potential problem tenants. Tenants
help you pay your mortgage and
operating expenses. If things go as
planned, they will put profit dollars
in your pocket. Many tenants take
great pride in the place they have
chosen to call home and will enthusi-
astically assist you in keeping the
building up and finding new tenants
when you have a vacancy. Why
would you want to start out the
relationship with your tenants on an
antagonistic note when what you
really need and should want is a long-
term harmonious relationship?
When a building was previously
mismanaged, has some tenants who
may be involved in illegal activities,
or was allowed to fall into disrepair,
tenant cooperation at initial takeover
is especially important. In these cases
you will face some tenants who are
skeptical of your intentions and
others who don’t wish to upset the
status quo. You will need to quickly
enlist the help of those tenants who
are most likely to cooperate in your
quest to improve the overall condi-
tion and reputation of the property.
Existing employees, as well as
vendors who previously provided
services to the property are also
valuable sources of information. In
cases where little historic information
about a building is available, these
individuals can help you gain the
information you need to make a
smooth transition and get off to a
positive start. They’ll also help you
answer questions like, “Where are the
hidden flaws? What are the extra
special maintenance needs? How
were things handled in the past?”
This is all important information that
can assist you in future planning.
It can be useful to ask the same
questions of each of the groups
(sellers, employees, vendors and
tenants). You may end up with
completely different answers based
on the varying perspectives. While
that may appear to be troubling, it
can also be insightful. For example,
if you ask how well the hallways are
maintained, it’s not uncommon to
receive different impressions from
the janitor and the tenants. In this
example, the tenants’ impressions are
more reliable.
You will want to learn about the
tenants of the building from the
seller, from the other tenants, and
from the janitorial and maintenance
staff. You’ll learn which tenants are
good neighbors and which aren’t?
You’ll also find out who might have
someone living with them who is not
on the lease? Which apartments
have a high number of visitors at all
hours of the day? Who plays their
music so loud that they disturb other
tenants? Which tenants have guests
that hang out in the hall and leave
garbage about? The answers you
gather can prove very valuable as you
move forward.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Location(s) of Property _________________________________________________________________________
Take Over Date ____________________________________________________
Building Phone Number ___________________________________________
Previous Management Firm ________________________________________
Contact Person(s) __________________________________________________
Telephone # _______________________________________________________
Existing Personnel _________________________________________________
New Management Assignment Takeover Checklist
Verify Occupancy:
Are fully executed current leases in place?
Yes ____ No ____
Are all rents current?
Yes ____ No ____
Is there a list of all residents with both home &
work phone numbers?
Yes ____ No ____
Have the security deposit amounts been verified?
With Lease Agreements?
Yes ____ No ____
With Tenants?
Yes ____ No ____
Are there any pending legal actions involving
Yes ____ No ____
Have all vacant units been viewed to assure they
are vacant?
Yes ____ No ____
Are all delinquent renters in possession of the
units they lease?
Yes ____ No ____
Have all delinquent renters been served Termina-
tion Notices?
Yes ____ No ____
Services requiring assurance of continuation:
Has the electric company been notified of changes
and made final readings?
Yes ____ No ____
Has the gas company been notified of changes and
made final readings?
Yes ____ No ____
Has the water company been notified of changes
and made final readings?
Yes ____ No ____
Has the scavenger company been notified of the
change in ownership/management and billing?
Yes ____ No ____
Have you provided for ongoing janitorial
Yes ____ No ____
Have you provided for ongoing maintenance
Yes ____ No ____
Have you provided for ongoing landscape
Yes ____ No ____
Building Code Issues:
Are there any existing Notices of Violations?
Yes ____ No ____
Does each unit have an operating smoke detector?
Yes ____ No ____
Are carbon monoxide detectors in place?
Yes ____ No ____
Are there proper locks on windows and doors?
Yes ____ No ____
Are all windows and screens in good repair?
Yes ____ No ____
Has the building been properly registered with
the city?
Yes ____ No ____
Emergency Procedures:
Have you contracted with an answering service for
after hours?
Yes ____ No ____
Have current residents been informed of any
changes that they’ll be required to make?
Yes ____ No ____
Have emergency point people been identified
and provide with your emergency procedures
Yes ____ No ____
Have emergency service providers been identified
and contracted with?
Yes ____ No ____
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Reports from Previous Owner/Agent:
Regulatory Agreements
Financial Reports
Security Deposit Listing
Waiting Lists
Legal Actions
Current Billing
Personnel Records
Service Contracts in Place:
___________________________________________ terms ________________________________________________
___________________________________________ terms ________________________________________________
___________________________________________ terms ________________________________________________
___________________________________________ terms ________________________________________________
Immediate Actions Needed:
Completed By ________________________________________________ Date ______________________________
electing tenants is likely to
be one of the first issues you
face. It is also one of the
most important issues in the opera-
tion of your building. You can limit
management difficulties by properly
preparing a Tenant Selection Plan and
applying it to everyone who inquires
about renting at your building. A
well thought out plan will be far
more effective than the “gut instinct”
approach to tenant selection. Yet the
common reaction to the suggestion
that landlords need a Tenant Selec-
tion Plan is something like, “Why do
I need a Tenant Selection Plan? I’ll just
place an ad in the paper and rent my
vacant apartments to whoever responds
to the ad so long as they look like they’ll
be good tenants”!
Tenant Selection
There are many reasons to develop a
well thought out Tenant Selection
Plan. A Tenant Selection plan will
create objective measures that can be
used to determine which applicants
are more likely to be good tenants.
A good plan will, at least, review an
credit history
previous landlord references
number of people who will reside
in the apartment and will verify:
income information.
Failure to perform basic background
checks can result in leasing an
apartment to a bad tenant who not
only won’t pay rent but may also
destroy your building and its reputa-
tion. The end result is a combination
of emotional stress, financial burdens
from lost rental income, and possible
damage repair costs. A loud and
obnoxious tenant may also drive
good tenants from the building.
Though it is possible to evict bad
tenants, eviction can take months
and hundreds of dollars to accom-
A good Tenant Selection Plan won’t
guarantee that you will never rent to
a bad tenant, but it can lessen that
risk. A good plan carefully applied to
every applicant will also provide
safeguards against possible violation
of fair housing laws.
The following sample tenant selec-
tion plan is intended as a guideline.
The building owner and managers
must set the standards for occupancy,
income, and previous rental and
credit history. The sections in bold
italics are areas that you should
modify to fit the standards you
decide upon.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Sample Tenant Selection Plan
This Tenant Selection Plan outlines procedures that will be followed in selecting new tenants for the Your
Apartments building. All apartments within the property will be leased in accordance with all applicable
fair housing laws regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, familial status,
military discharge status, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or handicap of the applicant(s).
Your Apartments will offer 6 rental units. The number of rental units at the property that are reserved for
rental households are as follows:
Size of Unit Number of Units
1 BR ........................................................ 2
2 BR ........................................................ 2
3 BR * ...................................................... 1
* One 3 BR apartment is designated as an owner/manager/model/office apartment and is not available for rent.
Contacting Interested Individuals
When a unit becomes available, a showing will be scheduled with interested individual, generated
from a waiting list or an advertising program, on a first come, first served basis. Management will
indicate what information the applicant should bring to complete a rental application.
A. Application
Each prospective tenant will complete a written rental application. Management will charge a
$100 application fee. If the applicant is accepted, the application fee will be credited toward the
security deposit. If the applicant is rejected, the application fee will be refunded within fourteen
(14) days of the date of the rejection notice. If the applicant is accepted for occupancy but refuses
a unit, the application fee will be forfeited.
B. Credit Check Fee
In addition to the application fee, Management will charge a non-refundable credit check fee
of $25.00.
C. Verification of Information on Application
Management will take the following actions with respect to all written applications:
1. Order a written credit report.
2. Request a Verification of Employment or Income.
D. Home Visits
After Management has completed all other steps in the application process, Management will
conduct a home visit on all applicants living within a 25-mile radius of the building at the time
of the application.
A. Income
Annual gross income of households in the building must be equal to or greater than the income
guidelines attached to this PLAN.
B. Households/Unit Size Limitations
The unit applied for must have enough bedroom space to accommodate the applicant’s household.
As a guideline, no more than two people will be permitted to occupy a bedroom. In selecting a unit
size for the applicant, management will balance the need to avoid over-crowding a unit with the
objective of maximum utilization of space. (Chicago’s building code requires a minimum of 125 sq.
ft. of floor area per person)
The fact that an applicant meets the eligibility requirements does not mean that the applicant will be a
suitable tenant. The prospective tenant must be able to fulfill lease obligations. In making this determina-
tion Management will consider various criteria, along with any related explanations offered by the applicant
concerning the facts involved, including changes in circumstance. Rejection of an applicant may be based
on one or more of the following criteria:
A. Insufficient/Inaccurate Information on Application
Management will consider whether the applicant refuses to cooperate fully in aspects of his/her
application process, or whether the information supplied has been intentionally falsified.
B. Credit and Financial Standing
1. Management will consider the applicants’ history of financial obligations, (including timely
payment of rent, outstanding judgments or a history of late payment of bills). If Management
rejects an application based upon the credit report, Management will give the applicant the
reason for rejection and the name of the credit bureau that performed the credit check. Appli-
cants will also be given the opportunity to have corrections made to the report.
2. Management will take into account inability to verify credit references. It will take into account
special circumstances in which credit has not been established (income, age, marital status, etc.).
Lack of credit history will not cause an applicant to be rejected, although, in such circumstances,
Management may require that a person with a history of creditworthiness guarantee the lease.
3. Management will consider whether the applicant demonstrates financial ability to pay the
monthly rent for the apartment.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
C. History of Residency
Management will verify and document the previous two years of housing for each applicant,
including applicants who were homeowners or lived with parents/guardians. As part of this
review, Management will consider whether the applicant or any other person who will be living
in the unit either has a history of criminal conviction for acts that involved physical violence to
persons or property, that endangered the health and safety of other persons; or that involved
the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance or is currently addicted to, or
engaged in the illegal use of, a controlled substance. If an applicant is currently receiving treatment
for addiction to a controlled substance, Management will not reject the applicant so long as he or she is
acceptable as a tenant in all other respects. Management will consider all circumstances regarding
criminal activity as well as the period during which it occurred.
D. Unsanitary Housekeeping
Management will consider unsanitary housekeeping by the applicant. This criteria is not
intended to exclude households whose housekeeping is only superficially unclean or disorderly
if such conditions would not appear to affect the health, safety or comfort of other residents.
A. Acceptance Notification
Each accepted applicant will receive a written notification indicating the date that the rental unit
will be available for occupancy (Exhibit A).
B. Rejection Notification
Management will promptly send each rejected applicant a written rejection notice stating the
reason(s) for rejection (Exhibit B).
Management will document every step of the tenant selection process. Applicant files will be main-
tained by Management which will include, but not limited to, copies of the following correspondence:
Rental Application
Credit report
Housekeeping Report
Employment/Income Verification (see page 17)
Exhibit A - Acceptance Notice (see page 14)
Exhibit B - Rejection Notice (see page 15)
Exhibit C - Underwriting Worksheet (see page 16)
Previous Landlord Verification (see page 19)
Prepared By: ____________________________________________ Date: _________________________________
The Rental Process
he following basic steps should
be applied for everyone who
makes application for an
apartment at your building. Sample
forms that you may use are included
in this section.
completed and signed by everyone
interested in renting an apartment at
your property. All sections of the
application should be completed. Be
certain that those individuals who
will be responsible for rent payments
sign the application and authorize
you to investigate their credit history.
Requesting and photocopying a
photo ID can help verify the identity
of an applicant. Attach the photo-
copy to the application.
SHEET in this section is a form used
to determine the applicants’ ability to
pay the rental amount you are
charging. Information about the
applicants’ income, and existing debt
should be measured against the rent
and other associated housing ex-
penses. A sample form is included
along with suggested ratios of income
to rent and income to rent and other
debt. When you stay within the
recommended ranges, your chances
of receiving rents on a timely and
regular basis are likely to increase.
MENT/INCOME forms guide you
through the process of determining
the employment status of the
applicants. This form should be filled
in and signed by the applicant(s) in
the appropriate spaces. The property
owner/manager can then mail or fax
the signed form to the personnel or
human resource department of the
employer. To ensure that the em-
ployer completes the form, do not
allow the applicant to hand carry the
verification form to and from the
employer. You may have to perform
a telephone follow-up in cases where
a response is not received within five
working days.
FORM is used to determine the
applicants’ current rental status as
well as previous rental history. This
form should be completed by the
applicant(s) and signed. The form
should then be faxed or mailed to the
current and a least one previous
landlord by the owner or manager.
Again, do not allow the applicant to
hand carry the form. Don’t be
surprised if telephone follow-up on
your part becomes necessary.
conducted on every applicant who
has sufficient income to qualify for
your apartment. Select a Credit
Bureau that can provide rapid service.
Many companies can provide a report
within hours, while others might
require a day or two. Some bureaus
can provide additional services such
as eviction court searches and
criminal background checks. How-
ever, it’s important to realize that
they are likely to charge additional
fees for these services.
If you want to obtain access to public
records such as eviction cases,
judgments, liens, or criminal convic-
tions, you may wish to visit the
county building that serves your area.
Often the public can use computer
terminals for these background
Whatever methods you decide to use,
you must apply the same procedure
for screening everyone applying for
residency at your property. Failure to
apply the same procedures can result
in fair housing violations. The
following forms can help in selecting
tenants and may be modified for your
specific property. We encourage you
to choose selection criteria that can
be employed consistently and
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Dear Mr./Ms.:_____________________________________________________________________________________
After careful consideration and review of your application and other tenant selection criteria, you have
been accepted for occupancy at Your Apartments. Your ______ bedroom apartment will be available on
________________________. Please contact our management office at (312) 555-1234 to make an appoint-
ment to sign your Lease Agreement and complete all other necessary paper work.
We look forward to your being an occupant at Your Apartments.
Dear Mr./Ms.:_____________________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your recent application for a ______ bedroom apartment at Your Apartments. After
careful consideration and review of your application, we regret that we are unable to accept your applica-
tion for tenancy at this time for the following reason(s) marked with an (X) below:
( ) Your household size cannot be accommodated at Your Apartments.
( ) We have received a consumer credit report from ABC CREDIT BUREAU, a usually reliable credit
reporting agency, which contained negative information. You may contact the credit reporting agency
directly within 30 days to obtain the information supplied with us.
( ) Based upon our underwriting policies, the income of your household is insufficient after allowing for
long-term obligations, to pay the rent and utilities for the apartment you applied for.
( ) We were unable to verify employment or a stable source of income.
( ) Your check for the credit report fee was returned to us by your bank marked “Insufficient Funds” or
( ) The information given us in your application is different from what we have gathered from reliable
( ) The housekeeping report on your current apartment indicated a condition of unsanitary or hazard-
ous housekeeping.
( ) We have been unable to verify a previous credit file.
( ) We obtained negative information from a previous landlord.
( ) A person who will be living with you, has a reputation for criminal conviction or criminal acts which
we feel would adversely affect the reputation of the building or the health, safety, or welfare of other
( )_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Applicant: ____________________________________ Unit Address ________________________________________
Rent (1) $ ___________________ Utilities (2) $ ___________________ Parking (3) $_____________________
Monthly Housing Cost (TMH) (1+2+3) = $_______________________________ (4)
Income: Source of Income:
Principal Wage Earner $ _____________(5) _________________________________________
Spouse $ _____________(6) _________________________________________
Other Income $ _____________(7) _________________________________________
Other Income $ _____________(8) _________________________________________
Total Monthly Income (TMI) (5+6+7+8) = $ ______________________________(9)
Long-Term Obligations (LTO) (installment payments which will continue for 3 months or more)
Payee Monthly Amount Balance Owed
_______________________________ $ _______________________(10) _______________________
_______________________________ $ _______________________(11) _______________________
_______________________________ $ _______________________(12) _______________________
_______________________________ $ _______________________(13) _______________________
_______________________________ $ _______________________(14) _______________________
Total Long-Term Obligations (LTO) (10+11+12+13+14) = $ ____________________________ (15)
(a) TMH (4) / TMI (9) = ________% Housing expense to income ratio 25% - 35% is the desirable range
(b) TMH(4) + LTO(15) / TMI(9) = _____% 40% - 45% is a desirable range
Name of Employer ____________________________________________________________________________________
Address ___________________________________________________________________________________________
RE: _____________________________________________________ SSN: ____________________________________
Applicant/Tenant Name
Applicant/Tenant Address City State Zip Code
The individual named above has made application for housing. In order for the individual to become
eligible we must verify employment and income. The individual has authorized below your release of the
requested information. The information you provide will be used only for the purpose of determining the
individuals eligibility for housing. We are required to complete our verification process in a short time
period and would appreciate your prompt attention and response. A self-addressed envelope has been
included for your convenience. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office.
_______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________
Name Telephone Number
Employee Authorization
I, __________________________________________ , hereby authorize _______________________________________
Applicant Employer
to release the information requested below regarding my employment and compensation.
______________________________________________________________________ ___________________________
Signature Date
Date of Employment ____________________________ Position/Occupation ___________________________________
Date of Termination (if applicable) ____________________________
Current Rate of Regular Pay $___________________________ per ______________________ (hour, week, month, etc.)
Current Rate of Overtime Pay $_________________________ per ______________________ (hour, week, month, etc.)
Number of hours/week employee normally works _________________________________________________________
Anticipated average earning of overtime per week $_______________________________________________________
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Gross annual earnings you anticipate for this employee for the next twelve months.$______________________________
Gross amount including all tips, bonuses, overtime, commissions, etc.) $_________________________________________
Do you anticipate any changes in the employee’s rate in the near future? Yes _________________ No _______________
If Yes: New Rate $____________________ Effective Date _____________________
If the employee’s work is seasonal or sporadic, indicate lay-off periods. ___________________________________________
Additional Comments: _______________________________________________________________________________________
Employer Certification
I certify that the above information is true and correct:
_________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________
Name Title
_________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________
Address Telephone Number
_________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________
Signature Date
Warning: Section 1001 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it a criminal offense to make willful false statements or
misrepresentations to any Department or Agency of the United States as to any matter within its jurisdiction.
Current or Previous Landlord Verification
TO: ______________________________________________________________ DATE: ____________________________
current or previous landlord
street address
city, state, zip
Applicant’s Authorization
To Whom it May Concern:
I herein authorize you to provide information regarding my length of residency, rental payment history and
any lease agreement infractions to the landlord named below.
I would appreciate your immediate attention to this request so that my application can be processed in a
timely manner.
__________________________________________________________________ _______________________________
applicant[‘]s signature date
Dear Landlord:
The above named individual has made application for residency. As part of our routine background check we ask for
the cooperation of current and previous landlords to provide information UPON [[from]] which we will base, in part,
our decision on the on the suitability of the applicant for housing.
Any information that you provide will remain confidential.
How much is (was) the tenant’s rent? __________________________________________________________________________
Does (did) the tenant pay their rent on time? Yes ____________ No ____________
If no, how often is (was) the rent late? _______________________________________
Did you ever have to file a suit to collect rent? Yes ____________ No ____________
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Does (did) anyone else live in the apartment? Yes _________ No _________ If yes, how many people? ______________
What where their names? _____________________________________________________________________________________
How long has (was) the tenant at this address? Move-In _______________________ Move-Out ______________________
How did the tenant keep house? Good ____________________ Fair ___________________ Poor ____________________
Does (did) the tenant play loud music or throw loud parties? Yes ____________________ No _____________________
Does (did) the tenants children cause damage or disturbances? Yes ____________________ No _____________________
Are there any other problems, complaints, comments or issues you think we should be aware of?
Based on your experience with this tenant would you rent to them again? Yes _______________ No _______________
If no please comment as to why. ______________________________________________________________________________
Please mail or fax the completed form to: _________________________________________________________________
any property managers
believe that they both
thoroughly understand
the fair housing law and comply with
it. Yet they are not aware that there
are actually several fair housing laws.
These laws go well beyond prohibit-
ing the obvious racial discrimination
that most people associate with fair
housing. For instance, if your
property is within the City of Chi-
cago, you could be dealing with
thirteen protected classes of individu-
als. Can you name all thirteen of
those protected classes? If not, you
are in serious risk of violating the fair
housing laws. It is essential to learn
the laws and to comply with them
Fair housing complaints are most
prevalent in rental housing. In
Chicago, for example, the law
includes prohibitions against dis-
crimination on the basis of the source
of income. While the law does not
mandate that you accept prospective
Fair Housing
renters who have a certificate or
voucher from the federal section 8
housing assistance program, it does
not allow you to reject them solely
on the basis of their source of rental
Fair housing laws do not allow you to
bar families with children from your
property by setting unrealistic
occupancy limits. For instance, a
two-bedroom apartment is generally
felt to be adequate in size to house
four individuals (two persons per
bedroom). The key word is “indi-
viduals,” and their ages, sex, and
legal relationship to one another are
not relevant to their being housed.
Start by defining the appropriate
maximum number of individuals
permitted in each unit. While it is
generally adequate to set a limit of
two persons per bedroom, you should
review the square footage and
configuration of your apartments to
determine if that level is fair and is
not designed to avoid renting to
families with children. We suggest
that you review the “Keating Memo”
that is included in this section to gain
a fuller understanding of how
“number of occupants” relates to
both the number of bedrooms and
size of the unit.
The following are the laws and
ordinances that may apply to the
property you manage. Read them
carefully. Then incorporate those laws
that apply to your property into your
overall management and marketing
Use the information contained in
these ordinances to make sure that
you understand your local Fair
Housing laws. Then, develop a
tenant selection plan that is in
compliance with those laws. Finally,
follow that plan with every applicant
to ensure compliance and to protect
yourself from potentially costly
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Protected Classes
Protected 1866 1968 Equal Credit Illinois Chicago Cook County
Classes Civil Rights Fair Housing Opportunity Human Rights Fair Housing Human Rights
Act Act Act Act Ordinance Ordinance
Race x x x x x x
Color x x x x x
Religion x x x x x
Sex x x x x x
Origin/Ancestry x x x x x
Parental Status x x x x
Handicap x x x x
Age x x x x
Military Discharge x x x
Marital Status x x x x
Sexual Orientation xx
Source of Income xx
Housing Status x
(Editor’s note: The following memo was issued on March 20, 1991, by HUD General Counsel Frank Keating. It provides
guidance to HUD enforcement personnel for determining whether neutral occupancy limits are reasonable under the
Fair Housing Act.
MEMORANDUM FOR: All Regional Counsel
FROM: Frank Keating, General Counsel
SUBJECT: Fair Housing Enforcement Policy: Occupancy Cases
On February 21, 1991, I issued a memorandum designed to facilitate your review of cases involving occupancy policies under the Fair
Housing Act. The memorandum was based on my review of a significant number of such cases and was intended to constitute
internal guidance to be used by Regional Counsel in reviewing cases involving occupancy restrictions. It was not intended to create a
definitive test for whether a landlord or manager would be liable in a particular case, nor was it intended to establish occupancy
policies or requirements for any particular type of housing.
However, in discussions within the Department, and with the Department of Justice and the public, it is clear that the February 21
memorandum has resulted in a significant misunderstanding of the Department’s position on the question of occupancy policies
which would be reasonable under the Fair Housing Act. In this respect, many people mistakenly viewed the February 21 memoran-
dum as indicating that the Department was establishing an occupancy policy which it would consider reasonable in any fair housing
case, rather than providing guidance to Regional Counsel on the evaluation of evidence in familial status cases which involve the use
of an occupancy policy adopted by a housing provider.
As you know, assuring Fair Housing for all is one of Secretary Kemp’s top priorities. Prompt and vigorous enforcement of all provi-
sions of the Fair Housing Act, including the protections in the Act for families with children, is a critical responsibility of mine and
every person in the office of General Counsel. I expect Headquarters and Regional Office staff to continue their vigilant efforts to
proceed to formal enforcement in all cases where occupancy restrictions are used to exclude families with children or to unreasonably
limit the ability of families with children to obtain housing.
In order to assure that the Department’s position in the area of occupancy policies is fully understood, I believe that it is imperative to
articulate more fully the Department’s position on reasonable occupancy policies and to describe the approach that the Department
takes in its review of occupancy cases.
For example, there is a HUD Handbook provision regarding the size of the unit needed for public housing tenants. See Handbook
7465.1 REV-2, Public Housing Occupancy Handbook: Admission, revised section 5-1 (issued February 12, 1991). While that Handbook,
provision states that HUD does not specify the number of persons who may live in public housing units of various sizes, it provides
guidance about the factors public housing agencies may consider is establishing reasonable occupancy policies. Neither this memoran-
dum not the memorandum of February 21, 1991 overrides the guidance that Handbook provides about program requirements.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Specifically, the Department believes that an occupancy policy of two persons in a bedroom, as a general rule, is reasonable under
the Fair Housing Act. The Department of Justice has advised us that this is the general policy it has incorporated in consent decrees
and proposed orders, and such general policy is consistent with the guidance provided to housing providers in the HUD handbook
referenced above. However, the reasonableness of any occupancy policy is rebuttable, and neither the February 21 memorandum not
this memorandum implies that the Department will determine compliance with the Fair Housing Act based solely on the number of
people permitted in each bedroom. Indeed, as we stated in the final rule implementing the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988,
the Department’s position is as follows:
There is nothing in the legislative history which indicates any intent on the part of Congress to provide for the development of
a national occupancy code.
On the other hand, there is no basis to conclude that Congress intended that an owner or manager of dwellings could reside in
a dwelling. Thus, the Department believes that in appropriate circumstances, owners and managers may develop and imple-
ment reasonable occupancy requirements based on factors such as the number and size of sleeping areas or bedrooms and the
overall size of the dwelling unit. In this regard, it must be noted that, in connection with a complaint alleging discrimination
on the basis of familial status, the Department will carefully examine any such nongovernmental restriction to determine
whether it operates unreasonably to limit or exclude families with children.
24 C.F.R. Chapter I, Subchapter A. Appendix I at 566-67 (1990)
Thus, in reviewing occupancy cases, HUD will consider the size and number of bedrooms and other special circumstances. The
following principles and hypothetical examples should assist you in determining whether the size of the bedrooms of special
circumstances would make an occupancy policy reasonable.
Size of bedrooms and unit
Consider two theoretical situations in which a housing provider refused to permit a family of five to rent a two-bedroom
dwelling based on a two people per bedroom policy. In the first, the complainants are a family of five who applied to rent an
apartment with two large bedrooms and spacious living areas. In the second, the complainants are a family of five who
applied to rent a mobile home space on which they planned to live in a small two-bedroom mobile home. Depending on the
other facts, issuance of a charge might be warranted in the first situation, but not in the second.
The size of the bedrooms also can be a factor suggesting that a determination of no reasonable cause is appropriate. For
example, if a mobile home is advertised as a “two-bedroom” home, but one bedroom is extremely small, depending on all
facts, it could be reasonable for the park manager to limit occupancy of the home to two people.
Age of Children
The following hypotheticals involving two housing providers who refused to permit three people to share a bedroom illustrates
this principle. In the first, the complainants are two adult parents who applied to rent a one-bedroom apartment with their
infant child, and both the bedroom and apartment were large. In the second, the complainants are a family of two adult
parents and one teenager who applied to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Depending on the other facts, issuance of a charge
might be warranted in the first hypothetical, but not the second.
Configuration of unit
The following imaginary situations illustrate special circumstances involving unit configuration. Two condominium associa-
tions each reject a purchase by a family of two adults and three children based on a rule limiting sales to buyers who satisfy a
“two people per bedroom” occupancy policy. The first association manages a building in which a family of five sought to
purchase a unit consisting of two bedrooms plus a den or study. The second manages a building in which the family of five
sought to purchase a two-bedroom unit which did not have a study or den. Depending on the other facts, issuance of a charge
might be warranted in the first situation, but not the second.
Other physical limitations of housing
In addition to physical considerations such as size of each bedroom and the overall size and configuration of the dwelling, the
Department will consider limiting factors identified by housing providers, such as the capacity of the septic, sewer, or other
building systems.
State and local law
If a dwelling is governed by State or local governmental occupancy requirements, and the housing provider’s occupancy policies
reflect those requirements, HUD would consider the governmental requirements as a special circumstance tending to indicate
that the housing provider’s occupancy policies are reasonable.
Other relevant factors
Other relevant factors supporting a reasonable cause recommendation based on the conclusion that the occupancy policies are
pretextural would include evidence that the housing provider has: (1) made discriminatory statements; (2) adopted discrimina-
tory rules governing the use of common facilities; (3) taken other steps to discourage families with children from living in its
housing; or (4) enforced its occupancy policies only against families with children. For example, the fact that a development
was previously marked as an “adults only” development would mitigate in favor of issuing a charge. This policy is an
especially strong factor if there is other evidence suggesting that the occupancy policies are a pretext for excluding families with
An occupancy policy which limits the number of children per unit is less likely to be reasonable than one which limits the
number of people per unit.
Special circumstances also may be found where the housing provider limits the total number of dwellings he or she is willing to
rent to families with children. For example, assume a landlord owns a building of two-bedroom units, in which a policy of
four people per unit is reasonable. If the landlord adopts a four person per unit policy, but refuses to rent to a family of two
adults and two children because twenty of the thirty units already are occupied by families with children, a reasonable cause
recommendation would be warranted.
If your review of the evidence indicates that these or other special circumstances are present, making application of a “two
people per bedroom” policy unreasonably restrictive, you should prepare a reasonable cause determination. The Executive
Summary should explain the special circumstances which support your recommendation.
Questions regarding occupancy cases should be directed to Dorothy Brown, Associate General Counsel (FTS 458-1240), or
Harry Carey, Assistant General Counsel for Fair Housing (FTS 458-0570)
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
A. Federal Civil Rights Laws
1. Fair Housing Act. Housing discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or
handicap is illegal under provisions of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended in 1974, and 1988.
This law specifically prohibits the following acts:
a. To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of,
or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national
origin, familial status (children under the age of 18) or handicap.
b. To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the
provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
familial status, or handicap.
c. To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement or advertisement,
with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based
on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such
preference, limitation, or discrimination.
d. To represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin that
any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.
e. For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the
entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, handicap, or familial status.
f. To refuse to permit, at the expense of a handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises
occupied or to be occupied by such person, if such modifications are necessary to afford such person full enjoy-
ment of the premises, and to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services,
when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a
2. Civil Rights Act of 1866 bans racial and ethnic discrimination in all housing transactions, private as well as state
involved. (Jones v. Mayer, 1968)
3. Equal Credit Opportunity Act outlaws discrimination in the issuance of credit based upon race, religion, national
origin, sex, age, marital status or the fact that an applicant receives public assistance income.
B. Illinois Laws
1. The Illinois Human Rights Act effective July 1, 1980, and amended in 1989 implements the provisions of Section
17, 18 and 19 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution which prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of residen-
tial property. Its housing discrimination provisions are essentially the same as those of the federal Fair Housing Act,
except that it also prohibits discrimination based on ancestry, age, marital status and unfavorable discharge from
military service.
2. Illinois Revised Statues, Chapter 38, Section 12-7.1 makes crimes such as assault, theft criminal trespass to
residence or criminal damage to property by reason of the race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation,
physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group a Class A misdemeanor and is called
a Hate Crime.
C. Local Fair Housing Statutes
Many cities and villages in the state of Illinois have fair housing ordinances enforced at the local level. Check with
the local mayor’s office, village clerk or human relations (rights) commission or department for a copy and for more
D. Real Estate License Act of 1989
Illinois Revised Statutes, Chapter III. par. 5818 (h) 22 and 23
The Department of Professional Regulation may refuse to issue or renew a license, may place, on probation, may
suspend or may revoke any license, or may reprimand or impose a civil penalty not to exceed $10, 000.00 upon any
Where the licensee in performing or attempting to perform or pretending to perform any act as a broker or salesperson,
or where such licensee, in handling his own property, whether held by deed, option or otherwise, is found guilty of:
Influencing or attempting to influence, by any words or acts a prospective seller, purchaser, occupant, landlord or
tenant of real estate, so as to promote, or tend to promote, the continuance or maintenance or racially and religiously
segregated housing, or so as to retard, obstruct or discourage racially integrated housing on or in any street, block,
neighborhood or community.
Engaging in any act that violates the fair housing provisions of the Illinois Human Rights Act whether or not a com-
plaint has been filed with or adjudicated by the Human Rights Commission.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
In order to assure that all people who live and work in the County of Cook shall be protected from unequal treatment
because of bigotry and bias, the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance prohibits unlawful discrimination and sexual
harassment in employment, housing, credit transactions, public accommodations, access to County services, facilities and
programs and County contracting. The Ordinance defines “unlawful discrimination” as discrimination or harassment
based on a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental
status, military discharge status, source of income, or housing status.
Article VI of the Ordinance prohibits unlawful discrimination in connection with the terms or conditions of the sale,
occupancy or lease of residential real estate in Cook County. This prohibition includes discrimination in the provision of
services or utilities in connection with the sale or lease of residential property, the brokering or appraising of residential
property and the making of loans for the purchase, repair or improvement of residential property.
The Ordinance further prohibits:
discrimination in the advertising and listing of residential property;
blockbusting or the encouragement thereof; and
the intentional creation of alarm in any community based on the present or prospective entry of individuals protected
by his Ordinance into the neighborhood.
Sexual harassment in connection with any real estate transaction is also prohibited.
Housing restricted to a certain age group such as the elderly is permitted under the Ordinance
Religious organizations may limit the sale, occupancy or rental of housing they own to members of the same religion.
Restricting the rental of rooms to one sex is permitted.
Rental of rooms in a private home by an owner is exempt.
Landlords shall not be required to participate in the federal Section 8 housing assistance program or to lease or rent to any
tenant using a Section voucher or certificate to pay a portion of their rent.
The Ordinance further prohibits:
retaliation against anyone who opposes unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment or has filed or participated
in an investigation under the Ordinance.
aiding and abetting a person to commit a violation of the Ordinance; and
interference with Commission members and staff in the exercise of their powers of performance of their duties.
The Ordinance creates an eleven member Human Rights Commission with the authority to investigate, adjudicate and
conciliate complaints of violations of the Ordinance. The Commission shall have subpoena power and shall be authorized
to seek temporary or preliminary injunctive relief.
Persons who believe they have been victims of unlawful discrimination may file a written complaint with the Commission
with 180 days of the discriminatory act. The Commission will conduct a neutral fact-finding investigation and, if substan-
tial evidence of a violation is found, will conduct a hearing.
The relief that may be awarded for violations of the Ordinance includes, but is not limited to: cease and desist orders;
actual damages; hiring or reinstatement; leasing of housing; admission to a public accommodation; attorney fees; and
fines of up to $500 a day for each offense.
The Ordinance also creates a limited private right of action for violations of the Ordinance. Subsequent to a finding of
substantial evidence that a violation of the Ordinance has occurred, a complaint or, in housing complaints only, the
respondent may elect to have the complaint heard by a court of law. If granted and a complaint is filed in court, the
Commission will cease to have jurisdiction over the matter.
The Commission’s additional powers and duties include:
conducting research, public forums and educational programs on discrimination and improving human relations;
issuing rules and regulations;
rendering an annual report; and
entering into intergovernmental agreements regarding the referral and processing of complaints of discrimination.
The Ordinance shall apply to County government and unincorporated Cook County. With respect to the villages and
municipalities of Cook County, the Ordinance shall apply in the following manner:
1. In accordance with the Constitution, if a municipal ordinance is in conflict with this Ordinance, the municipal
ordinance shall supersede this Ordinance.
2. If a municipal ordinance prohibits that same conduct prohibited by this Ordinance (or in other words is consistent
with or duplicates the prohibitions of this Ordinance) this Ordinance shall not apply within that municipality with
respect to such conduct. To the extent that a municipal ordinance is less comprehensive, this Ordinance shall be
enforceable within the municipality.
(312) 603-1100
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
(Effective May 6, 1990)
Chapter 198.7B
“Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of Chicago:
198.7B-1 It is hereby declared the policy of the City of Chicago to assure full and equal opportunity to all residents of the
City to obtain fair and adequate housing for themselves and their families in the City of Chicago without discrimination
against them because of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, natural origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status,
parental status, military discharge status or source of income.
198.7B-2 It is further declared to be the policy of the City of Chicago that have no owner, lessee, sublessee, assignee,
managing agent, or other person, firm or corporation having the right to sell, rent or lease any housing accommodation,
within the City of Chicago, or any agent of these, should refuse to sell, rent, lease, or otherwise deny to or withhold from
any person or group of persons such housing accommodations because of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national
origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status or source of income in the
terms, conditions, or privileges or the sale, rental or lease of any housing accommodations or in the furnishing of facilities
or services or services in connection therewith.
198.7B-3 It shall be an unfair housing practice and unlawful for any owner, lessee, sublessee, managing agent, or other
person firm or corporation having the right to sell, rent, lease or sublease any housing accommodation, within the City of
Chicago or any agent of any of these, or any real estate broker licensed as such.
A. To make any distinction, discrimination or restriction against any person in the price, terms, conditions or privi-
leges of any kind relating to the sale, rental, lease or occupancy of any real estate used for residential purposes in the
City of Chicago or in the furnishing of any facilities or services in connection therewith, predicated upon the race,
color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status,
military discharge status or source of income of any prospective buyer, lessee or renter of such property.
B. To refuse to sell, lease or rent, any real estate for residential purposes within the City of Chicago because of race,
color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status,
military discharge status or source of income of the proposed buyer or renter.
C. To discriminate or to participate in discrimination in connection with borrowing or lending money, guaranteeing
loans, accepting mortgages or otherwise obtaining or making available funds for the purchase, acquisition, construc-
tion, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any residential housing unit or housing accommodation in the City of
Chicago because of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital
status, parental status, military discharge status or source of income.
D. To solicit for sale, lease or listing for sale or lease, residential real estate within the City of Chicago on the ground of
loss of value due to the present or prospective entry into any neighborhood of any person or persons of any particu-
lar race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental
status, military discharge status or source of income.
E. To distribute or cause to be distributed, written material or statements designed to induce any owner of residential
real estate in the City of Chicago to sell or lease his property because of any present prospective changes in the race,
color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status,
military discharge status or source of income of persons in the neighborhood.
F. To deliberately and knowingly refuse examination of any listing of residential real estate within the City of Chicago
to any person because of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation,
marital status, parental status, military discharge status or source of income.
198.7B-4 Whenever used in this Chapter:
(a) “Age” means chronological age of not less than 40 years.
(b) “Disability” means (i) a determinable physical mental characteristic which may result from disease, injury, congeni-
tal condition of birth or functional disorder including; but not limited to, a determinable physical characteristic
which necessitates a person’s use of a guide, hearing or support dog; or (ii) the history of such a characteristic; or
(iii) the perception of such a characteristic by the person complained against.
(c) “Marital status” means the legal status of being single, married, divorced, separated or widowed.
(d) “Military discharge status” means the status of living with one or more dependent minor or disabled children.
(e) “Parental status” means the status of living with one or more dependent minor or disabled children.
(f) “Religion” means all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, except that with respect to
employers, ”religion” has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 199.5.
(g) “Sexual orientation” means the actual or perceived state of heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.
(h) “Source of income” means the lawful manner by which an individual supports himself or herself and his or her
198.7B-4.1 No provision of this Chapter shall be construed to prohibit any of the following:
(a) Restricting rental or sale of a housing accommodation to a person of a certain age group (1) when such housing
accommodation is authorized, approved, financed or subsidized in whole or in part for the benefit of that age
group by a unit of state, local or federal government; or (2) when the duly recorded initial declaration of a condo-
minium or community association limits such housing person owning or renting a unit in such housing accommo-
dation prior to the recording of the initial declaration shall not be deemed to be in violation of the age restriction
as long as the person or the person’s immediate family continue to own or reside in the housing accommodation.
(b) A religious organization, association or society, or any not-for-profit institution or organization operated, super-
vised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, from limiting the sale,
rental or occupancy of a dwelling which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the
same religion, or from giving preference to such persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such
persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin.
(c) Restricting the rental of rooms in a housing accommodation to persons of one sex.
198.7B-5 Any owner, lessee, sublessee, assignee, managing agent, or other person, firm or corporation having the right to
sell, rent, or lease any housing accommodation within the City of Chicago who shall exercise any function of selling,
renting, leasing or subleasing any housing accommodation within the City of Chicago shall be deemed subject to all
applicable provisions hereof. Any real estate broker who shall exercise any function of a real estate broker within the City
of Chicago shall be subject to all applicable provisions hereof.
198.78-6 Any person aggrieved in any manner by any violation of this Chapter may file a written complaint with the
Commission on Human Relations. The complaint shall include the name and address of the complainant and of every
person against whom the complaint is made and shall set out the facts giving rise to the complaint. No one person shall
refuse or fail or comply with any subpoena, order or decision issued in the course of or as a result of an investigation of a
198.7B-11 If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held unconsti-
tutional or otherwise invalid by any court, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining provisions or applications of this
ordinance to any person or circumstance.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
198.7B-12 Any owner, lessee, sublessee, assignee, managing agent or other person, firm, corporation, or real estate broker
who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine in any sum not
exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00). Nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to preclude any aggrieved
person from pursuing such other and further legal and equitable relief to which he may be entitled.
198.7B-13 The Corporation Counsel shall file with the Department of Professional Regulation of the State of Illinois a
notice of the conviction of any licensed real estate broker or salesperson found guilty of violating this Chapter.
This ordinance shall be in force and shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication”
If you still think only of credit cards when you hear the word “credit” think again. Credit is used by millions of consum-
ers for a variety of purposes: to finance educations, remodel homes, obtain small business loans, and pay for home
A law passed by Congress ensures that all consumers will be given a chance to receive credit. The Equal Credit Opportu-
nity Act says it is illegal for creditors to discriminate against applicants on the basis of their sex, race, marital status,
national origin, religion, age, or because they get public assistance income. This doesn’t mean all consumers who apply
for credit will get it. Creditors can still use factors such as income, expenses, debts, and credit history to judge applicants.
The law protects consumers when dealing with any creditor who regularly extends credit, including: banks, small loan
and finance companies, retail and department stores, credit card companies, and credit unions. Anyone participating in
the decision to grant credit, such as a real estate broker who arranges financing, is covered by the law. Businesses applying for
credit are protected by the law, too. Consumers have equal rights in every phase of the credit application process. Here is
a checklist of important rights to remember when credit is requested.
Creditors may not.......
Discourage an applicant because of sex, marital status, age, religion, race, national origin, or because an applicant
receives public assistance income.
Ask an applicant to reveal sex, race, national origin, or religion. Creditor may ask an applicant to voluntarily disclose
this information if they are applying for a real estate loan. This information helps federal agencies enforce anti-discrimi-
nation laws. A creditor may ask an applicant what his residence or immigration status is.
Ask whether an applicant is divorced or widowed.
Ask marital status if applicant is applying for separate, unsecured account. (Exceptions are Arizona, California,
Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington—the “community property” states).
Ask for information about husband or wife. A creditor may ask about spouse if : both spouses are applying; both
spouses will be using the account; applicant is relying on spouse’s income or on alimony or child support income
from a former spouse; or if applicant resides in a community property state (listed above).
Ask about applicants plan for having or raising children.
Ask if applicant receives alimony, child support, or separate maintenance payment. A creditor may ask for this
information if applicant is first told that they don’t have to reveal it if applicant is not relying on it to get credit.
A creditor may ask if applicant has to pay alimony, child support, or separate maintenance.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
When Deciding Whether To Give Credit, Creditors May Not......
Consider sex, marital status, race, national origin, or religion.
Consider whether a telephone is listed in applicants name. A creditor may consider whether there is a phone in the
Consider the race of the people who live in the neighborhood where applicant wants to buy or improve a house
with borrowed money.
Consider applicants age, with certain exceptions:
Those 62 or over can be favored.
If it is used to determine the meaning of other factors which are important to
credit-worthiness. (For example, a creditor could use applicants age to see if income
might be reduced because of pending retirement).
When evaluating an applicants’ income creditors may not:
Refuse to consider reliable public assistance income in the same manner as other income.
Discount income because of sex or marital status. (For example, a creditor cannot count a man’s salary at
100% and a woman’s at 75%). A creditor may not assume a woman of child-bearing age will stop work to
have to raise children.
Discount or refuse to consider income because it is derived from part-time employment or from pension
Refuse to consider consistently-received alimony, child support, or separate maintenance payment A creditor may
ask for proof that this income has been received consistently.
For more information on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act contact:
Federal Trade Commission
55 East Monroe Street Chicago, Illinois 60603
(312) 353-4423
There are a number of agencies and advocacy groups who are committed to insuring that Fair Housing Laws are complied with by
all. Upon receiving a complaint these groups may send an investigator or in some cases send “TESTERS” to determine the validity
of the complaint. If you are found to be in violation you can be fined or subject to civil penalties, including court costs and legal
fees. Settlements exceeding $100,000 are not uncommon.
We once again strongly urge you to read the Fair Housing information contained herein and practice Fair Housing as a normal
routine at every property with which you are involved.
“Aren’t the actions and activities of real estate “tester”, “checkers” or “auditors” entrapment and hence against the law?”
This question comes up again and again in real estate fair housing training. The answer is that the federal courts have
ruled repeatedly that “testers” 1) are not violating any law, 2) are often times obtaining evidence that can only be
obtained by that process and 3) have standing in their own right to bring a civil action if they are denied truthful
information about housing availability.
(1) The U.S. Court of Appeals (Seventh Circuit) in a ruling on July 21, 1983, which involved a case brought by the
Leadership Council, stated:
“It is frequently difficult to develop proof in discrimination cases and the evidence provided by testers is frequently
valuable, if not indispensable. It is surely regrettable that testers must mislead commercial landlords and home
owners as to their real intentions to rent or to buy housing. Nonetheless, we have long recognized that this
requirement of deception was a relatively small price to pay to defeat racial discrimination. The evidence provided
by testers both benefits unbiased landlords by quickly dispelling false claims of discrimination. We have discovered
no case in which the credibility of testimony provided by a tester has been questioned simply because of the
tester’s “professional” status. Indeed, tester evidence may well receive more weight because of its source. Testers
seem more likely to be careful and dispassionate observers of the events which lead to a discrimination suit than
individuals who are allegedly being discriminated against”.
(2) The United States Supreme Court in the now famous “Heavens Case” ruled on February 24, 1982:
“Congress has thus conferred on all “person” a legal right to truthful information about available housing........
A tester who has been the object of a misrepresentation made unlawful under Sec. 804(d) has suffered injury in
precisely the form the statute was intended to guard against, and therefore has standing to maintain a claim for
damages under the Act’s provisions. That the tester may have approached the real estate agent fully expecting that
he would receive false information, and without any intention of buying or renting a home, does not negate the
simple fact of injury within the meaning of Sec. 804(d).”
Richardson v. Howard, 712 F .2nd 319 (7th Circuit 1983)
Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 102 S. Ct. 1114 (1982)
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
nce your Tenant Selection
Plan is in place, you’re
ready to find the right
tenants for that vacant two-bedroom
apartment on the second floor. Well,
not exactly. There’s a bit more
involved including several factors
that relate to tenant selection as well
as marketing.
Let’s start with the basics — the forms
and paperwork that you’ll need to do
the actual renting of an apartment.
Rental Application
Obtain a supply of the rental applica-
tions you want to use. These vary in
form and information requested.
They are available from stationary
stores and through office supply
super stores such as Office Depot®
or Staples®. We have also included
one that you are free to copy and use.
Once you’ve selected a Rental
Application, you’ll need to be sure
you use it properly.
It is essential to have the prospective
tenant(s) fully complete and sign the
rental application. The applicant’s
signature authorizes you to conduct a
credit investigation. NEVER RUN A
applicant’s identify by requesting and
photocopying a photo ID is another
important step in the process. You
will need answers to all the questions
posed in the application in order to
judge whether the applicant meets
the guidelines established in your
Tenant Selection Plan. You will also
need to know the applicant is who he
or she claims to be.
Credit Reports
Select a firm that can provide a credit
report on the applicant as well as any
additional information you may
want. Some firms will be able to
supply current information about
pending eviction actions as well as
checks on whether the applicant is a
fugitive from justice. Choose a firm
that can provide information within
one business day. This is easily
accomplished by most reputable
Lease Agreements
You will need to decide upon and
obtain a supply of Lease Agreements
(conforming to local ordinances
where required). With only very rare
exceptions, avoid entering into a
verbal agreement in place of signing a
written lease. The key problem with
a verbal agreement is the frequency
with which on party suffers selective
hearing or inaccurate memory.
These problems are eliminated by a
Lease Agreement that clearly spells
out the requirements and responsi-
bilities of all parties to the lease. It
will provide for a lease term, usually
one-year, that makes clear to every-
one when the lease will expire.
Completion of the Lease Agreement
ensures you have a valid lease for a
given period of time.
Verbal agreements typically are
renewed month to month. With a
thirty-day notice, either party can
break verbal agreements. For land-
lords, it is daunting, at best, to hear
on November 1 that a tenant will
move at the end of the month. This
means that the apartment will
become vacant on December 1st,
traditionally one of the slowest
months for rental activity. January
and February are also typically slow
months. A written term lease can
avoid this type of situation. Often
owner or managers will write leases
that are slightly shorter or longer that
12 months to avoid expiration dates
occurring during December, January
or February.
Lease Agreements are available at
many business supply outlets. In
addition many local Realtor® Boards,
as well as attorneys specializing in
evictions, have leases conforming to
local ordinances. Be sure the lease
agreement you select meets your
needs and conforms to local ordi-
Rental Rates
What will you charge for rent? This
is a crucial issue for every property
owner. Making a good determina-
tion requires careful analysis of the
local market. Failure to do this
analysis can result in having an
overpriced apartment remain vacant
or in earning too little on an apart-
ment priced below its potential.
Determine the correct rent level by
conducting a market survey. Your
survey should review the rents at a
minimum of eight comparable
properties that are within your
immediate market area. If your
building is freshly rehabbed and has a
well-manicured lawn; chose similar
buildings as comparables. Don’t
choose a dilapidated building with a
weed-choked yard or an elegant new
construction as one of the eight
properties in your survey. For the
market survey to be valid, properties
must be within a reasonable distance
as well as somewhat similar to your
A market survey will often begin
with a “windshield survey.” Simply
drive around the neighborhood and
view buildings that appear to be in a
condition similar to yours. You will
want to gather telephone numbers
from the signs attached to the
building so you can contact the
managers with preliminary questions
and to schedule a visit of your own
(taking photos is also a good idea).
You will eventually need to make a
visit to those buildings that most
closely resemble the apartments you
are offering. While much informa-
tion can be gained over the tele-
phone, a call alone will not deter-
mine how your property stacks up
against the competition. You need to
see how nice their apartments are
compared to yours. Do they have
similar amenities? Are they offering a
frost-free refrigerator, self-cleaning
oven, air conditioning, dishwasher,
ceiling fans, modern bathrooms, on-
site laundry facilities, or other
features? Are they on a busy, noisy
boulevard or a quiet tree- lined street?
Are they close to public transporta-
tion? Is their two- bedroom unit
larger or smaller than your two-
bedroom unit? Is heat included, or
does the tenant pay for the heat? All
of these differences will have an
impact on the value of your particular
apartment in its market.
Once you have identified buildings
that are reasonably similar to yours in
quality and appearance, determine if
their rent levels are realistic. If the
building never has a vacancy because
no one ever moves out, chances are
the rents may be too low. On the
other hand, if they can’t seem to rent
the apartment, even though it is
charming and market ready, then
they may have overpriced the unit.
Identify buildings that have apart-
ments that come on the market
occasionally and are rented within 30
days of their offering. The owners of
these buildings have probably
identified what rent levels the local
marketplace will allow.
The rent you should charge should be
based on the strengths and weak-
nesses of your property compared to
those properties similar to your own.
You’ll need to consider both your in-
person observations of the compari-
son of your units with others. In
addition, you’ll need to analyze the
appropriateness of the rents for these
similar apartments. Be certain not to
match someone else’s overinflated or
undervalued rents.
Note: Certain financing programs, as
well as real estate tax relief programs,
will govern the maximum amount of
rent you can charge for your apartments.
If you fall into this category, it is
important that you comply with those
restrictions when setting rent levels.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
Curb Appeal
Any ads you run for your rental will
be a waste of money if your building
doesn’t look good from the outside.
If the exterior doesn’t look good,
potential renters may not take the
time to come inside to see the
beautifully refurbished apartment you
have for rent. Keep the exterior and
common areas of your building clean
and litter free. If you have landscap-
ing, keep it neat and trimmed. Grass
seed and flowers require a relatively
small investment that provides a
surprisingly high return in appear-
ance and tenant satisfaction.
Most prospective tenants will shy
away from a building that is other-
wise well maintained if it is covered
in graffiti. If your building ever falls
victim to graffiti, remove it at once.
If the graffiti reappears, remove it
again. Eventually the person apply-
ing the graffiti will give up. In the
City of Chicago, you can contact your
alderman for city assistance in having
graffiti removed.
Market or Rent-Ready
First impressions are often lasting
impressions. If you show a dirty,
unpainted apartment to a prospective
tenant, you may very well never see
that person again. People generally
don’t have the vision to see what the
unit will look like after it has been
fixed up. We’ve all heard about the
landlord who promised the moon but
on moving day delivered something
far less. That prospective tenant may
have heard about or experienced a
similar situation and may be skeptical
of the genuine promises you make.
Avoid the desire to rush to market
with an unfinished unit. Fix it up
first, then show it! If your plans call
for fresh paint, new carpeting and a
shiny new frost-free refrigerator, then
complete those plans. You’ll rent
vacant apartments that are in a
market- ready condition much faster
than those that have not been
readied. As a result, you’ll spend less
time showing the units and experi-
ence less loss of income.
Marketing Program
Any marketing program for residen-
tial buildings includes the following
basic components:
Identifying and understanding
your target market.
Creating awareness within your
market segment about your
Motivating or persuading your
potential tenants to apply and
move into your building.
Identifying and under-
standing your market
Your building is likely to appeal to
certain groups of people, and you
need to identify who they are. The
likely renters for a building with only
studio and one-bedroom apartments
are single people or couples with no
children. Your property would probably
not be appropriate for families with
children simply because of the size of the
available units.
If your cheapest apartment rents for
$1,200 per month, it is too expensive
for a household earning $1,650 per
month. The rent is too high for that
income level.
A four-bedroom apartment in
Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood
would probably not appeal to a single
female who works in Oak Brook. It’s
too big an apartment and geographically
You need to know both your target
market and the size of your market
— both the number of people and the
geographic boundaries. The size of
the market population can be
determined from census data that
provide information on household
size and income for each census tract.
The geographic size of your market is
a bit more difficult to determine, but
if the building is located within the
boundaries of Chicago, your market
most likely will not include suburban
Creating awareness /
If you have just totally rehabbed your
building, you need to let potential
renters know. Signs, Signs, Signs,
Signs, Signs, and Signs are the six best
sources for rental prospects. Signs
attracted prospects to approximately
60 percent of the apartments rented
in Chicago. Since most of the signs
used to advertise the availability of an
apartment are relatively small (3 feet
by 4 feet), you’ll need to keep the
information you’re trying to convey
to a minimum. An effective sign
might read:
But wait, you have much more to say.
After all you just rehabbed your
building and put in the best of every-
thing, and you want to tell the world,
or at least anyone driving by your
building, about it. You might feel
compelled to put up a sign that reads:
(773) 555-1111
Can you read all the information
contained in this advertising message
in one or two seconds? Neither can a
prospective renter who is traveling by
your building in a car or bus traveling
at 30 miles per hours. While they
might get through part of your
message, they probably won’t get to
that all-important telephone number.
Even if you had a busload of speed
readers going by, they would have
difficulty with this lengthy message,
since the printing would have to be
fairly small to fit on a standard 3’ X 4’
Ads in local newspapers and church
bulletins can be an effective means of
attracting potential tenants. Perhaps,
the most effective method is to
encourage referrals from friends,
other residents of the building, and
employers in the area.
Public Relations
Public relations — getting attention
through channels other than adver-
tising — is an important part of any
marketing program, especially if
you’re spending money on signs and
paid advertisements. There are two
really great things about publicity.
First, it’s usually free, if you do it
yourself and not through a public
relations agency. Second, either a
story in a newspaper or a positive
referral by individuals has higher
credibility than any ad. Most people
tend to believe what they read in the
newspaper or hear from a friend or
respected person in the community,
and it’s great if it’s a positive story
about your building. But how do you
generate a positive story about your
The best method of obtaining media
coverage is by sending out a press
release. In fact, 75 percent of all
news comes from press releases. In
order to insure that your press release
will be utilized, you need to do a few
important things.
Use an established format for your
press release.
Avoid making the release more
than one or two pages long.
Send a photo of your building or
the interior of one of the apart-
Enclose extra materials, such as
brochures, print ads, or flyers.
Follow up with a telephone call.
Now Renting
Beautifully Rehabbed Apartments
Hardwood Floors, Natural woodwork, Gas Range and Oven,
Frost Free Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Individually controlled
Heat & A.C. , Ceramic Tile Bath, Low “E” Insulated Glass
Windows, Vertical Blinds, Close to Schools, Churches and
Public Transportation, No Pets allowed
(773) 555-2222
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
What is newsworthy about your
building that would warrant an
article being published?
Look around, and you’re bound to
find something.
The beginning or finishing of a
rehab project.
A Grand Opening.
A progress report on renting a new
or rehabbed building.
Awards from community groups or
An unusual renter moving into the
Find something about your building
and prepare a press release. But,
make sure that should the local editor
drop by, your building is clean and
Motivating or
Moving a household is one of life’s
most stressful events. The stress
begins when people decide to move
and continues until well after they
have found and moved into their
new home. You need to remember
this during all interactions with
prospective tenants.
During my twenty-plus years in
property management, I have often
heard a developer talk about his
newly constructed apartment build-
ing as being “so good that it will rent
itself.” There are few examples of this
“field of dreams” syndrome. You may
recall the movie by that name that
starred Kevin Costner. In the movie a
God- like voice is heard saying, “If
you build it, they will come.” I don’t
know one property that rented itself,
and all required some marketing to be
Showing and demon-
strating the apartment
Showing an apartment for rent
should not be a self-service activity,
where you toss the keys to the
prospective renter and point at the
door on the left at the top of the
stairs. You will need to prepare for the
showing before the prospect arrives.
First, walk through the apartment to
make sure everything is clean and in
good condition. If you have shades
drawn and it’s a bright sunny day,
open those shades and let the
sunlight fill the apartment. If you’ll
be showing the apartment in the
evening, turn on the lights prior to
the prospect arriving. Do whatever
else you can to make the apartment
pleasant and inviting.
Never make a prospect feel like you’re
doing them a favor by showing the
apartment. You need to be courteous,
helpful and enthusiastic. If you’ve
been working around the building
and are covered in dirt, it is always
advisable to clean yourself up prior to
the prospective tenant’s arrival so
that you present a professional
Think and act like a salesperson.
Demonstrate the features of the
apartment and the building. If you
have insulated windows, show people
how well they work. Open doors,
point out features, like ceramic tile
walls in the bathroom, on-site
laundry facilities, or tenant storage
lockers. Talk about the positive
features of the building and the
neighborhood, like the proximity of
schools, churches, transportation,
and shopping.
You should be prepared to provide
accurate answers to questions
prospective renters will ask. You need
to know your building and your
neighborhood. Know the square
footage of your apartments, the
utility costs (a requirement in
Chicago for tenant- heated units),
and other pertinent information.
Find out where the churches and
schools are, what public transporta-
tion will serve people, and where the
closest grocery store and pharmacy
are located.
Close the Sale
Many property managers find it
difficult to close the sale. They don’t
get a definitive agreement to rent an
apartment. When the prospect is at
the building, you need to seize the
moment and ask them to fill out an
application and leave a deposit.
Don’t be shy! Create a sense of
urgency. If you only have one
apartment available and you’ve had
other inquiries, let the prospect know.
Let them know that if they take too
long in making a decision the
apartment might not be available.
It’s also a good idea to get a prospect’s
telephone number and address so you
might call them later and ask them to
rent at your building.
Reasons for Failure to
There are several reasons property
managers fail to close the rental … or
even to attempt closing.
1. Fear of Failing: Most people
don’t like to hear “NO.” If you
don’t hear NO, you have not yet
failed. Unfortunately, it also
means you haven’t yet tried.
2. Misunderstanding of the sales
closure: Most people need to be
pushed to make their final
commitment to rent an apart-
ment. Often landlords don’t
close because they don’t think it
is necessary to push for that final
closure. Renting an apartment is
a major buying decision and one
that requires encouragement.
3. Cultural Taboos: Tradition and
the manners we have been
taught tell us that it is not good
to ask someone for something.
You’re not comfortable asking for
the order. Unfortunately, many
other property managers have
overcome this taboo and will ask
your applicants to sign their
Of course, not every “looker” will
rent on the first visit. This is not a
cause for alarm. Many shoppers
make several appointments to look
at various apartments, including your
competition. If you’ve taken a name
and number, you’ll be able to follow
up with a telephone call or a brief
note thanking them for visiting your
building and inviting them to
sample brochure/flyer
City View Apartments
Beautifully Rehabbed Vintage Apartments
Hardwood Floors
Natural woodwork
Gas Range and Oven
Frost Free Refrigerator
Individually controlled Heat & A.C.
Ceramic Tile Baths
Low “E” Insulated Glass Window
Vertical Blinds
Conveniently located close to Schools, Churches and Public Transportation.
One Bedroom Apartments priced from $__________
Two Bedroom Apartments priced from $__________
City View Apartments
1234 W. Main Street, Chicago, IL 60600
on-site management and maintenance
(773) 555-2222
become a resident. If you have
properly prepared your apartment,
priced it competitively and shown
diligence in your marketing efforts,
you have a good chance of getting
the rental.
A simple brochure or flyer can tell a
prospective tenant quite a bit about your
apartments. Unlike a sign, a brochure
can convey lots of in-formation without
being fancy or expensive.
Residential Property Management Procedures Manual
We want to welcome you to your new
home and are pleased that you chose
our building. We want to make your
stay with us as comfortable and
enjoyable as possible. The purpose of
this handbook is to let you know
more about our building, and how,
together, we can keep it an enjoyable
place in which to live. You, as the
resident, and we, as the building’s
managers, have certain responsibili-
ties to each other. By clarifying these
responsibilities at the very beginning,
we can better achieve our objective of
providing quality housing services to
each of our residents. With this
thought in mind, we have prepared
this handbook. THE PROVISIONS IN
take the time now to read through its
pages, and don’t hesitate to tele-
phone or visit the Manager if you
have questions.
Sample Resident
Tenant Handbook
ost leases contain rules
and regulations. Often
times these rules and
regulations are not specific to your
particular property. A Tenant
Handbook is a document that you
can use to convey specific rules and
regulations not conveyed within your
written lease agreement. This docu-
ment is also a means of providing
helpful information to the tenants
within your building. The Tenant
Handbook does not need to be fancy
or costly to produce. It should,
however, convey pertinent informa-
tion about the building, the commu-
nity, care of apartment and its
equipment, and the rules and
regulations governing the property.
The sections in bold italics in the
following sample Handbook are
particular areas where you, the
property owner or manager, must
make a decision as to the policy you
wish to adopt.
Your Management Company
Your Apartments is managed by
Your Apartment’s Realty, Inc. Your
Apartment’s Realty, Inc., over the
past five years, has been involved in
the rehabilitation and management
of over fifty residential units in four
buildings throughout Chicago. All
of these buildings have been instru-
mental in revitalizing and improving
their respective neighborhoods.
Your Management Team
Your professional management team
is discrete and efficient. The entire
staff is professionally trained and
skilled in their areas of responsibility.
Office Hours
Hours of office operation are 8:30 to
4:30 Monday to Friday and 9:00 to
12:00 Saturdays. These hours have
been established to provide service
coverage during normal work periods.
Please feel free to visit our office or
call regarding service requests or to
obtain assistance. For the following
emergencies during non-office hours,
please call the emergency phone
number (000-0000), and our answer-
ing service will contact the manage-
ment representative assigned to
emergency duty:
No heat in the winter
A plumbing leak or sewer stoppage
which might damage personal
belongings or apartment property.
No electricity (contact ComEd
Any condition that might cause a
An odor of gas.(contact Peoples
Gas first)
Our employees want to do the best
job possible in serving you. However,
they also enjoy their time with their
families. Please consider their time
when calling after normal working
You may pay your rent by bringing
it to the management office during
business hours or by mailing it to
our office.
Your Apartment’s Realty, Inc.
1 East Main Street
Chicago, Illinois 60600
You will receive a billing on approxi-
mately the 25th of the month for the
rent payment[,] which is due on the
first of the following month. In-
cluded in the billing will be an
envelope for mailing your payment
and a billing statement[,] which
should be enclosed with your check or
money order in the return envelope.
Make your check payable to Your
Apartments. Rent is due in the Your
Apartment’s Realty, Inc. office by the
first day of each month. If rent is not
received by the 5th day of the month,
a late charge will be assessed and will
be included in the next billing.
Security Deposit
Your security deposit is not rent but a
deposit to ensure the fulfillment of
lease conditions and to serve as a
contingency payment against any
damages to the apartment. The
security deposit may not be applied to
your last month’s rent. If you fulfill
your lease according to its terms, only
charges for damages, excluding normal
wear and tear, will be deducted from
your security deposit. Following are
the conditions for return of a security
You must fulfill the terms and
conditions of your lease and not
owe the development any money.
The apartment must be left clean
with no damage beyond normal
wear and tear.
After you have removed all of your
belongings from the apartment,
both you and a representative from
management will complete an
inspection report. Both you and
the management representative
should sign this report. The man-
agement representative will clearly
indicate on this form the items, if
any, for which you will
be charged.
You must give our office a valid
forwarding address.
You are not considered officially
vacated until all keys are turned in
to the office.
Inspection Reports
When you move in, your apartment
should be clean and ready for you.
You and a management representa-
tive will inspect it together. You will
receive a checklist of the equipment
in your apartment and its condition.
Anything damaged or in need of
repair will be noted and corrected by
management. From then on, the
apartment is your responsibility. So
make certain you inspect everything
carefully. Be sure to check every-
thing; such as the plumbing, lights,
stove, refrigerator and sink. Check
for any damage to things such as
doors, doorknobs, locks, walls,
ceilings, basins, toilets and tubs. Do
not walk through the apartment just
looking at how nice and new every-
thing looks. Carefully inspect every-
thing. After any problems you may
find are corrected, any damage to
your apartment or its equipment that
is caused by you or members of your
household, guests or visitors will be
charged to you after consideration
has been given for normal wear and
tear. Please remember to contact the
management office for a joint
inspection prior to vacating your
apartment. Management staff will
inspect your apartment in your
presence, if you request it. The
“move-in” inspections prevent
misunderstandings and your being
charged for conditions that may have
existed prior to your arrival. You will
be provided with a written statement
of any charges for which you are
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