What Residents Can and Cannot Do in an Apartment
As residents begin to move into their new homes over the summer, questions often arise regarding how ‘personalized’ an apartment can really be. With rules about pets, art, pictures, sound systems, technology, paint, and music, there can be a lot of confusion, so it is nice to know of any limitations before deciding to mount a picture that may jeopardize your security deposit. Incoming residents are understandably eager to add their personal touch to their new space, however there are some rules on what can and cannot be done.
What you can do:
You can absolutely hang your favorite artwork, family photos, and even shelves! Residents can use mounting nails and hardware to hang up anything reasonably sized. Residents can also typically mount a flat screen tv on the wall, however some buildings have specific rules about where you can mount a tv. With that being said, if you are unsure, it is always a good idea to consult your lease. Many times, residents are able to put up curtain rods and alter window treatment. Although, in Chicago, a lot of older apartment buildings have wood frames that cannot be altered. If residents are ever unsure, they should reach out to their property management company. A great rule of thumb is to ask yourself if what you are doing to your walls by hanging things would be considered normal wear and tear.
Most Root Realty buildings are pet friendly! If the unit residents are looking at is labeled as ‘pet friendly,’ you can rest assured that your K9, Feline, or even reptilian friend is welcome in your home and community. Although some buildings are not pet friendly, there are some exceptions for emotional support animals.
You can store your bicycle in any designated area or in your apartment. The only thing residents must be cautious of is making sure that their bike is not blocking or taking up any common area space. Other than that, feel free to store your bicycle responsibly and keep on reducing carbon emissions!
What you cannot do
No Painting or Unauthorized Physical Changes
Unfortunately, you cannot paint or modify your unit in any way shape or form unless you have authorization from the landlord. As a resident, you can always ask, some instances are authorized! For example, some landlords will allow you to paint your walls with the caveat that you must return the wall to its original color before you move out. In addition to paint, no physical characteristics of the apartment can be changed. This includes plumbing fixtures, unless authorization from the landlord has been received, or if maintenance is doing it for you. Although not applying to a resident’s specific unit, installation of satellite dishes and animal feeders are also considered physical changes and are therefore not permitted.
Residents are not permitted to smoke cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, or vape in any buildings with no exceptions.
No water beds
Although this is a weird one, waterbeds/water furniture are not permitted in any buildings.
Residents are not allowed to grill unless they consult with their lease/landlord, as most leases have very specific guidelines. This rule is in place because with many of Chicago’s older buildings, porches and balconies could be compromised by sparks and fire. It typically all just depends on insurance requirements.
No Musical Instruments*
In most leases, there is a clause that states you cannot bring musical instruments into your apartments. However, this typically applies concretely to Pianos and Drum Sets, in most other cases with instruments such as guitars, keyboards, violins, residents must ask for approval.
Although the rules and provisions of your lease may seem confusing, if you are ever uncertain about anything, just ask!