10 Phone Numbers Every Chicago Renter Should Have In their Phone

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Texting and emails are great, but sometimes you just have to pick up the phone and call someone. The days of being able to remember a million phone numbers off the top of your head are long gone. If you're renting and something goes wrong, you may not be in a position to look up a phone number, so make sure to add the following 10 resources to your phone's contact list on the day you move in.

1. Landlord (or Property Manager)

If something breaks, you'll need to notify your landlord or their manager in writing. However, it's a good idea to have their phone number on hand too in case you need to verify that your rent was received, follow up with them about maintenance requests, or let them know about other problems like noise issues, overflowing dumpsters or graffiti.

2. Locksmith

You will probably lock yourself out at some point during your lease. It might even be during your move in, before you're in the habit of checking for your keys. If your landlord does not provide lock-out service 24 hours a day, you should always have the number of a 24 hour locksmith in your phone.

3. Rental Insurance Claim number

When something goes wrong and you need help from your rental insurance company, chances are you won't be in a position to look up their number. Keep it on your phone at all times.

4. Roommates and Their Next-of-Kin

This one should be obvious, but you would not believe the number of renters who go for months without getting the contact info for their roommates, thinking that they'll always bump into each other around the house. It's also a good idea to know who to contact in case your roommate gets violently ill or hurts herself.

5. Cosigner

If your parents have cosigned your lease you probably already have their info. But if one of your roommates' parents have cosigned, you should be able to contact them on your own if needed. After all, your roommate might move out, flake out or have a falling out with their parents, but you could still need their help as cosigner before the lease is over.

6. Local Police and Alderman

Of course you can call 911 for major emergencies and 311 for non-emergency issues, but it's also a good idea to have the direct number for your local police department if you have to report non-emergency problems. The Alderman's office is also a good number to keep on hand for reporting issues like overgrown trees, overflowing dumpsters at your neighbor's house, abandoned buildings and sidewalks that aren't getting shoveled in the winter.

7. Lawyer

Apartment leases are often the first major contracts that young people sign in the course of their lives. They're also fraught with problems, and the only way to resolve most of them is through the judicial system. Every tenant should know at least one legal resource they can count on and afford while they're renting.

8. Neighbors

You should have the contact information for the residents of every apartment and home you can see and hear from inside your own. It's always best to try to work out conflicts on your own like grownups before you drag the police into the matter. Besides, it might not always be a conflict that arises between you and your neighbors. You could witness a break-in or overhear an abusive situation.

9. Utility companies

The Electric company's power outage reporting service is the big one you should always have in your phone, but you should also have the numbers for every utility company with which you have a contract. In Chicago this might include gas, cable and internet too.

10. Building Front Desk

This one only applies if you've got a building with a doorman, but if you do, it's a good number to have on hand. The front desk should be notified if you're expecting guests or packages. They will be able to let you know what's going on with construction noise near your apartment. They may also be the only representative of your property management company to reliably answer the phone.

Are there any other phone numbers you keep on hand for your life as a renter? Let us know in the comments!

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Published by

Kay Cleaves