VOLUME 3RNote from the EditorWhen I moved into my first off-campus apartment in college, I was stunned by the monthly rate: $225 for a one-bedroom apartment. I thought it was a typo. I was born and raised in Chicago, and there was absolutely nowhere that you could live for $225 per month within the city limits.

Reality hit after I graduated and came back home to find rates that matched metropolitan life. It was definitely not $225. Sometimes the minimum rental rates could be a gut punch. This is why prospective tenants should know what to do when they really want a home but simply cannot afford the rates, or they think the rate is way too high for its current condition. Read “Renegotiating the Rent Rate” to find out ways to potentially negotiate.

There were other things I just didn’t know when I first moved in, like how the security process worked. Reading “Do Tenants Have the Right to Have New Homes Rekeyed?” made me wonder if I followed all the steps I needed to during initial move-ins. Unfortunately, one of the rentals I moved in had an extermination problem. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve considered the tips in “Is the Security Deposit OK for the Final Month’s Rent?” and “How To Get a Deposit Back.”

Of course, readers should keep in mind that our magazines are geared toward helping Realtors, landlords and tenants work better together. This is not meant to be legal advice. We highly recommend reaching out to legal counsel (including some who we've interviewed) if you feel that you need to take higher measures for recouping funds.

What we can emphasize for all parties is never to burn a bridge during the move-out process. You never know when you’ll need that same landlord to approve you for another rental, or maybe you two may meet up later in life and find another rental agreement together. This is why “Avoid Penalties By Ending the Lease the Right Way” should be a mandatory read.

Also, in each monthly issue, we try to inspire some interior design creativity. This month, our “Quick Take” is all about improving windowless bathrooms—”Tips and Tricks to Handle Windowless Bathrooms.”

We hope this third issue answers questions you may already have and some you didn’t even know to ask. Is there a topic you’d like us to talk about? Contact me at shamontiel.vaughn@go4rent.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Shamontiel L. Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief
About Shamontiel:Shamontiel L. Vaughn has been in the publishing industry for 17 years as a newspaper reporter, a web editor, social media specialist and a print editor. Her areas of expertise include K-12 and adult education textbooks; local and nationwide news; and health news. She's also completed approximately 235 interviews in a variety of areas, including business management; entertainment; internet technology; law (entertainment, business and real estate); nursing; and travel. Some of her bylines can be found in the Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune and CBS Chicago.

The unapologetic dog lover also owned two prior dogs (German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever mix) before becoming a two-year dog walker (510 walks with 89 different dogs) and adopting a third dog of her own on Juneteenth 2021: a Hound mix named Junee. When she's not writing, editing or playing with her dog, she's a current condo owner, former condo board president and treasurer, and a five-year officer for a community Toastmasters club.