‘I recently applied for an apartment in Chicago. The apartment manager would not let me sign the lease until I allowed her employee to inspect my current residents for pests. The employee came over and went through my cabinets and in between my mattresses with his flashlight. Is this legal? She said it was part of the application process.’
To get an authoritative answer, you would have to consult with a local landlord-tenant law attorney. This could be a private attorney, or one who works for a tenant’s rights organization.
My first reaction is to say that I don’t know why it would be illegal–I’m not aware of any laws that explicitly forbid physically checking a tenant’s current residence. However, an argument could be made that, for example, this is an indirect way to break some other law, like the laws against racial or religious discrimination, because you’ll see a lot about a person by inspecting their home. Or, perhaps there are privacy laws in your state that would be violated.