Chicago renters make themselves easy prey

by Joe Zekas on 2/20/14

How else can you explain the fact that someone like James Tarr, despite disciplinary actions in November of 2000, February of 2005 and February of 2013 is still offering rental services without a license?

Tarr has done business as Exchange Apartment Finders, Apartment Locators and Chicago Rental. Based on information I’ve received recently from a reputable management company, he’s still offering to rent apartments. An attorney emailed yesterday that his company scammed a friend of hers who responded to a Craigslist ad.

It would be easy to blame the State’s utter ineffectiveness for Tarr’s persistence and the general lawlessness that prevails among Chicago’s rental services. It would be equally easy, and perhaps more appropriate, to blame the victims of rental service scams. How could they not have known better than to do business with this company and other problem rental services?

Are the people who spend hours researching blenders, coffee makers, smart phones and bike helmets unwilling to spend a few minutes learning about the people they’ll work with to find an apartment? If they do take the time to do the research, are they failing to understand that they may not be spared the horrific experiences that many other renters have reported? That’s apparently the case, since there’s far more than enough information online here and at other websites about the predatory practices of Chicago’s rental services.

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