Do convicted criminals have keys to your apartment?

A history of criminal convictions, even for felony offenses, isn’t enough to bar someone from getting a real estate license in Illinois. We’ve written a number of times about individual real estate agents with criminal histories, some of them repeat offenders.

In order to facilitate showings a number of landlords make apartment keys readily available to Chicago rental services. The rental services, in turn, make little or no effort to limit, monitor or control the agents they allow to show your apartment.

Rental services frequently employ new agents on 120-day permits before they’re licensed by the state, and often conduct little or no background screening of those agents, some of whom may have criminal records. The agents themselves, even when honest and well-intentioned, may be naïve, poorly-trained kids bringing opportunistic or intentional thieves or drug-seekers to your apartment.

You should limit rental service showings to times when you’re able to be physically present. If that doesn’t work for you, have the good sense to lock up or make it difficult to access any valuables and medications.

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