The Illinois Real Estate License Act requires licensees to have written authorization to advertise a property for sale or for rent.
Leasing agents at Chicago rental services routinely advertise properties without having the required authorization. They violate the law so extensively that Craigslist and other websites are cluttered with illegal ads. That clutter frustrates and confuses renters into using rental services.
A random scan of Craigslist surfaced an ad placed by Hannah Vanover of HotSpot Rentals for a property that the firm does not have written authorization to advertise. We quickly identified four additional properties that Vanover is advertising on Craigslist and at Zumper without authorization, and she’s our “Scofflaw leasing agent of the day.”
Ms Vanover’s Trulia profile, pictured above, describes her as a “Buyer’s Agent.” Leasing agent licensees are not legally able to represent buyers in a real estate transaction.
It’s been our long experience that leasing agents who engage in one form of illegal behavior are highly likely to engage in others. It’s also been our long experience that the principals of many Chicago rental services routinely lie to leasing agents about which properties they’re legally authorized to advertise. If you’re a leasing agent, you need to see the written authorization before you place an ad.
Leasing agents need to know that playing fast and loose with legal and ethical standards can alter the trajectory of their personal, professional and social life in a very negative direction for a very long time. Google search will ensure that the illegal and unethical conduct of a rental service scofflaw becomes known to his or her potential renters, friends, family and prospective future employers and business and social contacts.
We’ll be on the lookout for our next scofflaw of the day. We encourage renters and property management firms to nominate individual leasing agents for that distinction.