Hannah Vanover, HotSpot Rentals – Scofflaw leasing agent of the day

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 is a licensed leasing agent under the name of Hannah Wegmann. The IDFPR License Lookup database doesn’t reflect compliance with the requirement that IDFPR be notified of a name change.

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.


  • Luke 3 years

    Sadly, you could write about 3 scofflaws of the day for the remainder of the year and it wouldn’t truly describe the depth of the problem. I say highlight the managing broker that allows and encourages this unlawful behavior. He/She is ultimately responsible for managing and directing the brokerage. He/She is the ultimate law breaker!

  • Luke,

    You’re absolutely correct that there are far too many scofflaws.

    I’ve written about a number of the managing brokers in the past. They tend, as a group, to be shameless, chronic liars and lawbreakers who believe complying with the law would put them out of business. I view them as incorrigible. One is so completely lacking a moral compass that he even enlisted his mother and brother to join in the illegal advertising. In my take you have to be a very, very bad dude to degrade your family that way.

    I’ll continue focusing on the low-level scofflaws, in hopes that they’ll put some pressure on their managing brokers or, at the very least, understand that they’re risking a lot by remaining where they are.