How landlords can support the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup

The Craigslist Apartment Cleanup is a campaign to eliminate the repetitive bait-and-switch ads placed on Craigslist by rental services / apartment finders.

We estimate that rental service ads account for 95% of all Chicago Craigslist apartment ads – and that virtually all of those ads are illegal. Rid Craigslist of the illegal ads and renters will have a fast, easy and useful way to find their next home.

We launched the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup on Saturday morning with a Facebook page and a post at YoChicago. Like the Facebook page to show your support for eliminating illegal apartment ads from Craigslist.

I’ve spoken with a number of major property owners and management companies recently, and they’re all frustrated with the cost of rental services and their limitations. They’d rather spend those dollars on improved services and facilities for their residents.

Within the week we expect to announce the names of the first property owner / management company supporters of the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup.

A landlord can join the campaign by committing to add the following (or similar) language to relevant communications and agreements with rental services, and notifying YoChicago that they’ve done so:

Advertising our property is prohibited
In the interest of ensuring that renters have the most accurate and up-to-date information about rents, features and policies at our property, and as a condition of doing business with us, you agree that you will not advertise our property or use images of our property on Craigslist, on your website or in any other print or online venue. Advertising without written authorization is grounds for disciplinary action under Section 225 ILCS 454/20-20 (a) (26) of the Illinois Real Estate License Act and Standard of Practice 12-4 of the NAR Code of Ethics.

We’ll be monitoring Craigslist ads and filing complaints with the State against companies advertising properties that have been advised they’re not authorized to do so.

We encourage landlords to file disciplinary complaints with the State against rental services who advertise without authorization. We don’t expect landlords to file complaints against companies they value doing business with, but continued violations may prompt a landlord to cease doing business with some companies. Many of the rental services are running naked bait-and-switch ads for some properties, i.e. they have no business relationship with the property they advertise and that property may have refused to do business with them.

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