How many rental service owners have criminal records?

That question occurred to me after coming across two of them within the past week.

I found the first while researching a rental service whose “bedbug relations” (her tongue-in-cheek term) person pitched me to interview her clients. Her e-mail contended, as have others in the past, that “we share your opinions regarding the unsavory practices that many of our competitors are engaged in. While I cannot vouch for the often unscrupulous tactics employed by other services, I can certainly vouch for the way that [name deleted] operates.” After I outlined the course an interview would take, I don’t expect her to pursue it. Many comments at Yelp have suggested her client is among the worst of the rental services.

Her client’s criminal conviction? A minor misdemeanor committed while he was a college student, and another that was overturned on appeal, so not worth detailing here.

The criminal history of the President of Rent Smart – a company that’s the subject of two pending class action lawsuits – is a different matter. Sohail Salahuddin was issued his broker license on a probationary basis, according to IDFPR records, “as the result of his 2003 conviction for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.”

If you know other rental service owners with a criminal record, leave the details in a comment.

The State of Illinois will issue a real estate license to almost anyone – and many rental agents never even apply for the required license.

If you’re using a rental service, do you know who you’re getting into the car with?

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