How you can help kill illegal rental service help wanted ads on Craigslist

by Joe Zekas on 12/27/12

The Illinois Real Estate License Act, 225 ILCS 454, makes it illegal for licensed brokers to run blind ads. Section 1-10 of the Act defines a blind ad:

“Blind advertisement” means any real estate advertisement that does not include the sponsoring broker’s business name and that is used by any licensee regarding the sale or lease of real estate, including his or her own, licensed activities, or the hiring of any licensee under this Act. The broker’s business name in the case of a franchise shall include the franchise affiliation as well as the name of the individual firm.

Section 20-20 (a) (28) of the Act makes running a blind ad grounds for disciplinary action, which can include license denial or revocation and a fine of up to $25,000.

If you’re a real estate professional, take a few minutes to respond to a blind rental service help wanted ad, identify the firm or individual responsible for it, then file an online complaint with the State. Be sure to save a screen cap of the ad as part of your documentation. Only the sleaziest of firms run this sort of blind ad, and it’s in everyone’s interest to kill them off or cripple them financially as quickly as possible.

If you’re looking for a real estate job on Craigslist and you see a blind ad from a rental service soliciting the hiring of new agents, take a second to click the prohibited flag (arrow in screen cap, above) on Craigslist. Illegal ads violate Craigslist’s Terms of use:

3. CONTENT AND CONDUCT
a. Content

Content prohibited from craigslist includes but is not limited to: (1) illegal content …

Craigslist charges $25 for help wanted ads in Chicago. Flag illegal rental service help wanted ads, and you’ll contribute to imposing a small fine against the lawbreakers – hopefully in addition to the State’s much larger one. You can count on me to flag every one of these ads I see.

Like YoChicago’s Craigslist Apartment Cleanup page on Facebook if you support our efforts to stop illegal rental service ads at Craigslist, hotpads, Trulia, Zillow and other websites.

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