Is your rental service agent a convicted criminal?

Dan Dantuma, Chicago

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) is responsible for licensing real estate professionals. In our judgment, IDFPR has exercised that responsibility irresponsibly many times in the past, and is likely to continue to do so.

The most recent IDFPR enforcement actions report (PDF) notes that the license of Dan Dantuma has been “indefinitely suspended for a minimum of two years” due to felony convictions and his failure to report prior criminal convictions to the department.

The IDFPR action against Dantuma comes two-and-a-half years after we first wrote about his lengthy criminal history, and more than a year after we noted another heroin bust.

The IDFPR report also lists several licenses that have been issued in probationary status due to a history of felony convictions.

Over the years, we’ve written about far too many leasing agents with criminal records, including a career criminal working under a false identity and a scofflaw agent working from the Lake County jail.

Do you know who has the keys to your apartment? Do you know who you’re getting in the car with to view apartments? Are you comfortable giving your Social Security # and other identifying information to a convicted felon?

Your safest bet is to work directly with landlords and management companies, and avoid rental service leasing agents and brokers entirely. If you opt to work with a rental service, be aware that the odds of finding an honest, experienced agent are heavily against you, and the odds of your getting the best deal on an apartment are even lower.

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