Pay a “free” rental service $1,200 to rent in Roscoe Village

When I ran a search for Roscoe Village apartments at Craigslist yesterday I got 823 results. I scanned many ads that clearly weren’t in Roscoe Village and found only a few that were.

I’d driven around much of Roscoe Village earlier in the day and was surprised to see only one FOR RENT sign, on a newer-looking building at 3444 N Hoyne.

I called and spoke with the landlord and learned that the rent was $1,800 a month. I identified myself and told him I’d seen brokers advertising the place for $1,900 on Craigslist. “You’re dealing direct,” he responded. “That’s the way it goes.”

The landlord’s phone number on the FOR RENT sign is 773-301-8200. You can deal direct with the landlord and pay $1,800 a month or contact a broker and pay $1,200 for their “free” rental service.

That is the way it goes with many small to mid-size landlords, despite the rental services’ often strenuous cries to the contrary, and despite their occasional efforts to bind landlords contractually to offering the same price as the rental service.

One of the ways the “free” rental services make you pay is by wasting your time with repetitive Craigslist ads for the same property. There were 22 ads on Craigslist for this property.

When you work with one of Chicago’s “free” rental services you might wind up paying for it in many other ways. Set aside a minute to learn the twenty-five things rental services won’t tell you.

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