River North’s EnV bars rental services from advertising apartments

by Joe Zekas on 1/25/13

Earlier this month EnV, a luxury apartment high-rise in River North, sent out an email, with a broker agreement attached, informing rental service brokers that it would not work with firms that have not signed the broker agreement. Yesterday morning EnV sent a follow-up email, with the broker agreement attached, reminding rental service brokers that a signed agreement was required.

The broker agreement requires rental services and their agents to observe a 13-point “code of conduct.” Item 12:

Broker may only advertise the Property on its own website. Broker and its licensees shall not advertise the Property on Craigslist or on any other ILS or in any Multiple Listing Service or offer any compensation or cooperation to any other Broker or licensee. Broker may only use approved photography to advertise on Broker’s website.

“ILS” is an acronym for “Internet listing service,” and is commonly understood as including Trulia, Zillow, hotpads and other websites.

Despite these clear instructions to rental services, you can still find their ads for EnV on Craigslist and other sites. Those ads are in violation of Illinois law, which requires that a rental service have express written authority to advertise a property for rent.

Renters take note: rental services will break the law, and ignore clear directions from the landlords who pay their bills. What makes you think you can trust a word you hear from them?

The balance of EnV’s 13-point “code of conduct” includes such amusing instructions to rental service agents as “dress professionally;” “refrain from using profanity;” “refrain from using cell phones to contact other clients while at the Property;” “properly qualify … prospective tenants prior to arrival … specifically in terms of pets, price, furniture, move in date, etc;” and “not attempt to negotiate rental rates or fees on behalf of their clients.” That last item bears highlighting, for the benefit of naïve renters duped into thinking that rental services will get them a better deal: “not attempt to negotiate rental rates or fees on behalf of their clients.”

If you like what we’re doing to shed light on Chicago’s rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders, show your support by liking our Craigslist Apartment Cleanup page at Facebook.

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