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Don’t respond to blind real estate help wanted ads

Blind ad

You’ll frequently see help wanted ads on Craigslist from real estate firms seeking to hire leasing agents or experienced brokers. If the ad was placed on behalf of a licensed rental service or real estate broker and doesn’t name the firm, the ad is a violation of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. The firm ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 16, 2014

Is Quantum Apartments vandalizing your neighborhood?

Quantum Apartments

Can there really be a business brain-dead enough to document acts of vandalism on its behalf on YouTube? There apparently can, and its name is Quantum Apartments. Last week we saw one of Quantum’s signs tacked to a utility pole in Roscoe Village. A search for information about the company quickly surfaced a number of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 15, 2014

How to tell a Chicago rental service you’re an easy mark

CAF

There are lots of ways to signal Chicago rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders that you’re an easy mark. The best way to communicate that you’re an easily-played sucker is to walk into a rental service office, accept whatever agent you’re assigned to, describe your requirements and visit apartments the same day expecting ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 14, 2014

Ask American Realty’s Dan Dantuma about his drug arrests

Dan Dantuma

American Realty’s Dan Dantuma had 135 repetitive ads on Craigslist as of mid-morning yesterday. More than 80% of them were for a single apartment, a junior 1-bedroom at Gold Coast Galleria, 111 W Maple. Reading the same ad over and over and over again prompted me to learn more about Dan, and an online search ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 11, 2014

Know your rights when your apartment is being shown

Kardas Photography

Some Chicago landlords would like tenants to believe that a clause in the lease they signed waives or limits their right to 2 days’ advance notice before their apartment is shown to prospective renters. Any such provision in a lease is in violation of the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO) and is unenforceable. Landlords ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 11, 2014

State Street Properties’ amazing Craigslist apartment spam

State Street Properties

With just over 2,500 ads, State Street Properties isn’t Craigslist’s most prolific apartment ad spammer, but it ranks among the worst of them and shares some verbal tics with the typical Craigslist rental spammers. Landlords and management companies don’t typically resort to superlatives to describe their apartments. If you see an “amazing” or “awesome” or ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 10, 2014

Do convicted criminals have keys to your apartment?

Bryan Duffy

A history of criminal convictions, even for felony offenses, isn’t enough to bar someone from getting a real estate license in Illinois. We’ve written a number of times about individual real estate agents with criminal histories, some of them repeat offenders. In order to facilitate showings a number of landlords make apartment keys readily available ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 10, 2014
ChicagoNorth Side

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

3444 N Hoyne

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 ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014

Where have all the iMove agents gone, short time passing?

iMove Chicago

We’ve written repeatedly about iMove Chicago, a rental service that advertises frequently on Craigslist for new leasing agents and brokers. We had saved records of the names of 41 agents and brokers (other than Erickson Ocasio and Rusty Payton, the principals) who were employed at iMove Chicago between January 2012 and January 19, 2013: Andrew ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Does Chicagoland Property Group’s Collin Walker deliberately lie on Craigslist?

1225 screen cap

After having looked at many of Collin Walker’s repetitive ads at Craigslist, my considered opinion is that his ads often contain deliberate lies. We posted on what we deemed a Walker lie yesterday, and here’s another … Walker had seven ads active on Craigslist yesterday for “beautiful new” and “beautifully updated” Lincoln Park and Old ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 8, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

River North apartment shootout – Chicagoland Property Group vs YoChicago

View of River North

We like to think that YoChicago is Chicago’s best free rental service. We’re an objective, visually rich website with comprehensive apartment reviews, all-inclusive at-a-glance lists, neighborhood maps and guides, narrated video tours, original aerial photography and a great deal more. One of our goals is to help renters understand what to expect from Chicago’s rental ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 7, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

River North – A list of available apartments and current rents

Whole Foods samplers

If you’re looking to rent an apartment in River North, you can see all of your managed apartment building options on YoChicago’s availability list, below. You can learn more about the buildings and their location in our detailed reviews, and see our take on the best River North buildings on 18 different criteria. We’ve listed ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 2, 2014

Rental services joining Chicago Rental Apartment Partners

Dublin airport

Dozens of Chicago’s apartment rental services have joined the newly-formed Chicago Rental Apartment Partners, an organization dedicated to raising ethical standards in a notoriously sleazy industry. “Industry leaders are rushing to join CRAP,” according to a spokesperson for the group. “They’ve been sickened by their own behavior and had a come-to-Jesus moment.” CRAP members subscribe ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 1, 2014

Is this rental service agent running a charity scam?

Covenant Veterans Home

I highly recommend avoiding Chicago’s rental services and working with an established broker at one of the large reputable firms if you’re going to use a broker when looking to rent a new home. I’m obviously biased by the fact that our parent company’s client base includes a number of Chicago’s largest traditional brokerage firms. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 28, 2014

How rental services scale law-breaking

Shabbona Park

Chicago’s sleazy rental services pollute Craigslist and other websites with 1,000s upon 1,000s of ads every single day. The goal: confuse and frustrate renters into using their “free services.” Rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders lure mostly young and uniformly naïve recruits with empty promises of “unlimited earning potential” or the prospect of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 27, 2014

Chicago rental agent pleads guilty

Jerome Bressert guilty plea

Last October we wondered whether Jerome Bressert was Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent – a category that has tons of competitors vying for the top spot. We posed our question based on ads that Bressert had placed on Zillow for properties that won’t do business with him, and not solely on his arrest records . When ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 25, 2014

The minimum wage for leasing agents is less than zero

Hyde Park sign

The spring and summer rental market is heating up and Chicago’s rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders are advertising on Craigslist for the next crop of leasing agents. The ads promise a lot, including “unlimited earnings potential.” What they don’t tell you is that there’s no limit to the amount of your own ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 20, 2014

Avoid falling victim to Chicago rental services – check cashing edition

Kardas Photography

One of the recurring horror stories you’ll read in reviews of Chicago’s shark-like rental services is the difficulty renters have in getting refunds when their checks have been cashed or credit / debit cards charged and an apartment they’ve applied for has already been rented or their application has been rejected. When you apply for ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 13, 2014

Do Uber drivers out-earn new leasing agents?

Uber ad screen cap

Chicago’s rental services trawl for new recruits with promises of flexible hours, independence and “unlimited earnings potential.” The Uber ride-sharing pitch for new drivers is similar, but suggests earnings of “$20 per hour and potentially more!” If Uber drivers actually approach that earnings number, they’ll out-earn the great majority of new recruits to the rental ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 11, 2014

A Chicago landlord’s advice re rental services

Oak Park streetscape

A recent comment contains a lot of solid advice for small landlords on how to deal with Chicago’s piratical rental services. Here’s a lightly-edited version: My advice to any landlord, newby or seasoned, is to AVOID DOING BUSINESS WITH ANY OF THEM. If you must use them, consider the agent as simply someone who found ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 10, 2014