The Craigslist Apartment Cleanup begins today

YoChicago is launching a campaign to clean up Craigslist apartment ads by putting a stop to the many 1,000s of illegal ads placed every day by the apartment rental / apartment finding services on our do-not-call list.

The rental services’ goal is to confuse and frustrate you into thinking you need their help to find your next home. Our goal is to make your Craigslist apartment search fast, easy and useful by eliminating the illegal apartment rental service ads on Craigslist, which we estimate to be 95% of them.

We’ve created a Facebook page where you can follow the progress of the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup.

Beginning next week we’ll be asking landlords and management companies to support the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup by reminding the rental services they do business with of their obligations under state law: you may not advertise a property without our written consent, and you don’t have it. We’ll publish a periodically updated list of the campaign’s landlord supporters.

Here’s how you can help clean up Craigslist rental ads in Chicago.

Like us at Facebook
Like the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup page at Facebook to show your support. Ask your Facebook friends to Like the page.

File a complaint with the State
Most landlords are disturbed about the amount of money they’re spending on rental services. It’s money they’d rather spend on improving their buildings or services to their renters.

If you see a Craigslist rental service ad for the building you live in, ask your landlord / property manager whether the rental service had written authorization to advertise the property. If the answer is “no,” take a few minutes to file an online complaint with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

We’ll be filing complaints with the State against some of the more egregious lawbreakers. The State can impose substantial fines on and yank licenses from rental services that advertise property without written authorization.

File a complaint with CAR
If you’re a member of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) and a member rental service has advertised your listing without authorization or advertised a building you know hasn’t authorized ads, file an ethics complaint against the rental service. Advertising without written authority is prohibited by Standard of Practice 12-4 of the NAR Code of Ethics.

YoChicago’s interest in the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup
We publish at-a-glance lists and maps of apartments for rent in Chicago, and solicit support from landlord advertisers. We compete with rental services for renters’ attention and landlord marketing dollars. We compete within the bounds of the law, and think that rental services should do the same.


  • I work for 1130 South Michigan Avenue Apartments and we advertise directly on Craigslist in order to attract new renters.

    I’m glad to hear that our advertisements now have a chance to be seen by the potential residents out there! I did have a concern about the “Craiglist Apartment Cleanup” because I’ve noticed that some of the ads that are directly posted by me, an employee of the property management company, have been deleted. I have reviewed the ads and they do not violate any of the terms of Craigslist, nor is it posted too frequently.

    Would you be able to offer an insight on this? I would love to resolve the issue so that potential residents can see our listings for 1130 South Michigan Avenue Apartments! Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to provide.

  • Emily,

    Thanks for reaching out. It was great chatting with you offline.