Some of you may be familiar wth my long-standing practice of referring to apartment rental services as maggots.
I’ve decided that reference is unfair to maggots which, unlike most rental services, do have some beneficial uses. Henceforth I’m rebranding rental services as bedbugs. It’s a more resonant description and, given recent headlines, far better search engine bait.
Several of the bedbugs infested Evanston years ago and now it appears, from the screen cap of a Craigslist ad above, they’re infesting other suburbs. The second part of the ad, for a 2-bedroom condo for rent at 622 Cobblestone in Glenview for $1,100 a month. Here’s the balance of the Craigslist ad.
I wasn’t able to find any contact info for “Chicagoland Rentals,” the company referenced in the ad, nor was I able to find the requisite state broker license for the firm.
More relevant yet, the condo pictured in the ad is not available for rent, according to Caroline Gau, the agent who has it listed for sale as a short sale for $98,000, and who stated she was unaware it was being advertised on Craigslist and had not authorized the use of any MLS photos.
I left a message at the phone number in the ad and heard back from an individual who identified himself as John Meyers from Chicagoland Rentals. He claims to be a licensed broker and stated that the owner of the property authorized him to rent it and supplied him with the photos without identifying their source.
My caller stated he has a broker license under the name John Meyers and had used his full name in the Craigslist ad. He had not, as you can see, done so. When I challenged him politely on his failure to comply with state brokerage licensing laws regarding advertising of his correct name / company affiliation, he immediately hung up on me.
The takeaway: don’t let a bedbug bite you. If you can’t verify that a Craigslist ad from what appears to be a rental service is from a licensed broker, don’t respond to the ad. Make your search for homes and condos for rent simpler – and safer – by using one of the sites from licensed, established brokers and skipping Craigslist’s dregs list entirely.