Chicago’s rental services are sliming WalkScore

Misleading renters is the core competency of Chicago’s rental services a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders. It’s about the only thing they do well.

The rental services have long polluted Craigslist with 10s of 1,000s of bait-and-switch ads each week, making what was once renters’ preferred source for finding an apartment a thoroughly miserable experience fraught with peril.

Trulia and Zillow have made half-hearted attempts to clean up the fraudulent ads from rental services. Spend a few minutes on either of those sites and you’ll see that they’ve lost the battle.

I’ve recently been seeing a growing number of WalkScore search-by-address results that have been polluted by rental services. Note the watermark from Dwell Chicago in the photo. The Contact and Check Availability links do not, as you would expect, connect you with the property.

Advertised properties on WalkScore pages are frequently bait-and-switch ads from rental services.

Chicago’s rental services have expended great efforts in destroying the utility of websites that are popular with renters. The logical question is why anyone would do business with companies that try to frustrate them into using their services by polluting websites with bait-and-switch ads.

We’ve yet to see a rental service that operates in conformity with the laws that apply to its business. YoChicago does not allow rental services to advertise directly, and we affirmatively block rental service ads served up by Google.

Finding an apartment in Chicago’s downtown and near north lakefront neighborhoods couldn’t be easier. You’ll see all of your options at our at-a-glance lists, a growing number of objective takes on apartment buildings at our Reviews page, and video tours of many buildings on our Video page.

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