Is Brian Murphy Kale Realty’s worst rental scofflaw?

Several days ago we questioned whether Kale Realty is a rental service scofflaw, and suggested an affirmative answer.

This morning we sampled a few of the 134 apartment ads that Kale’s Brian Murphy has active at Craigslist. What we found was ugly: ads posted without the legally required written authorization from the property, unauthorized use of copyrighted images, ads that strike us as outrageous bait-and-switch efforts, and deceptively misleading claims.

Illegal advertising and improper use of copyrighted images may strike many renters as trivial offenses. They’re not. Every renter who values his or her time will agree that advertising unavailable apartments is a serious matter.

What follows are three illustrations of what appears to me to be a consciously-adopted pattern of bait-and-switch advertising

Start with the Brian Murphy ad at the top of this post, which touts a 2-bedroom, 2-bath at Elm Street Plaza, available now for $2,458 a month – an “amazing price” per the ad.

Elm Street Plaza’s website reports that the first 2-bedroom availability is for August 5 at $3,048 a month. That’s an amazing discrepancy.

Murphy’s next ad is for a 1-bedroom available now at One Superior Place for $2,053 a month.

According to the property’s website, the lowest-priced 1-bedroom currently available rents for $2,331 a month.

A Kale Realty / Brian Murphy ad for Cobbler Square features a loft studio available immediately for $1,607 a month.

According to Cobbler Square’s website, the only currently available studio rents for $1,740 a month.

With a little effort, which you’d be well advised to avoid, you can find many more misleading Kale Realty / Brian Murphy ads at Craigslist.

The headline question – Is Brian Murphy Kale Realty’s worst rental scofflaw? I’ll answer that one in the negative. In my opinion the title belongs to Kale Realty management which has to be aware that its agents are advertising without the legally required authorization, and is likely to be involved in facilitating the preparation of these ads.

Murphy’s Craigslist ads contain a misleading invitation to visit his website and “look through my listings…”

A “listing,” in real estate parlance, is generally considered an exclusive right to sell or rent a property and advertise it. You’ll find many ads at Murphy’s website, but according to the local Multiple Listing Service he has no active listings.

You’ll find virtually all of the major apartment complexes in the lakefront neighborhoods they focus on at YoChicago’s at-a-glance lists. Most of the buildings provide near real-time rent and availability information. Our lists also link to detailed, objective reviews of the properties, and to video tours where available. Why would you search Craigslist for an incomplete set of mostly bad information?

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