I don’t know how easy it is finding an apartment on Craigslist in other major markets, but here in Chicago, it’s a mess--and one real estate media company is finally doing something about it. Recently, YoChicago, one of Chicago’s most viewed and most trusted real estate blogs, has launched an intense campaign to cleanup the Craigslist clutter and eliminate illegal apartment advertisements, most of which are posted by the dozens of apartment finding services in the city.
Not so long ago, Craigslist used to be a valuable, reliable resource for renters in Chicago to search some of the city’s hottest apartments on the market. Now, it’s nearly impossible to get through the first page of listings without seeing the same apartment numerous times, each being posted by a different apartment finding company.
While many may think posting such ads is perfectly within the boundaries Illinois real estate laws, YoChicago has done a magnificent job educating consumers on the fact that not only are these apartment finders making your apartment search more difficult, but they’re also breaking the law by not having written consent from property owners to advertise these apartments for rent. While there may be exceptions, YoChicago has pointed out that very few landlords actually grant Chicago rental services written permission to place ads on websites such as Craigslist, and those who do, are typically smaller, independent landlords.
Over the past month, YoChicago has frequently posted a variety of compelling articles on the Craigslist Cleanup that range from what companies are the worst offenders to providing clear-cut evidence that many of these rental services are deceitful, fraudulent, and clearly only care about themselves. If you’re a renter in Chicago, I strongly encourage you to follow YoChicago’s strong effort to cleanup Craigslist and finally give you back a once-great resource for finding your next Chicago apartment.
To keep up with the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup, check it out on Facebook or be sure to frequent YoChicago.com to get all the latest updates on what’s being done to stop the rampant use of illegal Craigslist apartment ads.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working as a Market Research Associate and writing published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence in Chicago, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.