Nation Wide Properties Mr. Smith -really- A d**n Shame Chicago, Illinois
My husband and I were looking for a way to find apartments without all of the application fees involved.
For a number of years, in driving around Chicago we saw signs posted all over Chicago on phones poles, traffic lights ect. The sign read Apartments and homes for rent throughout Chicagoland Area, suburbs & northwest Indiana -- No Credit Check.
So this year we thought about the signs we had saw and said lets go out and find the number. We set out a few weeks ago and surely we saw a sign posted at traffic sign on south chicago and 76th Street. The advertisement and the number was the same as we had always saw.
We called the number 773-288-0560 and asked about the apartments or houses for rent with no credit check. We went into the office it was plastered with Jesus and biblical sayings as well as other positive sayings all over the office. This gave us a good feeling that it was a christian organization so it must be both good and honest.
We met a man who identified his self as Mr. Smith. He asked for both of our ID's and told us placement was guaranteed. As we waited, we looked at the beautiful apartments and homes for rent on the walls.
We noted their were no addresses though, just pictures. My husband pointed out certain pics to Mr. Smith and said where is this located. He said we do not put the addresses but I will give you a list of apartments and you can go check them out.
He said first there is a $100.00 registration fee. We gladly gave the fee thinking wow they have some beautiful properties. Shortly after he brought as our receipt and gave us a list of apartments.
We started looking at the apartments on the list and set up appointments. Some of the contacts, when you called for an appointment said that was not their property but they had other properties.
We went to a few apartments and did not make it to the apartment because we saw they were in drug dealers and gangbanger hoods. (we explicityly told Mr. Smith we wanted a nice quiet area, preferably in the south surburbs). He said for us to check out some of the city apartments first because they had some really nice ones. Well we did not find any nice one.
The apartments we did look at were uninhabitable. Not in move in condition and needed a lot of work. Horrible condition. We repeatedly went back to Mr. Smith and said the apartments were in bad shape or bad areas and did not meet our needs. At first he was very patient and kind and said do not give up I am going to get you guys into that apartment you want.
He would always says meanwhile go look at this apartment (to buy him time). Though we knew it was not our area of interest we tried to be open and said lets go look anyway. So we went to one of the apartments he recommened.
He had holes in the walls, the back door looked like it was shot up (the owner said kids lived their had a BB gun). The toilet was full of concrete. The young man said he could have the apartment ready in a few days if we gave him a deposit so he could get the supplies to fix the apartment up.
Now I was getting frustrated, tired and yes a wee bit angry beginning to smell a rat, a big one Nation Wide Properties. We went back to Mr. Smith at Nation Wide Properties on 75th Jeffrey. Told him of the horror and he acted surprised and said the guy told him the apartment was ready. He said I got something for you, how about Alsip.
I thinking alright the suburbs, this has got to be nice. We set up an appointment and went there. Nice apartment, but upon entry the hall was dirty, the smell was horrible. We looked at the apartment it was okay but the smell, and it just felt rat and roach infested.
Angry this time and tired as heck, we went back to Mr. Smith. This time he was not smiling or pleasant and neither were we. I asked him were the apartments guaranteed because they were all raggedy. He sarcastically said not neccessarily. My husband said what is the refund policy Mr. Smith said aint nan. We knew then they were a rip off and not to waste anymore time or money searching.
We looked at one more apartment in Salk Villlage, it was quite nice, even though I questioned burned down and many boarded buildings in the area. But this was a lovely, well kept building and apartment managed by Pangea Realty. We put in an application gave them the code that Mr. Smith said would guarantee our apartment and after four or five days we called and were rejected from getting the apartment.
I then came home and accepted defeat, but not without doing some research. I noticed Pangea Realty has a $300-500 referral reward for each tenant you refer. So basically Mr. Smith of Nation Wide Properties searches the internet for realtors paying high referal fees.
He is issued a code by the realtor to collect his for for each tentant he refers. I came to find out that is the code he tells you to use to gurantee you the apartment, when in fact it is to the code to use so he can collect his referal fee. I also searched Pangea Realty website and found the same apartment listings that Mr. Smith charged you $100.00 for were from off the internet accessible to anyone who knew how to search and had access to the web.
So he has a pretty good racket going on. It's a win win for him $100.00 for every person that comes to him and an additional $300-500 from the real estate for each tenant they accept.
Guarantee-He cannot gurantee real estate he has no stock in or contracts with the companies. (false advertising) Jesus posting -great gimmick - but this is the Devils Den.
It is criminal what this company is and has been doing for a number of years operating under the aspice of a legal business helping people. I believe the only reason they have gotten away with it so long without being reported is that a lot of low income people and people with bad credit will take whatever they can get and afford. But to take $100 dollars for a list he prints based on ads he searches for on the internet criminal.
He needs to be stopped. I might not get my money back, but just to expose this company to as many people as possible will be enough.