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Legislator presses to address online housing rental scams

Hoping to combat the rise of online housing rental scams, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, has introduced legislation that adds such crimes to those already considered deceptive practices.

“When bad actors try to take advantage of those looking for housing by creating false housing listings, there are currently, very limited options to take legal action to combat this issue,” said Stuart. “I filed the legislation after local reports on false housing lists to help keep residents safe from fraud.”

Stuart sponsored House Bill 4138, which adds online rental scams to the list of crimes considered a deceptive practice with the intent to defraud individuals. If residents believe a rental listing to be a fraud they can report it to state officials or the federal trade commission if an individual is falsely claiming to be your business.

“Some of my best ideas for commonsense legislation comes from conversations with residents about the issues that impact our families,” said Stuart. “This legislation is the result of residents reaching out about local rental scams on properties who were concerned about the impact of individuals looking for housing and those listing a rental property.”

File photo: Stuart, alongside Gov. JB Pritzker.

Stuart will be hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday, Sept. 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss her work in Springfield and answer questions from community members about state and local issues. To register for the Zoom event, email repkatiestuart@gmail.com.

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