Apartment hunting may be about to become much harder, as today, Craigslist issued a cease and desist letter to Padmapper, a popular apartment rental aggregator, forcing it to remove all listings derived from its site. The action signals an aggressive new approach toward sites that display housing listings, and could put similar services in danger. By redisplaying listings on a Google Maps interface, allowing users to sort and view listings based on their location and other filters, Craiglist's lawyers claim that Padmapper has violated the site's terms of use. Padmapper's creator, Eric DeMenthon, sees things differently.

"Padmapper just acts as a search engine and sends all traffic back to the sites it searches," DeMenthon told TechCrunch.

Despite any click-through traffic that it may enjoy from websites and apps that resurface or redirect to any of its listings, Craigslist has successfully campaigned for the removal of its content from services like Listpic, used car search engine Carsabi, and others. In an effort to avoid further legal action, Padmapper has removed all Craigslist content, but has called upon users to contact Craigslist in defense of the service. Whether or not Craigslist will change its tune, however, remains unknown.