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Apartment complex gives tenants five days to 'like' its Facebook page or face breaching their lease

By midian182 · 19 replies
Jun 1, 2016
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  1. Businesses rarely underestimate the power of social media. A few bad reviews can cost a company dearly, especially the smaller ones, and Facebook pages with loads of ‘likes’ can make a place look pretty appealing. But one apartment complex has gone to extreme lengths to look popular, by demanding tenants give it positive feedback or face breaking their lease agreement.

    It was last Thursday when some tenants of the City Park Apartments in Salt Lake City found “Facebook Addendums” taped to their front doors. One of the demands stated that they must ‘friend’ the complex with five days, or they'll be in breach of their rental agreement, which some tenants had signed just months earleir.

    Local TV station KSL News reported that other parts of the addendum included the banning of any negative reviews - naturally - and a release that allows the complex to post pictures of residents and their visitors on its Facebook page.

    The demands have prompted at least one tenant, Jason Ring, to move out of the apartments after the final month of his lease. “I don’t want to be forced to be someone’s friend and be threatened to break my lease because of that. It’s outrageous as far as I’m concerned,” Ring said. “It’s a violation of my privacy.”

    Legal experts say the addendum may not be fair to those people who are unwilling or unable to create Facebook accounts, such as elderly individuals. It’s also pointed out that if a lease is already signed, tenants may not be required by law to sign late add-ons.

    City Park Apartments' actions are similar to those of the Windermere Cay Florida complex from a few months ago. Its Social Media Addendum warned that any negative commentary or reviews on Yelp would be classified as a breach and result in a $10,000 fine for tenants.

    In 2014, a UK couple who called the Blackpool hotel they stayed in a “filthy, dirty, rotten, stinking hovel run by muppets" on Trip Advisor found that the establishment had docked a further £100 ($144) from their credit card. It seems the small print of the booking document read: “For every bad review left on any website, the group organizer will be charged a maximum £100 per review."

    Image credit: KSL

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
  2. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    Bunch of Nazis...
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,797   +1,537

    It's a sad state of affairs when the management must depend upon false approvals just to get more tenants. I doubt if their addition is enforceable and a few calls to the ACLU might produce some positive results. You can be sure that nobody managing a HUD account would try this and it's sad that it takes that kind of enforcement to put a stop to it. More importantly, did these managers just come out of the stone age? A better approach would to offer the tenants an inducement, say a 5% reduction on their rent for the next 3 months if the "like" them on facebook .... a lot lower cost than trying to evict somebody and no hard feelings .... DOH!!!!!
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Evangelist Posts: 595   +58

    Someone tell me in what universe is this/should this be legal? As for the last sentence about the hotel in the UK, that should be fraud.
  5. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 93   +48

    Well then, someone please ban facebook and social media in general. Never used them, never will, and I am quite content with my in-real-life social life. Mail, phone and sms works quite well.

    Come to think of it, what would the facebook addicts do at night... roam the streets in search of anyone who actually "likes" them...???
    wizardB and wiyosaya like this.
  6. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    I hope this story gives the apartment complex way more negative publicity than any stupid Facebook post.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,028   +197

    It's funny people who used the net in the 90s were anti social nerds, now it's called social media. Facebook should add a dislike button for businesses. Then these people would demand their tenants dislike all other apartments in the area... Can't wait for the next big flood.
    wizardB and wiyosaya like this.
  8. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,162   +548

    I'd like to know how they could, say you give a review 3-4 weeks AFTER your stay, they use your credit information to take money from your account? I could "sort of" see it if you left a bad review while you were there, or right after checkout since the card hasn't been cleared, but say you left a review a month later? How would that not be STEALING.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  9. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    What if you don't have a Facebook account, or even internet? Are they demanding the tenants go sign up with a service provider and create Facebook accounts? What ridiculous nonsense, and I agree it shouldn't be legal but the terrible internet backlash they are going to receive may be punishment enough.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,763   +435

    Whoever came up with that rule and whoever tries to get access to employee facebook accounts and so on... those people really need to get their heads out of their asses.
  11. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Maniac Posts: 383   +180

    Let's all friend the apartment complex and give them bad reviews!
    Darth Shiv, wiyosaya and Capaill like this.
  12. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +133

    Legal experts? They don't even know what the law is: "may not be fair", "may not be required"
    I'm no expert but I'll tell you right now - you can't enforce an addendum after the contract is signed.
    Sue the apartment owners into oblivion.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,525   +514

    They would likely turn into facebook zombies running around screaming "facebook, facebook."
    CortyDK likes this.
  14. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,525   +514

    Absolutely. At the very least, it is coercion, and if some creative lawyer took up the case, it might also be considered racketeering. To all those with clauses like this in their contracts, don't expect my business, and if you want a good or great review, you damn well better offer the best service.
  15. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,763   +435

  16. OgnDulk

    OgnDulk TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +6

    I gave the apartment complex a bad yelp review but had to remove it for fear of being sued by this management that must be trump U grads.
  17. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 104   +57

    That's the part that doesn't make sense. Surely an organization in the business of leasing properties knows this! It feels like we're missing something here.
  18. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 451   +21

    See, this is what I do not understand. If this happened in Australia the body corporate, or whoever is responsible for this in this instance, would be pulled over the coals and that would be that, problem solved. But all these other first world nations' it seems completely unheard of. Australia is a LOOOOONG way from a utopia by any stretch of the imagination so why on Earth are BS, corporate crap like this still tolerated and even legal?

    What is going on with the world :/…
  19. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 104   +57

    Pinothy, as far as I can tell, it's not legal here in the US either. That's the part I don't get about this.
  20. Perhaps part of the problem is the average person is more easily scared by these tactics than encouraged at the thought of having to hire a lawyer, take it to court, and actually possibly lose. Lots of time and money involved. Easier to sign off and move along. Need someone with the time and money to pursue something like this, god only knows how long the case could be dragged on, it's a typical tactic

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