Unlike: Tenants fume over apartment complex's new Facebook addendum


#1

KSL:

Unlike: Tenants fume over apartment complex’s new Facebook addendum

SALT LAKE CITY — Some tenants at a Salt Lake City apartment complex are fuming over a new lease agreement that requires tenants to “like” the complex on Facebook. Tenants of the City Park Apartments told KSL that a “Facebook addendum” showed up taped to their doors Thursday night.
The contract requires tenants to friend the City Park Apartments on Facebook within five days, or be found in breach of the rental agreement, though some of the tenants already signed a lease agreement months ago.
The document also includes a release allowing the apartment to post pictures of tenants and their visitors on the page.

“I don’t want to be forced to be someone’s friend and be threatened to break my lease because of that,” tenant Jason Ring said. “It’s outrageous as far as I’m concerned.”

Ring said it’s the last straw; he’s moving out after the final month of his lease.
“It’s a violation of my privacy,” Ring added.
KSL’s calls to the attorneys for City Park Apartments were not returned Friday.
Zachary Myers, an attorney who specializes in tenant rights for Hepworth, Murray & Associates in Bountiful, said the contract addendum may not be fair to those who don’t have or are unable to create Facebook accounts.
“The biggest issue that I have with it is that it seems to be discriminatory against elderly individuals and disabled individuals who are unable to utilize an online presence such as Facebook,” he said.

I hope this will be overturned by the courts. Forcing tenants to “friend” landlords gives the landlords all sorts of information they have no legal right to. Forced friending is essentially spying.

People don’t realise how many legal rights they are signing away every day. With many (most?) online retailers there are terms of service when you click “buy” that you agree not to post any negative reviews on social media.
The NY Times just did a series about how corporations of all kinds are forcing people to forgo their right to sue and submit to arbitration. Of course the plaintiff loses about 99.999% of the time in arbitration.


#2

What if you don’t have an account on the Facebook?


#3

my assumption is that you would be out of luck and housing.


#4

People will develop two profiles, a clean and barren one for such nonsense and another for their friends.


#5

One of the people I work with already does this. He is 30 years old. He says one is for posting political and or snarky stuff, the other is for more public consumption.

I also know people who have one for playing games and one for non-game playing. This way they don’t annoy family and friends.

While my daughter only has one, when she was recently applying to graduate schools, she made hers private and non-searchable. I warned her years ago (before Facebook) about being careful about what she posted.

I do wonder if one can unfriend them and not be in violation.


#6

As long as one doesn’t sign, simply having it taped to one’s door doesn’t mean that a person is obliged to comply.

Contracts cannot be unilaterally amended after the fact. It’s Contract Law 101 that both parties agree to the contract, and that said contract can’t be changed unless both parties agree to the changes.

Of course, I think the complex is shooting themselves in the foot. Rather than go about it intelligently (for example “if you friend us on Facebook, your rent will be reduced by $30/month + $10/month laundry tokens”), or simply being such an awesome apartment complex that just saying that there’s now a complex Facebook page and they’d be happy if some of the tenants friended/liked it. I’ve read the yelp reviews, I found the Facebook page (although I don’t use Facebook, I could read a few entries), and they’re already getting a good deal of backlash on it.


#7

What a dumb idea. Not only can’t they unilaterally amend a contract but it is just a terrible PR move.

When ending a lease of an apartment one time they wanted me to sign a check out document. In it was language that agreed to hold harmless the apartment management company for anything in both the past and future. I laughed out loud when I read that. The nerve of some people. I would never sign such a document and no one has to sign a check out document. Many folks probably don’t bother to read what they sign and even if they did think they have some obligation to sign.


#8

It looks like they are getting trashed on their facebook page, so it looks like whatever they were hoping to gain was lost and then some. Seems like a just solution.


#9

very dumb idea - and scary! hope no one gets evicted because of this, but if the do, I hope they file a lawsuit!!!


#10

Perfect idiocy. I wonder how long it will take before this stupid policy is dumped.


#11

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