Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tenants unhappy about new lease agreement that requires them to 'like' complex on Facebook

Some tenants at an apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, are unhappy about a new lease agreement that requires tenants to “like” the complex on Facebook. Tenants of the City Park Apartments said that a “Facebook addendum” was taped to their doors on 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. Zachary Myers, an attorney who specialises 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.

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“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 utilise an online presence such as Facebook,” he said. Myers said that if a lease is already signed, a tenant may not be required by law to sign a late add-on. He added that if something like an add-on appears and a tenant is not comfortable with it, the tenant should not sign it because once signed, the tenant is bound to the contract unless a court says otherwise.

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