Think Before Venting About Your Landlord Online
We, as human beings, are very different from each other. We have different personalities. We come from different backgrounds. We carry different values, experiences, beliefs, and perspectives. We communicate and respond to circumstances in different ways, and we manage our lives in different ways. Because of this, we will experience and will have to navigate through conflicts with people now and then, simply because other people are different than us. And if you are a tenant, there is a very high chance that you may eventually find yourself having a conflict with your landlord. Why? Because as a tenant, you may have specific preferences and may want things done a certain way when it comes to your rental house or apartment, and if you do not feel like things are happening in those ways, it could potentially become a conflict. And when it comes to conflicts, we all have different means of venting our emotions about those conflicts. However, in this day and age, it is incredibly important that as a tenant, you manage your feelings and emotions and think it through before you vent your feelings about your landlord online.
It is not a crime to vent your feelings. However, if you are a tenant, venting your feelings about your landlord online may not be a wise decision. If you do this and your landlord sees it, he or she could potentially sue you for defamation. Defamation is the act of damaging someone’s good reputation. By venting negative things about your landlord online, you are publicly slandering them, and that can ultimately hurt their rental property business. Giving your landlord a lousy reputation can prevent him or her from receiving new tenants, and no landlord wants that. Your landlord can legally take you to court for defamation and can, unfortunately, use your comments as evidence because it is “in writing” online.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Has that ever really happened though? Isn’t that kind of extreme?” It has happened. In 2012, Andreas Papaliolios posted a review on Yelp about his experience with his landlords. He used extreme terms, calling his landlord a sociopathic narcissist and saying that their behaviors were most likely responsible for the death of three tenants and the departure of eight tenants. He also claimed that the landlords sought six evictions of tenants who paid rent in full and did not bother anyone. The landlord was unhappy with this review, so they decided to take Papaliolios to court on accounts of “defamation.” This review was incredibly damaging to the landlord’s reputation, so it makes sense that the landlord would want to take it to court and get the review removed. However, Papaliolios gave information that could have been factual, therefore, the court needed to prove whether it was true or false in order to decide whether or not the landlord was suitable to continue renting out the property. It turned out that some of Papaliolios information was not true. Papaliolios now has to try to obtain housing with a case of defamation on his record.
All this to say, think before you vent your feelings about your landlord online. If you need to vent about it, write down what you are experiencing and leave it there, or vent to a family member that you trust to keep it under wraps. If you would like to know how you can best manage your end of things as a tenant to avoid conflicts with your landlord, feel free to give us a call at Authority Property Management! We are property managers in Redding who have done property management in Redding and Shasta County for over twenty years, and we would love to help you in any way we can! Give us a call at (530) 410-6085.
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