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Friend Your Apartment Building or Risk Losing Your Place

Long are the days when the local newspaper had everything you needed to know about your local area, instead you find adverts on sites like Gumtree and Craigslist for everything from sofas and toys to apartments looking for housemates. So what would be wrong with finding the next place you want to rent on social media? Your friend likes the site so it can’t be too bad, right? Well, a contract for apartments in Salt Lake City goes one further, requiring that you friend the apartment complex within five days.

That’s correct, it is in your rental agreement that you “friend” the apartment complex in five days or be in breach of your contract. The agreement is located on the “Facebook Addendum” that was posted on the residents of City Part apartments last week stating that they are expected to do in relation to the social media platform. Alongside becoming friends with the complex the appended also states that you can’t post negative reviews and that the site can also use images of the tenants and their guests on Facebook, further intruding into residents privacy.

No bad press? Must be friends on Facebook? Sadly these terms and conditions are becoming somewhat common with sites often requiring their users to link their accounts to an establishment and to only post positive reviews in hopes of swaying potential customers. This never works out, with courts often throwing out these agreements, stating that the clauses could be considered everything from unfair competition to pure blackmail, forcing people to advertise and please groups for their financial gain.

Gareth Andrews

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