Got A Bad Landlord? Be Careful About Libel And Slander

Law Blog

Landlord-tenant relationships could be deemed one of the most fickle business relationships ever. You have one party who just wants to pay for a place to live and another party who wants to make money with the places they have available for people to live in. Even though this business agreement sounds simple enough, tenants and landlords commonly disagree and end up in court. One thing that often lands tenants in hot water is defamation of character suits filed by the landlord. It may seem petty, but talking too much about your bad landlord experience, especially in the wrong places, could get you sued. Here's what you need to know.  

Libel and slander can be damaging to your landlord's business model. 

As a landlord, business success partially relies on having a good reputation among tenants. If you go around posting exaggerated complaints about the landlord online, telling everyone in town that the property owner was a horrendous caretaker when they weren't all that bad, and sending your personal reports to local news stations, all this could severely impair the landlord's ability to do business. Even if what you are saying is a little bit true, you could technically be sued because of the impact on the property owner's inability to find tenants. 

Libel and slander lawsuits can come about easier than what you believe. 

It's not as hard to defame someone's character as what most people believe. All it takes is one Facebook post, one oral communication, or one misguided remark to really set off a whirlwind of carried-over information that gets cycled around town or beyond. In the age of technology, it is particularly easy to get yourself in the middle of a lawsuit because information has traveled so quickly.  Even though you have had a bad experience with your landlord, it is best to be careful what you say, where you say it, and who you say anything to. 

Libel and slander cases are not always filed by the landlord. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, tenants can also file character defamation lawsuits because of libel and slander committed by a landlord. For example, if a landlord posts on social media that you were the worst tenant they'd ever had, and that information is completely untrue, the information gets passed around town, and you are no longer able to find a place to live, you could have the grounds to file your own defamation-of-character lawsuit. 

For more information, contact your local personal injury lawyers.


6 August 2018