Before You Leave a Bad Review of Your Landlord Online

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on November 11, 2016

Before You Leave a Bad Review of Your Landlord OnlineAfter two cases decided in favor of negatively reviewed landlords, it’s clear that landlords aren’t afraid of going after bad reviewers if they think what they are posting isn’t truthful. So before you blast your landlord online, read through these tips to make sure you don’t end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

  1. Just the facts. You can’t be accused of defamation if you stick to the facts of the story. Don’t exaggerate, and don’t say anything you can’t back up. That means before you write your scathing review, make sure you have dates, times, and events straight, and better yet, have a record, photos or video of anything you contend happened.
  2. Short and Sweet. Don’t go on for pages. The more you say, the more likely you are to say the wrong thing. Stick to your main issue and don’t go off topic or speculate.
  3. Use opinion language rather than accusations. Opinions are protected by the constitution. If you believe something happened but don’t have proof, you can say that. Instead of saying the landlord threatened you, you can say you felt threatened by certain behavior.
  4. Know your rights. If you do have a legitimate complaint that was not addressed and feel its appropriate to make a public complaint, Florida has anti-SLAPP legislation that is in place to protect free speech from “strategic lawsuits against public participation,” which mainly consists of lawsuits, or the threat of lawsuit, aimed at silencing bad reviews or negative publicity. Previously, Florida’s anti-SLAPP legislation only concerned government entities. But on July 1, 2015, it was expanded to include SLAPP lawsuits filed by anyone. Anti-SLAPP legislation won’t protect you from your bad review. Your review still must steer clear of defamation language and false accusations. But it does mean that no one can threaten to keep taking you to court indefinitely for saying something bad about them or their company.

In addition, no matter how mad you are, go through the appropriate steps to address problems before taking to blank Internet forms or review services. You should deal with your landlord or other steps, put in writing what the problem is and what you want done and by when (this is called a demand letter) before you leave poor reviews. Try to exhaust all avenues of action.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities

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