Submitted by karrotkween t3_11qkwdi in baltimore

Context: we're currently living at a property, but are moving out at the end of May. We had two people come by to see the unit last week, and we answered any questions they had honestly (sometimes very positively, sometimes sharing the less positive realities of the property). Our landlord told us that it's illegal for us to do that and that we should tell the viewers to refer all questions to the landlord. Is that true?



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ManicPixieDreamGrl t1_jc3srt4 wrote

I feel like replying to viewers with “my landlord has threatened legal action if I answer any of your questions” will tell them all they need to know.


guest0112 t1_jc3znfa wrote

…. And we’re not renewing the lease” BOOM


Dontaskmeaboutnam t1_jc3r7nc wrote

Read your lease.

If it’s not slander or a threat of violence you can basically say anything you want to anyone. Besides which how is landlord going to restrain your speech? Are they genna call the cops? Are they genna file a suit in court?

Ps. Fuck your landlord.


karrotkween OP t1_jc3s9v9 wrote

I share the sentiment :) She even offered us money to say only positive things to help her make a sale, and said it'll make our lives easier if we either only answer positively or refer them to her for all questions. sketchhh.


Kirch_figgums t1_jc3u1ok wrote

The equivalent of Amazon gift cards for five star reviews. Cool grift, landlord!


saltyjohnson t1_jc60yy7 wrote

Take the money up front, and then tell everybody just how lovely and generous your landlord is that they would give you money in exchange for such a simple request of saying only positive things about them and the property! Don't talk about anything else, just talk about how great your landlord is! So generous! And just to say nice things about them! What an easy thing to do! Why would a landlord give me money just to tell prospective tenants about how great they are?? What a sweetheart!


Angdrambor t1_jc6ttu4 wrote

>said it'll make our lives easier if we either only answer positively

That's really only true if you're trying to get out from under your lease.


jetty_junkie t1_jc3v6gv wrote

Even if it was in the lease if it’s illegal it doesn’t matter


AffectionatePizza408 t1_jc3y05t wrote

They might not do those things, but I could definitely see them withholding the security deposit for petty reasons based on this.


citizenkrang t1_jc4523o wrote

I am not an attorney but even if there is some weird clause in your lease I don't think it would be enforceable, especially in a city as tenant-friendly as Baltimore. That said, the landlord could be a petty asshole and try to hold your security deposit if he thought you were turning off any potential tenants so I guess ask yourself if you want the inconvenience. My guess is if they are making up this kind of stuff they'll probably find an excuse to try and keep your security deposit anyway.


DoNotWeepAtMyGrave t1_jc4q1fs wrote

It’s not illegal.

You’re not staying, so take the money.

Respond with: “ per the binding legal document we signed we cannot answer any of your questions.”

Profit. Move on.


aliencatboss t1_jc45jka wrote

boy this sounds strangely familiar to a terrible landlord my friend had in charles village…she was racist, threatened legal action for my friend leaving a review, did a shoddy job of fixing anything (aka her husband literally built boxes around holes in the wall instead of just patching the wall), and would just schedule walk throughs seemingly deliberately when her tenant asked her not to. good luck and gtfo of there :)


cologne_peddler t1_jc4fkjd wrote

Not an attorney, but your landlord is a shitbag.


KingBooRadley t1_jc4zwxf wrote

I’m an attorney and a landlord, but your landlord is a shitbag.


Traditional_Signal73 t1_jc44ec4 wrote

I'm surprised that your landlord or their agent scheduled walk throughs while you're at the property. Is your landlord present, or do people just show up to do a walk through? If your landlord or their agent are present, and you're talking shit about them and the property to prospective tenants, you're a legend.


Sea_Yesterday_8888 t1_jc43pzb wrote

Not a legal expert, but this is weird. I rent rooms in my home and lead with the negatives. (No central ac, shared bathroom, no cable, etc.) I wouldn’t put someone in an uncomfortable situation. I encourage my current roommate to ask the new tenant questions and talk with them. All parties should be satisfied with accommodations. As a landlord it is different. I remember asking one once if there were young single people in a complex and they couldn’t answer demographic questions, rightfully so.


LJ_Wanderer t1_jc5caar wrote

Your landlord is full of shit.


ILikeBigBidens t1_jc661fe wrote

Next time a prospective tenant asks you a question, just tell them that your landlord has told you it’s illegal to answer their questions. I’d be sketched out by a place if tenants flat out refused to talk about it.


MyKidsArentOnReddit t1_jc556e1 wrote

property manager here.

No. No it goddamn isn't. Now, you don't have to answer any questions if you don't want to, and you can decline to answer anything you don't want to, but illegal? Heck no.

Also, please tell your landlord he's a dick because he's clearly just trying to keep you quiet about something.


we-overcome-us t1_jc5q98n wrote

As others have said, no, it's not illegal.

At the last house I rented, the prospective tenants toured with the landlord to check it out and they loved it. They seemed like nice people so I felt compelled to open the dishwasher so they could see the infestation of roaches the landlord "fixed." The wife turned positively green. Landlord made my life hell but couldn't legally do anything.


Nintendoholic t1_jc6hadi wrote

Lol as long as it's not defamatory you're good my dude


Kooky_Deal9566 t1_jc78sya wrote

I am an attorney. Unless it’s in your lease or some other agreement you entered, your landlord can’t restrict you from talking to anyone about anything (provided what you say is truthful).


Isamosed t1_jc4lemc wrote

Manicpixiedreamgrl has the language I’d use.


Gr8ingPresence t1_jc4kk1w wrote

Everyone knows that the First Amendment does not allow for screaming "FIRE" in a crowded theater or saying anything your landlord doesn't want you to say.

C'mon, OP. THINK!!! Your landlord has no ability to limit your First Amendment rights. They cannot tell you what you can say, nor to whom.


Kooky_Deal9566 t1_jc79sgd wrote

The First Amendment only protects against government-imposed restrictions on speech. It does not extend to private restrictions on speech.

I’m just commenting to clear up this misconception. 1A does not apply in this context, unless there is a law that governs what tenants can and cannot say to prospective renters.