In a recent settlement, Inch & Company Property Management LLC, a property manager in York County, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $8,000 for violating the Federal Consumer Review Fairness Act and Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The company had issued leases that prohibited tenants from posting negative online reviews and subjected them to financial penalties if they did so.
Attorney General Michelle Henry emphasized the importance of online reviews for consumers when exploring their options for living spaces, stating that the clause in the leases prevented tenants from sharing their honest experiences. She also encouraged consumers to thoroughly research and consider available reviews before signing any contracts.
Inch & Co. manages over 4,500 rental units in Central Pennsylvania and Maryland, and has been in business for more than 15 years. The company’s website states its commitment to providing satisfactory living experiences for its tenants.
As part of the settlement, Inch & Company Property Management LLC will need to comply with the Consumer Protection Law and Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, and will no longer be allowed to include non-disparagement clauses in their tenant contracts. Of the $8,000 settlement, $5,000 will cover costs incurred by the Commonwealth and the Attorney General’s office, while the remaining $3,000 will serve as civil penalties, distributed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Treasury.
Q: What was Inch & Company Property Management LLC fined for?
A: Inch & Company Property Management LLC was fined for issuing leases that prohibited and penalized tenants from posting negative online reviews.
Q: How much will the settlement be?
A: The settlement will amount to $8,000.
Q: How many rental units does Inch & Co. manage?
A: Inch & Co. manages over 4,500 rental units across Central Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Q: What laws did Inch & Co. violate?
A: Inch & Co. violated the Federal Consumer Review Fairness Act and Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.