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DECONSTRUCTED: Revenge is tweet

PERE Magazine September 2009: Chicago real estate manager files lawsuit against renter following ‘mouldy’ comments on Twitter social networking site.

Mould: bad for you?

You’d think that the current downturn in residential realestate would make owners much more solicitous of their renters. But an online controversy in Chicago has shownthat at least one landlord still isn’t taking any lip.

Real estate investor and manager Horizon Group Management has filed suit against a renter, Amanda Bonnen, for using her Twitter account to allege that her apartmentwas mouldy.

The offending “tweet”, posted in May, was:”Who said sleeping in a mouldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it's okay.”

The landlord filed suit in Cook County, Illinois, circuit court, claiming the tweet had “maliciously and wrongfully” spreading untruths about Horizon “throughout the world”.

Horizon reportedly did not bother trying to contact Bonnen prior to filing suit. “We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organisation,” an executive told theChicago Sun-Times. Horizon is seeking damages of $50,000.

Bonnen reportedly had a following of 20 people when she posted her mould comment. The lawsuit is now among the most-discussed stories on the internet.

If we come across a worse PR strategy, we’ll let you know.