For many, it would probably be enough to force us out of our apartment.
So when Twitter user, Rachel Bell shared a paper posted to her building stating that her rent was going up 10% because of a bible verse, the internet was understandably freaked out.
I mean, how can she joke at a time like this?
The full image uses clip art and states the increase.
On the flyer it says,
"Attn: All Tenants
Effective October 1, 2019 rent will increase 10% on all units according to Numbers 18:21."
Numbers 18:21-32 has to do with tithes for the Levites. Tithing itself is effectively a tax of 10 percent, which is likely where the landlord got that number.
What the heck?
This has to be illegal right?
Luckily, it is in fact illegal.
Rachel works for a real estate startup called Flip. She runs the social media content for the business and is well versed in leasing laws.
She wrote a post where a woman named Rachel asks about a shady situation with her landlord. Luckily for Rachel, Rachel was able to answer her own question.
It basically comes down to your lease.
The whole point of a lease is an exchange. The landlord doesn't randomly increase your rent, and you agree to live in the house for a set period of time.
The religious aspect is extra illegal, since the Federal Fair Housing Act prevents discriminating against renters on the basis of religion.
This all feels really serious.
Probably more serious than if you accidentally slept with your new landlord. So why is Rachel laughing this off and acting like it isn't a big deal?
Because in this situation, it isn't.
Rachel and her landlord Bruce have a very fun relationship and play pranks on each other. Some of their interactions have even gone viral.
Remember the viral image about the landlord who allowed a cat because it looked 'polite'?
That was Bruce.
That said, it's understandable why people got upset on behalf of Rachel when they saw this. Randomly increasing rent by 10% and giving a really flimsy justification feels like something a less scrupulous landlord would do.
So when Rachel revealed that this was just a joke on Bruce's part, people weren't buying it.
People are going to constantly question the motives of landlords and they may be right to do so. But at least Rachel can have a laugh with her 'best landlord ever'.
In the meantime, I need to go brush up on my bible in case I find a similar note on my door soon.
Listen to the first two episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!', where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
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