sign on lawn that says 'rent is due' (l) sign on lawn that has phone numbers on it (r)

@therichexperince/Tiktok

‘Y’all do understand people do struggle… right?’: Apartment complex tries to publicly shame residents who don’t make rent

‘I would be out there with sharpie covering mine.’

 

Braden Bjella

IRL

A video showing a Florida landlord publicly shaming apartment units that don’t make rent recently went viral after it was posted to TikTok.

The original video, which was posted to Facebook by Patron Urbaez, also went viral, accumulating over 1.4 thousand shares. When the video was reposted on TikTok by user @therichexperince, it went similarly viral, racking up over 2 million views in less than a day.

@therichexperince I AM DEAD 👏🏾😭😭😭😭 would be pisseeddd 😭😭😭😭 #fyp #funny ♬ original sound – тнerιcнeхperιnce💫

“Embarrassing! Not only do they have the ‘rent due’ sign stickers out, but they tell you which unit ain’t paid they shit,” a person in the video says.

The video shows a large red sign reading “RENT IS DUE” accompanied by a second sign with a series of numbers. Some numbers are circled in red, seemingly indicating a failure to pay.

On Facebook, Urbaez states that this is at a Portside complex in Florida.

Initially, users made jokes about the sign.

“The row that pays first should get a pizza party,” one commented.

“Yea ok I would be out there with sharpie covering mine,” another user wrote.

“When the teacher posts test scores for everybody to see,” a third commenter added.

However, the comments section quickly turned to sympathy for those who cannot make rent and are now being shamed for it.

Being late on rent is incredibly common in the United States. According to a 2020 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “an estimated 1 in 4 renters with children lived in a household that was behind on rent.”

Additionally, the same report states that “one in 6 adult renters—or 17 percent—reported that they lived in a household that was not caught up on rent.” Residents of color were also found to be more likely to be unable to pay rent than their white counterparts.

This data does not take into account issues on the part of landlords, which many in comments were quick to point out.

“Put a sign with all the repairs, maintenance and everything else they haven’t done yet too,” a user urged. “Put them on blast too!!!”

“That’s like a little invasion of privacy. Even if I did pay my rent I would speak up for the others,” another said.

“Y’all acting like people don’t want to pay it… Y’all do understand people do struggle… right?” a third questioned.

Update 11:35am CT, May 27: In a Facebook DM exchange, Urbaez offered more details about what can be seen in the video.

“This is Portside Mobile Home Community in jacksonville FL on Beach Blvd,” he says. “I do not live in the establishment. I was arriving to visit a friend who does and he didn’t even know it was happening until I got to his unit.”

As far as the actual content of the video is concerned, Urbaez is conflicted. “I have mixed emotions about it,” he states. “On the residents’ perspective, I can understand the uproar or frustration, however, I do believe that a complex can be forced to this point by units who do not pay. I have to think what exactly got the management to this point? Consistent tenants that do not pay? There may be a deeper perspective here. However, [resorting] to such a sign is morally wrong.”

Additionally, he claims the list may be inaccurate.“I did have one person reach out stating they paid, however they were allegedly listed as a unit that didn’t pay,” he details.


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