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scam finance apartment
Phil Chu
Phil Chu
Making software since the 80s

The latest in the series of predatory product offers for renters who are hard up, promoted by my apartment complex:

We are providing a new perk available to our residents through a company called Flex. This program allows you to split your rent into two payments without any late charges. We are excited to get you more information as we roll out this new initiative. Please see the attached files for more information.

The attached brochures are enticing, pay half your rent when it’s due and Flex pays the rest, you repay Flex later in the month. Nowhere does it mention what’s the catch. There’s a fee, of course, not mentioned in the brochures. At first I couldn’t find it on their website, not even in the FAQ (RentPlus did mention a fee in the middle of the FAQ, as if that wouldn’t be naturally be the first question asked), without digging into their Terms of Service (“now where would I put info that I don’t want anyone to find?’). Now I see it does show up in an example figure of monthly payments, but it feels like they just snuck it in there as minimal disclosure (there’s a more prominent diclosure on debit card fees).

Anyway, I’ll save you the search, it’s $15/month, so basically it’s high interest credit - that’s $15 to postpone paying half your rent by a few weeks. I suspect, as with the previous offer RentPlus, part of their business model relies on the first few payments from customers who took a while t notice the surprise fee.