Q: A section of my lease: "Disparaging Statements" of any kind are prohibited by residents.
"statements or communication, which defames the owner, employee, or management of rental unit... may be subject to action for defamation by person who suffers injury or loss as a result of defamatory statement."
A: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every American the right of freedom of speech, which is an indispensable asset to American democracy. The right to express a unique point of view allows every American to exchange new ideas and to hear different interpretations of the truth. A provision, as you cited, in a residential lease would be determined to be unconstitutional and unenforceable in Virginia.
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