Pokémon GO may be the ultimate “mobile” app. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of people have checked out the game, with as many as 21 million playing daily, and these players are, indeed, mobile.
The object of the game, in case you don’t play, is to collect items like eggs or potions and capture creatures — all of which can be spotted in specific locations using the phone’s GPS. That means players have to get off the couch, out of the house, and actually travel around.
That’s causing problems for some people, including rental property owners, like this landlord in Hallowell, Maine, who tells reporters that he has game enthusiasts trespassing on his property day and night.
When ordinary “no trespassing” signs had no impact, this landlord got more creative, posting signs like “Stop playing Pokémon and get a real job!”
So far, the new signs have done little but insult local game players who find the landlord’s rhetoric demeaning.
The overwhelming popularity of the game has led to some unexpected consequences. Police agencies are issuing warnings of increased safety risks, including assaults, real-life brawls between players, and traffic accidents. Roving game players have become a common complaint, whether they are crawling through the bushes, leaving behind trash, or engaging in the game on sacred sites like cemeteries.
At the same time, a number of landlords are embracing the social trend and using — or attempting to use — Pokémon lingo in rental ads. One example: “Walking distance to everything including park — especially for those that play Pokémon GO.”
While these ads may appeal to a large demographic of rental applicants, there is a study underway that may prove Pokémon GO interactions are lacking in poor, minority neighborhoods. Landlords should take heed of that potential bias, especially if online ads are the only method used to market a vacancy.
Some property owners have taken the opposite tack, touting the fact that there are no Pokémon hotspots nearby, perhaps to attract residents who’d rather have some peace and quiet.
Love it or hate it, Pokémon GO’s “augmented reality” clearly has spilled over into the real world — and the impact has been positively monstrous.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.