South Bend apartment complex investigating rent waiver hoax

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 4:56 PM EDT
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As more people struggle with financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic, you can imagine the reaction from Waterford Glen Apartment residents when they saw a letter from the office saying their May rent would be waived.

16 News Now looked into this, only to find out the letter was too good to be true.

Like many in Michiana, Dale Hudak says he could use a month off paying rent after being laid off and denied for unemployment benefits, since the start of the pandemic.

When he saw the letter saying Waterford Glen was waiving rent fees for May, he said he was skeptical.

"I received a note on my door on Easter Sunday saying that my rent was going to be non-charged for the month of May. I had my intuition doubts that this was going to take place," said Waterford Glen resident Dale Hudak.

He said the note looked official with the office letterhead and everything.

Tuesday morning, just two days later, he received another letter that said: ""Unfortunately the letter was fabricated by an individual or individuals with ill-intentions"

Waterford Glen says in the new letter that they are conducting an internal investigation to find whoever is responsible for this.

"There's nothing we can do about it. It isn't anybody's fault. It's not the apartment complex's fault. I don't know who did it. They would be the person or persons at fault," Hudak said.

Hudak said the hoax could cause confusion going forward.

"There are going to be several individuals who are going to be skeptic of information that is going to be passed because they're not going to know if it's true or not true. It's going to be very hard now for individuals to really believe," he said.

To make sure this doesn’t happen again, Waterford Glen is putting in an additional safeguard for all of their communications with residents.

"All letters and notices will continue to be sent to your door from our office. However these same notices will be posted on Active Building (The online resident portal) by our staff. The posting of notices in Active Building will also indicate the validity of the letters and notices.

The Waterford Glen office says to reach out to them if you have any information about who was behind the hoax.