- Hype House is one of the most famous and longest-running content houses.
- The leaked contract shows what the new member had to agree to in order to join the house.
- The document also included a list of 11 “house rules” they had to follow.
Social media collectives are often touted as a revolving door for talented people to freely collaborate—but that doesn’t mean they come without rules.
Hype House, one of the longest running TikTok groups, has a few house rules – 11 to be exact – that new members must agree to when they join. The rules appeared in a recent contract shared with Insider by a manager representing an active member of Hype House. They asked to remain anonymous for fear of possible retaliation.
The contract requires talent and guests to sign several non-disclosure, non-disparagement, confidentiality and waiver and release clauses. The clauses serve to protect Hype House from any damages incurred at the Los Angeles mansion and give Hype House Group and its de facto owner Thomas Petrou the rights to all content recorded at the property.
Hype House was founded in 2019 by Petrou and influencers Chase Hudson and Daisy Keech (who left in 2020 and filed a lawsuit against Petrou and Hudson over ownership of the brand). Although the group was founded with 20 TikTokers, it appears to currently have around seven active members. The members live in a Spanish-style villa located not far from Los Angeles, and in exchange for housing, they are required to please other Hype House members. As the stars of its first members grew, so did the Hype House brand. Some of its most notable former members include TikTokers Addison Rae, the D’Amelio sisters, Larray, and the Lopez brothers. Earlier this year, Netflix released the reality series “Hype House,” which aimed to document the inner workings and interpersonal drama between the members.
Although the collective is not a management company, the leaked contract shows it has set strict rules for those living in and passing through the villa – including a list of actual “house rules”. Some rules reiterate non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements, including protecting the TikTok brand from liability for any injuries and property damage, while others rely more on social codes of conduct, such as banning drug use. There is also a special rule that requires those who sign the agreement not to discuss the details of the agreement with anyone.
Two lawyers with experience in the social media space, who reviewed the contract, said they felt the contract was one-sided in Hype House’s favor.
“This contract is completely skewed,” said Jillyn Hess-Verdon, a Los Angeles-based attorney who has represented influencers and others in the entertainment industry. “Most contracts would say, ‘Hype House has the following duties…’ but none of the standard provisions of Hype House and their obligations are in the contract at all. It’s very unusual.”
Legal experts say this contract protects Hype House and says nothing about how Hype House serves its members
Two lawyers Insider spoke with noted the lack of “standard clauses” they’re used to seeing in contracts in the industry.
“Almost all the standard clauses you’d expect to see in a standard influencer contract are missing,” said Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney who has many social media-famous clients. “First, there is no royalty. Second, all intellectual property is assigned and transferred to Hype House.”
“It is an agreement that surrenders all your rights in connection with any relationship with Hype House. All four, which makes it unusual,” Hess-Verdon said of NDAs, non-disparagement, confidentiality and waiver and release agreements. “They can edit and disparage you, even falsely, and you have no objection.”
The only benefit to the signer, or future Hype House member, seems to be free housing and a chance to grow a social media following.
Lawyers also said they were concerned about how broad some of the contract’s provisions were. In several sections, Hype House asks signatories to waive any claims they might make during their time in the house and forever after.
“I unconditionally and irrevocably release and release Hype House, jointly and severally, from all claims, causes of action, suits, charges, debts, charges, sums of money, attorneys’ fees and costs, bills, accounts, obligations, contracts, torts, agreements, costs, wages, compensations, promises, indemnities, judgments, rights, claims or otherwise (‘Claims’),” it says in part.
Hess-Verdon specifically pointed to language used in one statement asking talent to “assume all responsibility for any and all risk of personal and/or property damage or bodily injury” suffered at the house. This includes anything “resulting from an accident, casualty or event or in connection with the Hype House Group.”
“You waive all rights to any claims you may have,” she said. “Everything. All known and unknown future claims, which is excessive.”
Hess-Verdon and Pfeiffer said they wondered if this was the only contract Hype House offered or if there was a separate contract outlining the group’s duties and responsibilities.
Petrou and Hype House Group did not respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment. However, the manager who provided the contract to Insider said it was the only one their client received when he joined Hype House and that the client signed it before consulting them.
“If this is the only deal an agency has won for an individual influencer, then they’ve dropped the ball,” Pfeiffer said. “There’s too much left unsaid… there’s no way I’m going to let a client sign this agreement.”
11 ‘House Rules’ of Hype House
Here’s what the leaked contract says about Hype House’s “rules”:
- “Any third party, guest or invitee brought into the House as a guest must sign a standard non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement provided by Hype House.”
- “No harmful, illegal, drug use, or seriously offensive activities or disturbances may be conducted at the House, House premises, or grounds. Illegal activities include, but are not limited to, violations of any California criminal law relating to the Internet. Hype House has the right to determine whether any device, noise, smell or activity constitutes a nuisance.”
- “Repairs or any damage to the house, its contents, other people’s contents, decorations or common property caused by you or your guest will be at your expense and repairs will be made as soon as reasonably necessary. Hype House reserves the right to make such repairs and invoice you for such repairs, and you will pay for such repairs within five (5) business days of receipt of the invoices. No alterations are permitted to the house without the express written consent of Hype House.”
- “The house will be kept in good condition, sanitary, clean and free of rubbish and debris during the time you live in the house.”
- “If you wish to have more than 2 guests and invitees in the House for more than 1 hour, you must first obtain Hype House’s written consent to do so due to COVID-related restrictions and for the general safety of others in the House.”
- “You will keep your contact information correct and current with Hype House.”
- “You will keep confidential all information received pursuant to this Agreement or about others in the House, including but not limited to the terms and conditions of this Agreement and the House Rules, and all information about others in the House that is not already publicly known and personally and professional, strictly confidential.”
- “You will not, without the express written consent of Hype House, directly or indirectly communicate or disclose, or use for your benefit or for the benefit of any other person, firm, company, association, corporation or other entity, any of Hype House or others guests in the house or anyone else in the house, confidential information transmitted by you or otherwise learned or acquired during your engagement with Hype House. You, either individually or through any other service, will not be authorized to use Hype House or others residing in the house for marketing purposes without the express written consent of Hype House.”
- “You must not disparage Hype House and its officers, members, affiliates, successors, assigns or any family members of Hype House or guests of Hype House, or other guests residing at the House, or any guests of the House, or make any public comment that would reasonably be expected to expose someone to embarrassment, criticism or financial injury or loss.”
- “You agree, understand, acknowledge and agree that your photos and/or videos may be taken for public dissemination or advertising. Any images with or without you and your name or any of your pseudo names may be shared publicly. You also agree that you will not receive any compensation for any videos and/or photos as provided herein.”
- “You unconditionally and irrevocably release and release Hype House, jointly and severally, from all claims, causes of action, suits, charges, debts, fees, sums of money, attorneys’ fees and costs, bills, accounts, contracts, contracts, torts, agreements, costs, wages , offsets, promises, damages, judgments, rights, demands or otherwise (“Claims”), whether known or unknown, in law or equity, accrued or unpaid, conditional or unconditional, arising at any time up to and including the date this Agreement has been fully executed, regardless of whether it can be proven on the effective date of this Agreement, whether customary or statutory, whether now recognized or not, that Guest or anyone requesting from, through, or under them (including without limitation their respective heirs, executors, personal representatives, administrators, assigns and spouses) may have or may have against Hype House in any way.”