As a lodger living inside a home, do I have a right to my privacy?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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As a lodger living inside a home, do I have a right to my privacy?

I rent a room in a house in which the landlord also lives. I told him that I was going away for the weekend. When I came back, his girlfriend told me that a smoke detector was placed in my room. I texted him and asked when it was placed. He answered saying,

Asked on June 2, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have a right to privacy ("quiet enjoyment") of the space you rent. However, the landlord also has a right to enter your space for maintenance or repairs (and/or to bring the location up to code)--such as by placing smoke detectors. They should have provided you notice first for non-emergency work (no notice is required in the case of a legitimate emergency), but if you were away and there was some reason the detector should have been placed then (e.g. they realized they had no smoke detector protecting you, and had a legitimate interest in rectifying that as soon as possible), their entrance without permission is acceptable.

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