Can a building manager take pictures of me, my belongings and my apartment while without my permission?

UPDATED: Apr 4, 2012

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Can a building manager take pictures of me, my belongings and my apartment while without my permission?

All the tenants got a notice yesterday posted on our doors – “notice to enter” for purposes of “smoke detector testing” for the following day. The property manager entered my room today, tested the alarm, then proceeded to take out his camera and snap photos (5 or 6) of my entire loft (including myself and belongings). I immediately said “you can’t do that”. He said he could. I said “no” and told him to stop. He continued, saying it was for documentation. He took photos of everyone’s loft, home or not, without notice or permission. No photos were taken of fire safety equipment. This is far from a first problem with him.

Asked on April 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately for you, a landlord upon reasonable notice (typically 24 hours) has the right to enter a tenant's rental for assorted purposes such as showing the unit for resale, to rent again, or to make a general inspection as to its condition.

Implied in such inspections is the fact that the landlord or his agent in your case can take videotape or photographs of the renatl for future use and/or need. This seems to have been what was done concerning your rental. The photographs taken were not illegally taken. I agree the entry was done under false pretenses.

I suggest that you lodge a formal written complaint against the property manager as a safeguard. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and reference.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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