Is it legal for a property manager to video inside an apartment during an inspection visit without a tenant’s consent or presence?

UPDATED: Jun 21, 2011

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Is it legal for a property manager to video inside an apartment during an inspection visit without a tenant’s consent or presence?

I was sent a 48 hour notice for a routine inspection from the property management, which I had received in the mail only 24 hours before inspection. Then found out from a neighbor that the lady was video taping the inside of the apartments. I was not at home during the inspection, I did not receive any notification that she would be taping. Is what she did legal?

Asked on June 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What was the purported reason for the inspection?

The videotaping would appear to be an invasion of privacy.  Invasion of privacy is an unreasonable interference with one's right to be left alone.  You could sue the property manager and landlord for invasion of privacy.  You would only file one lawsuit which would name both the property manager and landlord as defendants.

As for the notice to the tenant prior to entering your apartment, the amount of notice a landlord/property manager is required to give varies from state to state.  Generally, it is 24 hours.  If there is an emergency, no notice is required. 

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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