What are a tenant’s rights to privacy?

We have an oral agreement with the landlord to do the work she asked us to do and mow the yard for rent. We have put $3000 in the house and now she wants us to leave but never gave us an eviction notice or warned us that she wasn’t satisfied with our agreement. She demanded we get out and then we found her on our webcam sneaking in and taking pictures of our personal property.

Asked on August 29, 2011 Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney; you may have a cause of action and grounds to avoid eviction.

1) If you only have an oral agreement, you probably can be evicted on 30 days notice to terminate your tenancy (with an oral or verbal lease, you will be month to month tenants; either you or the landlord can terminate the tenancy on a month's notice)--but you can't be evicted without that notice.

2) If you invested money ($3,000) in the house in reliance on the landlord's promise to let you stay there fo r certain length of time, that investment *may* give you an enforceable right.

3) A landlord may *not* enter a tenant's property without notice (usually 24 hours) unless it's an emergency; and may not enter for an improper purpose (e.g. the landlord can enter for maintence or to show the home, but not to look at your personal property), even with notice; and may not take pictures of your personal belongings without permission.

It seems as if it would therefore be worth your while to speak with a lawyer about your situation. Good luck.


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