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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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