Can my landlord have my neighbors spy on me?

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Can my landlord have my neighbors spy on me?

My landlord is renting the home he used to live in for about 1 year. Now that I live there the neighbors are watching me and telling the landlord when I am home and not home, and whatever they see. I recently had one of the neighbors come and apologize for his behavior and for violating my privacy, admitting to spying on me per the landlord’s request to know everything that was going on at my house. I do have other neighbors who are still spying and the landlord stalking me. He comes over 5 minutes after I get home (as soon as the neighbors call and tell him or send him picture messages).

Asked on June 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Three different issues:

1) Can a landlord ask neighbors to tell him when you are around or what you are doing? Yes, if there's a legitimate reason (see 3, below).

2) Can neighbors, or anyone, look at what you're doing in public spaces--e.g. your coming and going through the front door of your home? Yes. There is no privacy expectation in acts done in public.

3) Might the landlord be impermissibly stalking or harassing you? Yes. If the landlord has a legitimate concern about what you're doing--are you having people not on your lease residing with you, in violation of lease terms? Are you engaging in behavior or having frequent visitors to your premises that suggest criminal or drug-related activity, or even a home business which may be illegal under the terms of the lease? If you are doing anything that is a legal violation or lease violation or suggest such, the landlord may keep on eye on it.

If however the landlord does not have such reasonable or valid grounds for keeping an eye on you, he may be stalking or harassming you. If you believe this is the case, you may wish to contact the local police.


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