Can my landlord open and read my mail?

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2012

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Can my landlord open and read my mail?

My landlord lives downstairs from me in the same house. My apartment is totally separate from her home though. She has been opening and reading my mail consistently for the past several months. Is this legal?

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No--it is not merely illegal, it is very illegal. Nothing in the landord-tenant relationship gives the landlord the right to do this, and moreover, it is a violation of federal law to read another's mail. Your landlord could potentially face jail time for doing this; she could also possibly be sued by you, such as for invastion of privacy. If she will not stop, either speak wiith an attorney about your options, or talk to the staff at your post office, who may refer it to the appropriate authorities.

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