Is it legal for my landlord to come in and do general maintenance but take pictures of my belongings?

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Is it legal for my landlord to come in and do general maintenance but take pictures of my belongings?

The lease states that my landlord must come in to do repairs like change filters. When they came in to do repairs, they started taking pictures of my belongings and told me I was too messy and I needed to clean up. There was not any damage to the structure or carpet.

Asked on January 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well here is the thing. Your landlord may not be correct socially to take pictures of your belongings. However, if your landlord is concerned your "mess" is creating an environment wherein a bug infestation could occur or rodent infestation, or neighbors are complaining of odors, your landlord is smart to take those photos in case he or she has to sue you. The best bet is to inform the landlord in writing you have not damaged the structure or carpet and you do not understand nor appreciate his or her comments. He or she cannot evict you in retaliation but unless your lease has an automatic renewal option for you, your landlord does not have to renew your lease.


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