Is it legal to record audio and video of someone being shown a home without consent or warning?

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Is it legal to record audio and video of someone being shown a home without consent or warning?

I was informed today that a seller observed and recorded my wife and I while we were being shown. The selling agent informed my agent that there were recording devices in all rooms. Both my wife and myself used restrooms at

that house. MI surveillance and eavesdrop laws seem to contradict each other. When I reciently sold a property in TX we had to sign a document that outlined that recording of potential buyers was prohibited under federal and state law. I’m trying to determine what is legal in MI.

Asked on July 9, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) It is legal to videotape someone in MI without their knowledge or consent IF the videotaping is done in a place where they do not have a "reasonable expectation" of privacy--that is, in a location where people do not believe they may not be observed. In someone else's living room or kitchen, etc., that would be legal--you do not reasonably expecte privacy in *another* person's home. However, videotaping you in the bathroom is illegal, since people reasonably expect privacy inthe bathroom.
2) It is NEVER legal in your state to audio record a conversation which you are not part of--unless the people your record consent or agree to the recording. Since the buyer was (we presume) not there and not talking to you, he/she was not part of the conversation and could not record it. Illegally audio recording someone is a crime: it is the equivalent of wiretapping.


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