What are a tenant’s rights to privacy?

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011

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What are a tenant’s rights to privacy?

We have an oral agreement with the landlord to do the work she asked us to do and mow the yard for rent. We have put $3000 in the house and now she wants us to leave but never gave us an eviction notice or warned us that she wasn’t satisfied with our agreement. She demanded we get out and then we found her on our webcam sneaking in and taking pictures of our personal property.

Asked on August 29, 2011 Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney; you may have a cause of action and grounds to avoid eviction.

1) If you only have an oral agreement, you probably can be evicted on 30 days notice to terminate your tenancy (with an oral or verbal lease, you will be month to month tenants; either you or the landlord can terminate the tenancy on a month's notice)--but you can't be evicted without that notice.

2) If you invested money ($3,000) in the house in reliance on the landlord's promise to let you stay there fo r certain length of time, that investment *may* give you an enforceable right.

3) A landlord may *not* enter a tenant's property without notice (usually 24 hours) unless it's an emergency; and may not enter for an improper purpose (e.g. the landlord can enter for maintence or to show the home, but not to look at your personal property), even with notice; and may not take pictures of your personal belongings without permission.

It seems as if it would therefore be worth your while to speak with a lawyer about your situation. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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