Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Tenant rights

The apartment complex I live in recently installed video camera's and I need to know whether it is legal for my landlady (manager) to view these tapes, not being the legal owner of the property or security company??

Asked on 10/17/02, 12:01 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Re: Tenant rights

I assume the cameras are in public areas, not in your apartment or other place where you would reasonably expect privacy. If so, there is no reason why the landlady could not see the tapes. The tapes should show only what any passerby could see.

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Answered on 10/17/02, 1:06 pm

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Tenant rights

The first question is whether the cameras' real usefulness and purpose is tenant security or owner/landlord/manager snooping. If their use and purpose is genuinely for tenant security, then it is not only legal, it is highly appropriate for non-owner management personnel to view the cameras' output, either live or on tape. Some large buildings hire doormen or guard services whose duties include monitoring security camera output.

On the other hand, tenants have a right to privacy, and if the cameras are being used to monitor tenant activities or to count or identify legitimate visitors, any viewing by the owner, landlord, manager, etc. could be an improper invasion of privacy.

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Answered on 10/17/02, 2:00 pm

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