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all are valid points SOON2BNSURPRISE but would it make better sense and also be common courtesy for the landlord to state that in the letter somehow? "Hey tennants we are needing to do this for the following reasons....." (and spell them out, maybe just a blanket statement that dosen't disclose all of the in-depth reason but something that sort of makes some attempt at levelling with the occupants). Does it matter that what you are referring to are retail or commercial properties as opposed to residential dwellings/apartments? I realize it's all buildings and money and all of that but if this is for those type of transactional verification then don't you really want to have it properly documented ie drawings/notes done by a professional structural engineer or qualified building inspector.
I should clarify that the letter states that "I will be coming through the units to take pictures". So it's the landlord (even that term "lord" in this context irks me) that is coming in to take photos. No mention of anyone else. and I guess I also have to ask...how good do these photos have to be in order to detect problems with cracks in the wall or other structural deficits to be of any value?
it just stinks i tell you, there must be some ulterior motive and i just don't like it.
Since you are a tenant I doubt that you have any legal entitlement to know the reason for inspections or taking pictures. The landlord has a legal right to inspect their property, although I believe they must notify you and I'm pretty sure you have the right to be present. Just tell them that the inspection is fine with you, but tell them that you want to be present and ask them to propose an appointment date and time for your inspection. Negotiate an appointment that is mutually agreeable. I think it would be unreasonable of them to deny you.
Also I suggest you should prepare for the inspection (a good reason for having a specific appointment) and pick up and put away any personal property you don't want photographed.
This reminds me of my short stint as a cable guy. I was working for a friend in the CATV business and we were rewiring a large 3-story apartment building (about 100 units). The tenants were notified that during about a three day period cable technicians would have to enter their unit and change out the television wiring. The way it worked me and my buddy would work in adjacent apartments and the manager would ping-pong between us, letting us in and then locking up afterwards.
I must have done about 40-50 apartments myself, and in about a dozen of them I noticed that people had left out dope paraphernalia and even drugs. I would see rolling papers, rolled marijuana joints and even some "lines" left out. Of course I behaved professionally, and other than raising an eyebrow and maybe a few smirks I didn't touch anything, didn't say anything, and just did my job with the television wiring and got out. However I was pretty amazed at how many people didn't put their stuff away.
So what I'm saying is put your stuff away! Even just personal stuff, just put anything away that you don't want photographed.
As mentiond earlier, it does seem that the photos would be for insurance or condition of the collateral.
Now if they ask you to pose in the photos wearing a bikini, this might draw suspicion.
Originally Posted by rgrainey
So the letter attached to my door the other day says "The attorneys have requested pictures of every unit". It also states that "the building is not for sale, however when the attorneys ask for things I must comply". (oh really whatever they ask for, you must comply.....? I just found that statement to be strange). No other reason for doing is stated in the letter.
Has anyone ever heard of something like this? Do I have the right to privacy of my own personal property and prevent it from being photographed? Can I demand that they only take pictures of anything to do with building ie. doors, windows and walls but not my personal property?
Has anyone else had such a request? How did you deal with it?
For the record I don't have anyone else living here and don't think I can be suspected of harboring additional tennants. I'm no clean freak but certainly am not a pack-rat either. i don't have anything illegal going on or have anything to hide. But this just stinks of invasion of privacy and I'm looking for any comments, suggestions or advice.
well that would make me less suspect. The "landlord" is actually a "landlady" (right around my age) and it's quite possible she might have a "thing" for me
And I think I do have a spedo lying around that I used to wear about 70 lbs and 20 years ago. I'm gonna keep it close by if i can find it
You do not have to allow them to take the pictures. The only way you would have to allow is if they had a court order. Most leases have the inspection clauses, so once a year they can make an inspection with a proper notice. Otherwise, lease transfers to you a bundle of right including a right of quiet enjoyment, which means that owner cannot bother you in possession "enjoyment" of property. When they enter the unit you can tell them and record "that you do not allow them to take pictures". Best is if they see the recorder, but they do not have to, since it is your property and they do not have expectancy of privacy in your unit. Visit the following website which nicely presents landlord-tenant law, and is maintained by an attorney. California Tenant Law - Free legal advice for California renters
I browsed to the website you linked in your post but although it has a lot of great info it, I am not in a position to spend money on consulting with a lawyer at this time. It seems that nowhere at this site (or others) does it explicitly mention anything about photos. It does however seem that, under the law for reasons or circumstances for coming into a building, taking photos or inspections is not a viable reason.
Todays note on the door atempted to clarify things and apparently I am not the only tennant that is "confused" (landlords words). A Statement towards the effect that "we should cover out personal property with sheets if we are concerned with having our personal property photographed" and that "they don't "need to see how we live just the condition of the property". Also a lame apology was offered for the confusion. But I shouldn't need to go through the effort of having to cover up anything because she want's to wander around and take photos due the previously mentioned "expectation of privacy". Arrrrrggghhh "this really chaps my hide"!!!!
Thanks again to all who have offered their great suggestions and ideas.
The story is not over and I will followup as Wednesday is two days away.
The possibility could exist the landlord feels you have something illegal in your apartment. Maybe a pet, washing maching or illegal partitions. Generally, the pictures can be requested by a mortgagee, but it would send the wrong message if their asking the landlord to take the pictures. Anyone with sense knows the landlord might be biased.
So here's the bottom line, if you don't have anything illegal in your apartment which goes against anything on the lease, you're good. However if you have a shady landlord, and you know for a fact there are things going on in the building which shouldn't be, you need to fight it and them! Don't be or feel threatened, because most laws are made to protect tenants, and that's why landlords get so pissed when they just cannot get rid of anyone.
I am a landlord and always do inspections. A lot of times I take pictures of what needs to be fixed, renovated, etc. Insurance people, banks (mortgage co.), etc. need pictures a lot of times. Like stated above we are not interested in your personal belongings, etc. we are interested in the property itself. Windows, tiling, stove, refrigerator, beams, walls, etc. He is not esp. not interested in just you. You stated that he/she is going in all units.
I really would not worry about it. But they do need to give notice and looks like they did.
Thanks and don't be too worried about the pictures I am sure it is for the assessment of the property.
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