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Old 02-21-2009, 02:19 PM
 
6 posts, read 53,100 times
Reputation: 12

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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.
Thanks
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,533 posts, read 35,646,549 times
Reputation: 13126
I own rental properties and we have the tenants sign an agreement that the property manager can go in every 6 months to inspect the property (because we've had people thrash our properties before). Photos are always taken before a tenant moves in and after they move out. I've never had the property manager go in and take photos while the tenants are living in the property.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Burbank
1,204 posts, read 3,909,331 times
Reputation: 430
Sounds weird.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:29 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,587,428 times
Reputation: 3422
? I would take a guess at an insurance change for the property owner, or asset gathering info for the owner, maybe using the building as a collateral loan. I am sure if you review your lease/agreement you have the right to be present and be given reasonable notice of entry so you can be on the premise. Good luck, I do not think I would be worried, just be vigilant.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
13,547 posts, read 14,044,894 times
Reputation: 9663
Property owners DO have the right to inspect rental property, but they MUST provide reasonable notice. I think that whether or not photos may be taken is better left to a lawyer or somebody with reasonable knowledge.

However, I think it is entirely reasonable that you demand to be present when they inspect the property, and you yourself can determine if they are taking reasonable photos of their rental unit and not of your personal possessions.

Why don't you try to be reasonable and ask them if THEY will be reasonable? Contact the manager and express your concerns about whether they are photographing their property and your property, and tell them that you want to make an appointment at a mutually agreeable time where you can observe their inspection, and have the opportunity to voice your objections if you think they are out of line.

Again I'm not a lawyer but I think that you would have a reasonable tenant right to tell them to leave if you think their photographs are invading your privacy.

And in any disagreement, it's always to try negotiation first. You just might be successful and find out they are willing to be reasonable. And worst case you can get into a full blown confrontation if being nice doesn't work.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,088 posts, read 16,932,393 times
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The idea of having strangers taking photos of the inside of your home and its (your personal) contents is uncomfortable, I agree. Perhaps you could get more information from the landlord regarding why this has to be done beyond the (weak) explanation given already. Seven of nine's comment about the building as collateral seems like a good explanation...the bank probably wants to know the condition of the collateral.

In any event, I would ask for a copy of the photos for my record. I would offer that these photos also could be used to protect you from erroneous claims of damage by the property owner so that is a positive. But if that were the case, you'd think he would have done it before(?) you moved in.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:17 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,587,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
The idea of having strangers taking photos of the inside of your home and its (your personal) contents is uncomfortable, I agree. Perhaps you could get more information from the landlord regarding why this has to be done beyond the (weak) explanation given already. Seven of nine's comment about the building as collateral seems like a good explanation...the bank probably wants to know the condition of the collateral.

Quote:
In any event, I would ask for a copy of the photos for my record. I would offer that these photos also could be used to protect you from erroneous claims of damage by the property owner so that is a positive. But if that were the case, you'd think he would have done it before(?) you moved in.
Good point, good advice. I am also with the reasonable camp, do not burn your bridges before you get in the car.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:12 PM
 
6 posts, read 53,100 times
Reputation: 12
Hi
Thanks to all for the great feedback and ideas. So I've been here at my apartment for a long time now and this has never been done before. I've had them come in for smoke detector checks, electrical, plumbing work etc. and it's always been done with courtesy and attention to getting this taken care of. Even last year the city of LA inspectors came in for a complete walk-through inspection and they made a number of compliance violoations notes and the management took care of all of them for the follow up, again no problems. So yeah most of the time they are good to deal with, but this just smells funny from the get go. I will attempt to get more info from the landlord before this happens and see what they have to say.
A friend suggested I video tape them to make sure that they comply with my request. I'm thinking that might be a bit over the top....but if anyone has any comments about that please let me know. I'm thinking if I get a copy of the pictures that should be sufficient. Most of the time I'm pretty reasonable and don't want to become the nasty tennant cause of one incident like this and having been here as long as I have, the rent is too good to want to look elswhere.
I will certainly be here for the inspection/photography and will accompany them for the entire duration.
Thanks again to all who have replied, much appreciated. But do post back if you have any other suggestions or ideas.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:10 PM
 
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
13,547 posts, read 14,044,894 times
Reputation: 9663
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrainey View Post
I will certainly be here for the inspection/photography and will accompany them for the entire duration.
I think that's the best thing. Be there. Supervise them. If you see them doing anything that you object to, demand that they stop. If they don't stop, demand that they leave. If they continue and don't leave, seek legitimate legal advice.

I think your landlord is way over the top. I can't imagine anybody who wouldn't be disturbed by their request.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,370 posts, read 25,573,172 times
Reputation: 19641
Unfortunatly they have the right to check out the property and take pictures if they choose. I have escorted bank property assesors and insurance agents at our many properties. It is standard procedure for them to take pictures of the property. I am confident that they are not interested in your personal items or way of life. They are interested in the structure, amenities within the building, the age of the items in the building, and the general look of things. Many buildings are somewhat aged. We have a 15 year old medical building that we have a couple upgraded units in and the common areas have been upgraded. The bank rep took a look at the property and could tell what needed to be upgraded and what looked aged. Personally I didn't think that the building looked bad at all. Apparently though the aged look can affect the amount that the building may be assesed at. For us we are financing a new hospital building project and in order to do that the bank requested the chance to look and take pictures of the property. In the past banks have been burned because building owners have not been truthfull about their real estate holdings, imagine that. Building owners that want to buy more properties and plan on using current properties as collateral in the transaction have a need to share as much information as possible to get the needed financing. You can blame this on a real estate market that has gone sour for now. On the other hand chances are your land lord is not selling, but in the market for additional properties. This is a great time to buy.
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