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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Can a landlord videorecord tenants without permission?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    I'm clueless on this. On the property we live on is a house, a studio connected to it, and a garage converted to a "cottage." We are in the main house, someone else is in the studio, and the tenant in the "cottage" we just found out is the landlord's sister and is possible co-owner of the property as well. Aside from not being too happy finding out we live next door to the co-landlord we didn't realize we had...

    Today I went to the mail box and there was a sign taped to the post. "You are being recorded." On the fence leading into the studio, the same sign. On the cottage, nothing. Apparently that person doesn't need to be notified. Presumably she set up the recording, or her sister did.

    I have not been able to find where a camera could be, but I am EXTREMELY uncomfortable with our comings and goings being recorded. We have no reason to trust the landlord at all. And before you suggest it, we ARE moving. I wish it were possible to leave tonight. We aren't partiers, rarely have company at all. It's us and our toddler in this house.

    Is it legal for a landlord to record a tenant without their permission? We can't opt out the same way we could opt out of a phone call by hanging up.
  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Ah, I got my answer right from a sheriff. Answer: The landlord's allowed to put up cameras anywhere on the property except inside, and she doesn't even have to give any notice. And since she did leave a sign, she can even audio-record us. Well, another reason to be glad we're moving.
  3. #3
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenofEngland View Post
    Ah, I got my answer right from a sheriff. Answer: The landlord's allowed to put up cameras anywhere on the property except inside, and she doesn't even have to give any notice. And since she did leave a sign, she can even audio-record us. Well, another reason to be glad we're moving.
    ACTUALLY...

    California Penal Code 632 states:
    (a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or Section 631, 632.5, 632.6, 632.7, or 636, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

    (b) The term "person" includes an individual, business association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity, and an individual acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of any government or subdivision thereof, whether federal, state, or local, but excludes an individual known by all parties to a confidential communication to be overhearing or recording the communication.

    (c) The term "confidential communication" includes any communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

    (d) Except as proof in an action or prosecution for violation of this section, no evidence obtained as a result of eavesdropping upon or recording a confidential communication in violation of this section shall be admissible in any judicial, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding.

    (e) This section does not apply (1) to any public utility engaged in the business of providing communications services and facilities, or to the officers, employees or agents thereof, where the acts otherwise prohibited by this section are for the purpose of construction, maintenance, conduct or operation of the services and facilities of the public utility, or (2) to the use of any instrument, equipment, facility, or service furnished and used pursuant to the tariffs of a public utility, or (3) to any telephonic communication system used for communication exclusively within a state, county, city and county, or city correctional facility

    (f) This section does not apply to the use of hearing aids and similar devices, by persons afflicted with impaired hearing, for the purpose of overcoming the impairment to permit the hearing of sounds ordinarily audible to the human ear.
    Simply put, the LL may be allowed to record VIDEO, but NOT AUDIO. If you are having a conversation with another person that you reasonably expect to be restricted only to the other party and yourself, and have not given permission for it to be audio recorded, then it is illegal to record your "confidential communication".
    Last edited by sandyclaus; 06-04-2011 at 02:33 AM.

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