Real Estate Law
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Dear JACUSTOMER - I know of no statute that specifically bans the taking of interior photos since this is sometimes required for insurance or property appraisal purposes. Having said that my opinion is that the tenant can object to bringing a camera into the premises since the statute also does not specifically state that the landlord is permitted to take pictures and, as you say, only addresses the issue of inspection or emergencies. I'm not certain how much of a stand either the landlord or the tenant wishes to take with regard to this matter or whether anyone would want to actually go to court to contest the case since attorneys are expensive and the harm done by a photograph of some furniture and appliances is fairly benign.
In addition, our society is rather photo saturated from grocery stores to street cameras to ATM machines and banks so the privacy issue is somewhat watered down to protect only the most private of activities. I'm not certain if you are asking as a tenant or a landlord but if you are a tenant my suggestion is to tell the landlord the pictures are limited to only places such as a kitchen or living room and if you are the landlord I would suggest that you not force the issue if the tenant absolutely refuses to allow photos or that you limit any photos as I said above to only the least private areas of the residence.
If neither the landlord or the tenant can agree then the issue would have to be settled by the court as to the extent of privacy the tenant has and the extent to which the landlord can invade that privacy. The tenant has the right to the quiet enjoyment of the premises and the landlord has a right to inspect and if the lease provides for showing of the unit the landlord has the right to show it for future rentals. If the lease does not provide for showing of the unit for rental purposes then the landlord can only enter pursuant to the provision of the state statutes which is generally for inspection purposes.
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