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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12207
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am subleasing in a professional building and have had

Customer Question

I am subleasing in a professional building and have had video surveillance in this massage business. Across the open lobby space, the landlord/doctor has trained a video/audio camera on my space. I have asked him to position the camera so that he is not observing my space. He refuses. Do I have the right to privacy?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: CA
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: no. i have just texted him repeatedly to not focus on my area.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: the landlord is aware that I have had video surveillance to keep creeps away from my massage business.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Can you be more specific about how your privacy rights are being infringed? For example, is the camera somehow taking video of the inside of your unit? What exactly is being captured on video?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I believe there is audio on the Nest camera. I conducted a massage therapist job interview in front of the camera. I also am here alone until late closing and would like the right to belch and pick my nose in privacy long after the doctor/landlord has left
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hi again.

It would be illegal to capture audio. So that is a legitimate complaint. You could not only sue, but you could alert the police and the landlord could possibly get into trouble criminally.

If the camera is taking footage of the inside of your unit (or office, etc.), then you also have a legitimate complaint, and can indeed sue for invasion of privacy. But if the camera does not take footage from inside of your unit, then the landlord has done nothing wrong so far as the video footage is concerned (though as stated above he may have trouble regarding audio).

If I were you, I would attempt to find out about the audio, and if it appears that audio is being recorded, then I would consider retaining a local attorney to write a cease and desist letter, and then possibly sue if necessary. This can also be reported to the police.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This is an open lobby. My unit has no walls separating it from his unit; both are reception areas. Both our video cameras can be positioned without bringing the other's into view. Can I demand that?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hi again.

Yes, you can make that demand. If your landlord is reasonable, and knows that it bothers you, then hopefully he will agree to re-position his camera when you make the demand. If he refuses, however, then it is unlikely that you'd have legal recourse. A judge would likely tell you to find a more private area if you want privacy. Again, this pertains only to video, not audio.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, and you haven't yet rated me, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

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