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Right to take photos and enter occupied apartment?

Rights for non-regulated tenants

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Right to take photos and enter occupied apartment?

Postby fw123456 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:26 pm

I live in a non-regulated apartment and want to know what my rights are with regard to refusing the owner to take photos of the apartment that we are currently occupying.

In the lease, it states that within 60 days of termination the owner can show the apartment, but nothing with regard to photos. Can I refuse him taking photos while we live in it?
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Re: Right to take photos and enter occupied apartment?

Postby TenantNet » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:07 pm

In that you're non-regulated, everything is controlled by your lease. I would read it completely. In some cases NYC or NYS laws might supercede a lease, but that depends on the issue.

I would first see the several threads on LL access in the forum reference section. Those laws would IMHO supercede any lease provision.

LLs do have right to access for inspection if they ask in writing and follow a number of requirements. See the reference section. Our view is that a LLs request starts a negotiation, but in the end you do have to provide access. You can control date and time, that you're there to oversee it and other things.

I don't know of any law that requires tenants to allow LLs to take photos. The exception would be a court order.

Without knowing all the facts in your case, I would think you would be in your rights to deny the LL the ability to take photos. Be firm in that.
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Re: Right to take photos and enter occupied apartment?

Postby 10ants » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:28 pm

The standard blumberg lease doesn't explicitly allow it, but it does mention that the tenant is in default if the tenant "behaves in an objectionable manner".


Presumably, not allowing photos for the purpose of renting/selling an apartment/obtaining insurance is "objectionable".

On a practical level, it is usually easier to ask the ll to blur objectionable content in the photos than to fight over something like this, especially if you are moving out anyway. Otherwise, if he wants to be obnoxious, he'll just parade people through every day and waste your time.
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Re: Right to take photos and enter occupied apartment?

Postby TenantNet » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:20 pm

Even the worst Housing Court judge wouldn't equate a tenant's providing access, but refusing to allow photographs as "objectionable." And of course, many of those leases have unenforceable clauses.

Guaranteed, LLs will not go to any effort to blur content in photos and a tenant might find such photos - with their possessions - on real estate web sites. That's an abuse of privacy.

10ants, you've outdone yourself with bad advice.

The tenant should remember that the LL coming into your apartment under your control, even if they threaten you. LLs do not have any right, legal or otherwise, to "parade people through" one's apartment. The best way to control this is to change the locks if the LL has the key.

The right to access does not include unfettered entrance. Look at the two access threats in the reference section of the forum.

Lastly, if the LL wants to take you to court with a bogus claim of no access, as you're leaving anyway, it usually takes a month or so - with predicate notices - until the LL can commence a proceeding in Housing Court, and can be followed up with one or more adjournments. By that time, you are likely to be out.

I would send a letter to the LL--and only if the LL made a written request--stating you will be glad to provide one-time access and offer three dates and times (at least one on a weekday btw 9 and 5).

Indicate that the offer is predicated on the LL accepting one of those dates, or offering alternative dates, and agreeing to that in writing. You can make oral arrangements, but follow-up with a letter to the LL memorializing what was said.

In the letter, indicate that access will only be provided when you are there and will only be for XX minutes (be reasonable, say 30 minutes). If you wish, state that the LL does not have permission to look in closets, in drawers, etc. Lastly, indicate that the LL will be able to inspect the premises, but that no photos will be allowed.

You could also just set up a date/time and if the LL oversteps the boundaries, stop him at that point. I've done that and they usually back-off.

If the LL absolutely needs a photo for some purpose, i.e., something is broken, I would tell the LL that you will take a photo and email it to him, and of course making sure the photo that you send does not contain anything you don't want the LL to see.

Be polite, but firm. You have control in this sort of situation.
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