Corona, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Is it legal for a homeowner who doesn't live at house or pay bills to house, to enter occupied (but not home) bedroom?

Upon said entry they searched and removed several items. Then showed everyone what they found, killing my good name in the process. I wasn't informed of this search. They also unplugged my security cameras from the dvr. She owns the house but she can't just walk into closed rooms that I have co-habitated for the last 12 years like that, can she?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the legal rights in this situation depend on the nature of your occupancy and any agreements you have with the homeowner. As an occupant who has lived in the home for 12 years, you have established tenant rights, even without a formal lease agreement.

If you are considered a tenant, the homeowner (landlord) must respect your right to privacy. This means they generally cannot enter your bedroom without proper notice, except in emergencies or with your consent. Searching and removing items from your room without permission could be seen as a violation of these rights.

Additionally, unplugging your security cameras could be interpreted as an invasion of privacy, depending on the circumstances. The homeowner's actions of showing the items to others and potentially damaging your reputation might raise additional legal concerns, such as defamation.

Given the complexity of your situation, it would be wise to consult with an attorney. They can provide specific guidance based on the details of your case, including the nature of your arrangement with the homeowner and the actions taken by them. This will help you understand your rights and the best course of action to protect them.

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