Los Angeles, CA asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Neighbor tried putting cardboard on my apartment window because I have a camera indoors facing our parking lot?

I wanted to share a situation with you. The window in my living room overlooks the apartment parking lot and my neighbor has scraped the back corner of my car while pulling out. She wouldn't admit she did it and blames it was something blocking her so she never denied hitting my car either so to ensure the safety of my car, I installed a camera indoors. Recently, I caught her attempting to obstruct the camera by putting cardboard on my window to block my camera view. Can I report her for blocking and placing something on MY apartment window ?

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

A: Under California law, the actions of your neighbor may be considered a form of trespass or vandalism, especially if she is placing objects like cardboard on your property (in this case, the window of your apartment) without your consent. The act of obstructing your camera, which is set up for the protection of your property, could be seen as an interference with your right to use your property as you see fit.

You have the right to report this incident to the local authorities or your apartment management. They can investigate the matter and take appropriate action. It's advisable to document the incident, including any evidence of her actions, such as video footage or photographs, as this will support your claim.

Furthermore, you may want to consider discussing the situation with your neighbor directly, if you feel safe doing so, to resolve the issue amicably. However, if direct communication is not effective or feasible, involving the authorities or apartment management is a reasonable next step.

Remember, it is important to ensure that your camera is installed in compliance with California privacy laws. As long as the camera is located within your apartment and does not infringe on others' reasonable expectation of privacy, you are generally within your rights to use it for security purposes.

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