News story after news story paints a scary picture for renters because they’ve found audio bugs and tiny cameras in the home that they’re renting. Can landlords install audio bugs and spy cameras to hear and watch what’s happening on their property?
Your Right to Privacy and Quiet Enjoyment
In most states, tenants have a right to privacy and quiet enjoyment even if it’s not specifically listed in the lease or rental agreement. In fact, many states have a law that requires the landlord to give the tenant notice before entering the property for a non-emergency reason. If there’s an audio bug or hidden camera in your rental unit, the landlord could be breaking the law.
Why Would the Landlord Do That?
There are some landlords who may have the honest intention of protecting their investment into the property. However, an ill-informed landlord who doesn’t understand state landlord-tenant law is the one features on the news. A landlord may spy on you because they’re obsessed with you, they have serious control issues, they’re dangerous, or they know there’s a pending lawsuit against you. Sometimes, they have no reason at all outside of voyeurism. It doesn’t matter why they do it. It’s creepy and likely illegal.
A landlord would likely never admit to spying on you. Even if they did, could they be really trusted to remove their devices and never spy on you again? It’s up to you to ensure that your privacy is protected. If you think that you’re being watched or that there’s a hidden audio bug, contact Spy Catchers LLC for help.
What Are the Signs of Audio Bugs and Hidden Cameras?
Audio bugs and hidden cameras continue to decrease in size. They’re easy to buy and even easier to hide. It’s important that you know the signs.
- Turn off all the lights and carefully look around the room. Less sophisticated spy equipment will have a tiny red or white light. It might blink or it might not. Then, you should use a small flashlight and slowly shine it around the room. Look for a reflection.
- Look at light switches, bookshelves, and under any tables or desks. These are easy places where bugs may be placed. They may also be located in smoke detectors and potted plants. Some spy devices are designed to look like every day objects. So, make sure that you check to see if those items are functional. If they’re not, it could be hiding an audio bug or camera.
- Listen for clicking sounds or sounds of interference on your landline or cell phone. Make two or three calls to people you know, but don’t mention that you think your phone is bugged. Also, don’t mention that you think there may be a camera in your home.
- Check small, round holes. A hole that could have been used at some point to hold a screw is big enough to hide a camera.
- Look for debris. Cracked ceilings, damaged pieces of floor, and dust from both are potential signs that a bug was installed.
Should You Remove the Bug from Your Rental?
If you find an audio bug or hidden camera, you may be tempted to remove it yourself. Don’t. Doing so could damage the device. Make sure that you take photos to document its presence. Then, call Spy Catchers LLC for help. We will send a professional to remove the device in a way that’s safe and that can protect the evidence you may need if you choose to call the police or talk to a lawyer. Newer audio bugs and hidden cameras may not save the data to the device. The data may be saved on a cloud.
If you don’t see any of the signs, that doesn’t mean that your landlord isn’t spying. If you feel like you’re being watched, you could be. Make sure that you get the rental unit professionally checked out!