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Answer: Under California law, the sister has the legal right to access the unit only if your tenant or a court order grants that right to the sister. Therefore, any family member who wants inside should provide written authorization from the resident, or power of attorney allowing them to enter the unit, or a court order. Make sure the signatures match or require a notarized statement and check identification. Likewise, if the resident is intending to vacate the unit that should also clearly be stated in writing by the resident.
Question: I am an onsite manager and I am upset because I was tape-recorded without my knowledge or permission by someone who was “shopping” the apartment community. Is this legal?
Answer: California Penal Code §632 prohibits electronically recording “confidential” conversations without the consent of all parties to the conversation. A conversation is “confidential” when a party to the conversation reasonably expects that the conversation is solely between the conversing parties, and they will not be overheard or recorded. However, there is no violation in cases where the expectation of privacy does not exist, such as telephone answering devices. Violation of this law may result in criminal fines and/or jail time. In addition, the recorded party
may bring suit against the violator for the greater of $5,000 or three times the actual damages suffered, for each violation.
Question: My understanding is that unlawful detainer actions remove the tenant from a specific rental unit. My contention is that the tenant is also not allowed anywhere on the premises of the common areas of the premises after an eviction. Frequently the evicted tenant hangs around the premises and causes additional problems out of spite. What can be done and what are my legal rights as owner?
Answer: If an evicted tenant returns to the common area of the rental property without invitation by any of the current residents, or without your permission or consent, he or she is trespassing. The common area of the apartment community is under the direct control of the owner and manager, and anyone present without authority or consent is guilty of trespass.
 Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full-service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to seek legal advice. For contact information, please visit our website. © 2020 Kimball, Tirey and St. John LLP.
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