Unsplash | Josh Shaw

Guy Asks Reddit About Device Landlord Installed, Opening A Scary Can of Worms

Reddit community r/whatisthisthing is usually full of random curiosities and bits of strange trivia. It's where people go when they find an unusual doodad in grandpa's attic and have no idea what they're looking at.

But occasionally, people post an unknown device on there and get far more than they bargained for.

That's what happened when Redditor dropbomzonyamomz posted a pic there.

Reddit | dropbomzonyamomz

"Landlord installed these, one of them is looking into my bedroom. Does it also have audio?" the post was titled.

Clearly, they were already concerned that it was a camera of some sort, but needed more information.

Reddit | cadarn07

It's already hard to be comfortable with the knowledge that someone could be watching your every move, but it's quite another matter for them to hear your every conversation.

Can you blame them?

It's not unusual for a landlord to install security cameras and they can even give a sense of safety to the tenants — but not when they are surveilling the tenants themselves.

The answer did nothing to help their worry.


The device is a Blink camera, which is triggered by motion and records both audio and video.

And it was pointed right into the user's bedroom.

Blink is actually owned by Amazon.


Not only does it record short clips when motion is sensed, it alerts the owner that it's done so. This means that the landlord knows exactly when dropbomzonyamomz or their fiancee is in their bedroom.

*And* it has a live feature!

Unsplash | Rob Sarmiento

So the landlord can see what the camera sees whenever he wants. As soon as he knows someone is home, he can watch them without having any video evidence saved to the cloud.

So yes, it would appear that there's nothing stopping the landlord from spying on the couple as long as the camera is active.

Reddit | FlexGunship

Well, almost nothing, but we'll get to that.

And it still takes on all sorts of unsettling implications when it's happening in their bedroom, of all places.

People immediately began giving advice for how to thwart the recording.

Everything from taping over it, to hacking the software to erase the memory and prevent more recording.

At least the camera was outside and the blinds could be closed in the meantime.

But they noted that they are paying $2000 per month in rent and it shouldn't be up to them to protect their privacy from their landlord.

Others noted that it would probably be better to not touch the camera and go straight to the cops.

The camera is illegal according to New York law and leaving it in place and untampered with would make for better evidence.

After all, it's not like the landlord could argue that it wasn't capable of recording them.

Reddit | PandaEatsRage

Indeed, it's hard to imagine what kind of explanation for this he could have if pressed by authorities.

Either way, it was time to get authorities involved.


Dropbomzonyamomz called 311, which is an NYC-based system connecting residents with government services. They can help with housing issues, but the operator thought this was bad enough to merit the police being called.

Unfortunately, the police didn't do much.

The officer simply pushed the camera to an angle where it couldn't see inside the room.

The camera wasn't the only issue these tenants had with their landlord, however.

It seemed that the landlord had given them reason to be tense before.

Reddit | Schnafer

The ways he did so apparently included multiple comments about how they don't approve of dropbomzonyamomz and their fiancee's "lifestyle choices" (they are openly bisexual).

It's not just about privacy, either.

An incident where the fiancee was threatened by the landlord while he brandished a screwdriver makes them scared to just let the issue go.

But they can't afford to just move out and break a lease.

So people began to give them advice for how to get a professional opinion without breaking the bank.

There were some good ideas mentioned.

Good examples were to look for lawyers advertising "you don't pay unless we win" and book an appointment to talk with one.

Others recommended checking the local laws around lease breaking and when it's acceptable for tenants to withhold rent in protest of a landlord's actions.

However, the landlord may be able to argue his way out of criminal charges.

Imgur | bluegnatcatcher

Redditor bluegnatcatcher, who even provided proof that he's both a cop and an attorney, noted that if the lease says the landlord is to provide home security he could argue that the camera was just "misaligned."

He'd simply have to fix it, or at worst, remove the camera.

As of yet, dropbomzonyamomz hasn't updated with any news on the lawyer front.

But hopefully, they get the advice and help they need to solve the issue quickly and safely. For now, they've done what they can to prevent the camera from recording them.