You can photograph or video anything done in public

Q. Someone is walking their dog on my yard and not cleaning up. Is it legal for me to set up a video camera to take a video and catch the person?

A. As far as the law is concerned, you generally have the right to photograph or video anything done in public. Basically, if you can see it from the front of your house, you can video it. If you visit YouTube, you will see you are not alone when it comes to catching negligent dog walkers.

Q. I would like to know if the property manager of an apartment project can refuse to give the tenant the owner’s name if the tenant requests it.

A. According to the Texas Property Code, the landlord or property manager must disclose the name and address of the holder of record title after you request it. If the information is not disclosed, you could be entitled to $500 in damages as well as attorney’s fees and court costs. I suggest you send your request by certified mail.

Q. I have to move out of my apartment before my lease is up. I have told the landlord that he can either re-rent the apartment or that I have a friend who will sublease it. The landlord told me that I did not have the right to sublease my apartment. Is this true?

A. Under the law, a tenant may not sublease an apartment unless the lease agreement expressly gives him or her this right. I suggest you read your lease carefully, and then discuss the matter with your landlord. I should point out that although you might not be able to sublease, under the law, landlords have a duty to “mitigate” their damages and rent an apartment to someone else after you move out. If you offer an acceptable tenant and the landlord refuses to rent to him or her, the landlord might not be able to recover damages from you.

Q. Can I recover child support from my child’s father even if we were never married?

A. The obligation to pay child support is based on parentage, not marital status. If you can establish that someone is the father of a child, then he has an obligation to help support the child. Your marital status is not relevant.

Q. I was divorced two years ago. My ex-husband kept the house and agreed to pay the note. What do I do to get my name off the loan? I am having trouble buying a new house.

A. The only way to get your name removed from the loan is to sell the property, have the lender agree to release you, or have your ex re-finance in his name. Interest rates may be lower and it might be a good deal for him to refinance in his own name.

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