According to a recent lawsuit, it seems that tenants of an apartment building in New York have managed to reach a settlement agreement with their landlord who wanted to outfit the apartments with a smart lock from Latch. However, some tenants weren’t too thrilled by the idea, citing privacy concerns as being one of the reasons why, and it seems that in a settlement, the landlord has ultimately agreed to give its tenants physical keys instead.
In a statement made by Michael Kozek, the attorney representing the tenants, “This is a huge victory for these tenants and tenants throughout New York City. These types of systems, which landlords have used to surveil, track and intimidate tenants, have been used frequently in New York City. These tenants refused to accept the system, and the negative impact it had on their lives. Hopefully they will be an inspiration for other tenants to fight back.”
This is actually kind of a landmark case as there is currently no legal precedent of legislation over how landlords can use smart home technology, but this should help set the tone for the future.
In a statement made by Si Dhanak, VP of Product at Latch, “Latch was not a party to this litigation. We are pleased the parties—a group of five tenants and the building owner—have reportedly reached a private settlement to resolve their disagreement about entry methods to their building’s common spaces. At Latch, we know people have personal preferences about how they access their homes. That is why Latch is the only smart access system that provides, at landlords’ discretion, three methods residents can use to enter common areas: our smartphone app, a door code, and a physical keycard. Also, all of our devices are compatible with mechanical keys. Our goal is to make life easier and more convenient, while never compromising the security and privacy of our users.”