“What is my tenant up to?”
1. Don’t sign a contract allowing it. If you sign a contract with it, they are putting you on notice and there really is no expectation of privacy. The images could still be illegal. See below.
2. Does the law allow it? Texas law prevents licensed security professionals from installing hidden or covert cameras but people could have done a DIY.
It is not really that bright line that having cameras in a rental are illegal.
The Texas criminal law shown below that they have to have an intent to arouse their sexual desire with the camera. Its easy for landlords to say I was recording my property to protect it.
There is a risk for landlords that even if the pictures of children especially or adults, if distributed, not done to gratify their sexual desires it still is illegal if it catches intimate areas and that is recorded or even transmitted whether it is seen or not.
If you cannot resolve the issue after you signed the lease they have a duty to mitigate damages by getting a new lease. Secondly, you could sue for a declaratory judgement because of the contract being illegal. A judge could find it to be illegal and nonenforceable. But its best to just avoid the problem all together.
Sec. 21.17. VOYEURISM. (a) A person commits an offense if the person, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor, observes another person without the other person’s consent while the other person is in a dwelling or structure in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) or (d), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor has previously been convicted two or more times of an offense under this section.
(d) An offense under this section is a state jail felony if the victim was a child younger than 14 years of age at the time of the offense.
(e) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.