I have a situation where my landlord is refusing to work with me on when they show my apartment. I work during weekdays and don't want strangers in my home while I'm not there so I'll have to take off work every time they want to show it. If they won't work with me then I'm not going to work with them. I've already decided I'm going to make the place look awful, tell the prospective tenant about all of the issues I have with the place, and now I want to know if I can legally be nude in my home when my landlord enters to make things extra uncomfortable. I live in Maryland in the United States.

Thought my question was obvious. Can I be naked in my apartment when my landlord shows it?

  • What is your legal question? – Greendrake Jul 4 '18 at 6:07

Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor under Maryland law (11-107). There is no statutory definition of indecent exposure, since it's been a long-standing offense and part of common law. Messina v. Maryland cites various definitions of indecent exposure, noting

Ordinarily, the place where the exposure is made must be public. What constitutes a public place within the meaning of this offense depends on the circumstances of the case. The place where the offense is committed is a public one if the exposure be such that it is likely to be seen by a number of casual observers

In that instance, the question was whether the law required multiple victims to constitute a crime, and the court said that it did not. What you propose does seem to fit the characterization "likely to be seen by a number of casual observers". There have been a number of upheld convictions of people exposing themselves on their own property but in a manner that can be seen from the street, so the defense "I was on my property" doesn't go anywhere. Accidentally being seen while inside and naked would not be a crime because, as Messina said, "Indecent exposure, to amount to a crime, must have been done intentionally". The question is whether you know that you will be seen: "An exposure becomes indecent, and a crime, when defendant exposes himself at such a time and place that, as a reasonable man, he knows or should know his act will be open to the observation of others". It's not absolutely guaranteed that you would be prosecuted, but it's pretty clear that what you propose does constitute indecent exposure.

  • I disagree. You can have on wireless headphones, be in your bedroom with the door closed. It's reasonable to expect you wouldn't hear anyone knocking with the music turned on, so it wouldn't really be indecent. – adam smith May 10 at 5:14

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