My roommates and I live in an apartment complex with a no pet rule. Recently we received an email threatening us with a 500 dollar fine for a picture someone from maintenance took through a window. This is an apartment with four 20 year old college girls, so we're kind of creeped out by the idea that someone is taking a picture through our window.
Although you did not clarify it, I assume that there is actually a pet living in the apartment, and thus it was valid for the $500.00 fine under the terms of the lease.
As to your bigger concern with regards to maintenance taking pictures from the outside of your apartment... It's creepy but not illegal. Virginia does not recognize a privacy rights lawsuit under the facts you provided. You can only sue for privacy right violations if it based on a picture being taken without consent and used for advertising purposes. Also, a one-time picture taken to prove that a dog is in the apartment in violation of the lease will not be sufficient to establish a nuisance claim. And what happened was not extreme enough to justify a lawsuit based on intentional infliction of emotional distress.
And to my knowledge, VA's anti-stalking statutes would not cover this situation.
In short, close your blinds if you do not want people peeking into your home. It's a surprising fact of law that a lot of people do not know about until a creepy event happens to them, but in general, there are not many laws that can be enforced to keep people from seeing into your home if it can be viewed by a camera.
This answer provides general advice and should not be understood as to create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the responding attorney.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline