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Landlords taking photos while tenants still there?

By justsomeaussie - 14 March 2011 36

I’d like some advice.

A friend of mine has just received a letter from her property manager (she is a renter) stating that when they conduct the inspection in the next 10 days the property manager will be taking photos of everything.

I’d just like to know if this is legal from a privacy perspective?

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Landlords taking photos while tenants still there?
1
urchin 12:52 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Going by

http://www.tenantsact.org.au/Advice/access.html

I would say that the tenant has every right to refuse to allow photographs. This is a pretty major breach of the tenant’s right to privacy. It is also, I am sure, why many rental properties on the market (for sale or rent) do not have interior photographs.

It would be entirely within their rights to either refuse and/or demand some compensation for the loss of privacy. In any case it’s clear that the landlord is getting ready to sell up so I would tell your friend to start looking for new digs unless s/he is on a fixed term lease.

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2
miz 12:56 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Seems dodgy to me. The only reason I can think of would be if they wanted to post the pictures on allhomes.com – ie, they are thinking of selling. Have they given notice to vacate?
If they are not selling, I would personally be concerned about the risk of people looking for ‘cash convertible’ goods (eg your television/computer).

I would anticipate that written permission would have to be sought, and you could therefore decline. However, I suggest you ask the tenants union (http://www.tenantsact.org.au/contact.html (they have restricted contact hours, so look them up at this link).

If they are wanting to address issues about the condition of the property, those concerns can be addressed by the usual inspection and condition reports.

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3
Deref 1:01 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Tell them it’s fine, providing they don’t take photos of anything that’s here. That should fix ’em. 😉

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4
georgesgenitals 1:06 pm
14 Mar 11
#

How about asking if you can see the photos first, to make sure there’s nothing in them you would prefer not to be released. Is having a few photos that much of an issue?

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5
Clown Killer 1:41 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Tell your ‘friend’ to suck it up. Its an inspection. The property manager will be taking photos for their report to the landlord. It’s standard industry practice. If they check their rental agreement there may well be something in there about it. Yoy ‘friend’ should probably consume a little less of whatever’s making them paranoid.

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6
Davo111 1:58 pm
14 Mar 11
#

I’d tell them they’re welcome to come and inspect the house, but they’re not allowed to bring a camera.

If they have an issue with that, they should bring it up with ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT). (Unless they can provide legal documentation that explicitly allows them to bring a camera)

Oh and i’d tell them they need to bring photographic id to the inspection to prove they are the tenancy manager (cl76)

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7
Rawhide Kid Part3 2:02 pm
14 Mar 11
#

They can’t take any photos that include any personal property in the picture, including wall hangings, furniture, electrical goods etc.

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8
urchin 2:26 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Clown Killer said :

Tell your ‘friend’ to suck it up. Its an inspection. The property manager will be taking photos for their report to the landlord. It’s standard industry practice. If they check their rental agreement there may well be something in there about it. Yoy ‘friend’ should probably consume a little less of whatever’s making them paranoid.

No, it’s not “standard industry practice” and no the friend doesn’t have to suck it up. They have the right to inspect and to take notes but not to photograph. The standard rental agreement does not contain any clauses requiring tenants to have photos of their personal belongings taken. It only says that inspections may take 2x/year and that the tenant has provide the owner/agent reasonable access.

however the standard agreement does say: “The lessor must not cause or permit any interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in the use by the tenant of the premises.” I would say that taking photographs of the tenant’s private property would be considered to interfere with the privacy of the tenant, regardless of whether the photos are to be published on allhomes or used in a report to the owner.

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9
Clown Killer 2:43 pm
14 Mar 11
#

The chumps on here trout-mouthing about how the landloard/property manager cant cant take photos should go over to Allhomes if they really want to get their panties in a knot – many hundreds of properties, all but a very few with pictures.

Its no big deal. As I said earlier, its for the inspection report. The land lord gets a copy, the tennant gets a copy and the property manager keeps a copy. Given that there’s no breach of privacy, I dont see what the issue is.

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10
Jethro 3:45 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Clown Killer said :

Tell your ‘friend’ to suck it up. Its an inspection. The property manager will be taking photos for their report to the landlord. It’s standard industry practice. If they check their rental agreement there may well be something in there about it. Yoy ‘friend’ should probably consume a little less of whatever’s making them paranoid.

Can I come to your house and take photos of everything?

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11
urchin 4:15 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Clown Killer said :

The chumps on here trout-mouthing about how the landloard/property manager cant cant take photos should go over to Allhomes if they really want to get their panties in a knot – many hundreds of properties, all but a very few with pictures.

Its no big deal. As I said earlier, its for the inspection report. The land lord gets a copy, the tennant gets a copy and the property manager keeps a copy. Given that there’s no breach of privacy, I dont see what the issue is.

So where does it say in the tenancy agreement that the LL has the right to take photos of the personal belongings of tenants? Why do you suppose that the houses on allhomes–almost invariably leased to a tenant–do not have pictures? Because the tenant has the right to refuse pictures if they don’t want them to. It’s their right. Whether or not they choose to exercise it is up to them. It is not the landlord’s right to demand it, no matter what you seem to think.

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12
Clown Killer 5:55 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Urchin, go have a look on Allhomes. There’s plenty of rental properties advertised that have pictures of peoples stuff in them, a) because it’s not illegal, and b) because the people who own that stuff are not paranoid arsehats. But I digress – this isn’t about pictures on the internet – it’s about a proper record of the condition of the property.

A property manager would be required to make appropriate records at the time of a condition inspection, naturally that would include photographic records. There is no privacy issue because the only people who have copies of the photos are the parties to the rental agreement – the tenant, the landlord and their agent. Given that it’s basically common practice I’m guessing the ‘friend’ referred to by the OP is in their first ever lease and was previously living at home with mummy and daddy.

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13
georgesgenitals 7:04 pm
14 Mar 11
#

So anyway I says to Jenny, I says “holy crap – these people have a THREE PERSON COUCH!”

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14
Deref 7:18 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Jethro said :

Clown Killer said :

Tell your ‘friend’ to suck it up. Its an inspection. The property manager will be taking photos for their report to the landlord. It’s standard industry practice. If they check their rental agreement there may well be something in there about it. Yoy ‘friend’ should probably consume a little less of whatever’s making them paranoid.

Can I come to your house and take photos of everything?

Me too. I’d like to get some photos of your TV and your stereo.

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15
JC 9:12 pm
14 Mar 11
#

Jethro said :

Can I come to your house and take photos of everything?

Umm, it’s not the tenants house, it is the landlords. Now so long as they don’t do anything ‘public’ with said pictures it is hardly a breach of privacy, if it were they wouldn’t even be allowed in the house to start with.

Now just wished I had taken some photos of the state of my rental property at the last inspection, if I had I wouldn’t be in an argument with the f’ing agent who let the f’ing tenant off some costly damage, both of whom state it was there before hand.

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