Photographing a tenants belongings

Landlords, agents and property managers are able to enter a rented property for routine inspections and to show the property to prospective tenants and buyers. There are rules around how and when this can happen.

Understandably, some tenants may become concerned when their landlord or agent takes photographs of their personal possessions at an inspection or when marketing a property for sale. Photo’s are often a great way to record the state of a property as a digital image can prove to be great evidence if there is a dispute. However, a tenant’s privacy should be considered and the matter should be discussed before taking photos.

Issues of privacy may be covered by the Privacy Act 1988, particularly if an agent is managing the property. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has some information available that should be considered.

A landlord must respect a tenants right to quiet enjoyment of the property. It isn’t often that photos disrupt a tenant’s right however, discussion about the purpose of taking photos and how they will be used is important.

Tenants should be able to leave personal items out during a routine inspection. If there is an agreement to photograph the property, a tenant may like to consider removing personal items such as photographs, awards, furniture and other personal possessions.

If photos are being taken for the purpose of selling a property, while tenanted, an agreement should be reached on what photos should be taken. More information is available at sa.gov.au about this matter.

Contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882 if you have any queries.