Photographing a tenant’s possessions without permission

    When a rented property is being sold the landlord and agent will usually want to have open house inspections and have the interior photographed for a sale board or internet advertising. However, this process should not interfere with your quiet enjoyment of the property and the photographs themselves should not breach your privacy. Nobody wants their personal stuff splashed all over the internet nor do you want people traipsing through your home for weeks on end.

    What’s the problem?

    The Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) has now put out a report recommending that landlords and agents be given an express right to enter your home and take pictures of your possessions. They are suggesting some so-called “safeguards” which mean that a tenant must advise the landlord or agent in writing that they object to an image for some very limited and specific reasons.

    That means a stranger can invade the privacy of YOUR home to take pictures of YOUR possessions for THEIR personal or commercial benefit and you cannot prevent that from occurring without the further indignity of being required to disclose personal matters, including such things as a history of family violence.

    The VLRC recommendations are shameful and should be rejected!

    What’s the solution?

    In Queensland the landlord or agent must not use a photo or image of the premises for advertising if the photo or image shows your belongings, unless you give your written consent.

    Very simple, very effective. If the landlord wants to use pictures of your belongings for their advertising and personal gain then they have to treat you properly and get your permission.

    How can you help?

    1) Tell us your story

    Case studies about your experiences can help us to campaign for better tenancy laws and practices. We have lots of statistics based on our research and our advice work but your stories can add a strong ‘human’ voice to our evidence base. This can be very powerful when we are talking to politicians or the media about the issues that tenants face. It can also provide good examples of real problems when we are writing submissions or newsletters.

    We will never use your story in a way that could identify you unless you specifically give us your consent. Tell us your story.

    2) Tell the Government what you think

    You can tell the Government that they should give greater privacy protection to tenants to stop their belongings being photographed without their permission.

    Right now the Victorian Government is reviewing the key renting legislation that affects your rights and responsibilities as tenants (Residential Tenancies Act 1997). This means that now is the perfect time to have your say. You can help us make a difference for all people renting in Victoria by adding your voice in support.
     
    Send an email via the form below. You can add to our message or write your own.

    Photographing a tenant’s possessions for advertising purposes

    To the Residential Tenancies Act review,
     
    Tenants don’t receive enough protection from landlords and real estate agents photographing and filming a tenant’s possessions for advertising purposes.
     
    The Victorian Law Reform Commission are proposing to legitimise this unnecessary invasion of privacy and their recommendations should be rejected in favour of the simple and sensible approach adopted in Queensland.
     
    I am calling on you to ensure that any review of the Victorian tenancy law adopts a similar provision to that in Queensland which makes it an offence to photograph or film tenants’ possessions for advertising purposes without the written consent of the tenants affected.
     
    Yours sincerely,

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    The Tenants Union of Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.