Photo: iStock/diego_cervo.

Has a property manager indicated they need to take photos of your home at your next inspection? There are good reasons this could happen, but you may be able to object to some photos being taken.

Why are photos taken during a routine inspection? 

Sometimes there is a good reason for photos to be taken in your rental. The property manager may need to record the need for repairs, to have quotes done, or provide advice to the owner on the landlord’s insurance. In these instances, it would be reasonable to have photos taken.

When this occurs, these photos should not depict anything that is beyond necessary for a repair to be actioned or for an insurance company.

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When can you object to photos being taken in your rental?

If the photos your property manager takes would show your property, including its contents and your physical living arrangements, then you may be able to object to these photos.

This is because your tenancy agreement provides that your landlord (and the agent managing the property) must not permit any interference with your peace, comfort and privacy.

What can you do?

If your agent takes photos of your possessions and you’re concerned about your privacy, consider the following:

  • If the photos are taken at the time of your rental inspection or other required activity by the owner, it’s recommended that all photos are sighted, signed and dated. These photos should not depict anything beyond what is necessary.
  • You should ask if your property manager plans to take photos and then ensure your personal items are put away before their visit.
  • Tenancy laws in your state can cover when your real estate agent is permitted to take photos in your rental – it’s best practice for them to consult you about this.
  • For other concerns, contact your state or territory rental tenancy body.

Keep the communication lines open

You do have a right to privacy, comfort and peace in your home, so even if you cannot reasonably object to these photos being taken, the best solution is an amicable agreement with your property manager that any personal or sensitive information will not be photographed.

You are within your right to request that you can view the photos before they’re sent to anyone else.

Any communication you have with your property manager or landlord about taking photos at your rental inspection, or for any other purpose during your tenancy, should always be done (or followed-up) in writing so you have a record of your attempts to follow an issue through.

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