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Letting Agency Wants to Take Photos During Inspection.


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Hi,

 

I would really appreciate some advice on an issue I have never come across before.

 

I have been a tenant now for 12 years and in that time I have seen some very unscrupulous practices adopted by various letting agencies. I really don't like them at all but these days it seems that 80% of landlords use letting agencies as they hate dealing with tenants directly.

 

My latest property let is with an agency I have had significant issues before resulting in a £160 compensation payment to me. Now they want to visit my property for a routine inspection, which is fine. However, they have booked in a 2 hour visit and they want to take pictures of the entire contents of the flat. I am not happy about this at all and do not want them taking photos of the contents of the flat and all my belongings.

 

I have checked the tenancy agreement and whilst there is a provision for routine inspections of the property there is no mention that photos will be taken. Is there anything I can do or have I no option and so have to let them photograph my whole flat?

 

Any help greatly appreciated,

 

James

 

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I would say that you have a right to privacy and you have a right to refuse them permission to take photographs. I think you need to get a written undertaking from them that there will be no attempt to take any photographs and that they understand that if they do attempt to do so that permission to enter the property will be automatically withdrawn.

Tell them that you are more than happy that they can be accompanied by some kind of expert to assess the condition of the property that you are not willing to allow photographs.

I suggest also that you ask them if they have copies of photographs of the property just before it was let to you.

When you eventually leave, I suggest that you scrupulously photograph the entire property so that there can be no dispute as to the condition in which you have left it.

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Hi

I have to agree with Bankfodder you have a right to privacy as well as peaceful enjoyment of your property that is let.

 

Most letting agent will have a clause as you have pointed out that give them the right to routine inspections which they legally must give you notice of as they just can't turn up and demand to do it.

 

You also have the right to refuse them photographing your until property with your contents included.

What you need to do is put this in writing (get free proof of posting from the post office) but you send it to both the Letting Agent and the actual Landlord.

 

Note: The reason I say to both the Letting Agent and the Landlord is because the majority of Letting Agents are Employed by the Landlord to let and maintain that property on behalf of that Landlord so any issue with your Letting Agent the buck stops with the Landlord.

 

As stated when you move from that property you need to ensure to photograph everything as to it's condition when you hand it back.

 

If you have paid a Deposit is it Protected in one of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes and you were provided with the prescribed terms as legally required.

 

Has your property had and electrical inspection before you moved in? in not or unsure ask the Letting Agent for proof.

 

If your property has Gas has a Gas Safety Inspection been carried out?

 

Have a wee look at this CAG link:

 

 

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Hi guys,

 

Thank you so much for the advice and yes they do have photos of the flat before I moved in as an inventory was completed, and I have a copy of the inventory along with the photos.

 

I will email them explaining that I am happy to permit the visit but I need an assurance from them that no photography will be carried out during the inspection. However, what if they insist that photos of the flat must be taken with all my possessions in it?

Do I have to comply?

 

As I say there is nothing in the tenancy agreement about taking photos during periodic inspections, I'm hoping I can rely on that.

I also feel that it's a violation of my personal space which is really annoying me, perhaps I could even cite The Human Rights Act 1998? 

 

I am so fed up with letting agencies it still continues to shock me how bad they are, and how poorly they treat tenants.

In any other industry I would be seen as a customer giving them my money and they should be making life easier for me not more difficult, which they have now done on a number of occasions.

 

I am now of the opinion that letting agencies are so bad and with so many bad ones, not just the odd rotten apple in the barrel, they should be banned from managing residential lets and landlords should be solely responsible and get to know their tenants, or rather customers.

 

Landlords could elect one or perhaps two official representatives to hold the fort whenever they are on holiday or some other issue arises which means they can't contend to their business, but the official representative can not be a company. That's my suggestion.

 

On a more practical note does anyone know of any places that I can rent from private landlords who do not use letting agencies? 

 

These days I can hardly find any of them.

It seems they all use letting agencies and I have given up on letting agencies now. I really don't want to be forced to use another letting agency ever again.

 

James

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make them bring the original condition report with them so they can only concern themselves with anything associated with that.

No original report then nowt to discuss.

 

Do not let them photograph anything that isnt the landlords so that rules out most of the contents and also why 2 hours?

No-one takes that long.

 

Tell them that ( subject to terms of tenancy) you will allow them access but only to ensure that the overall condition of the property is as expected when referring to the terms of the tenancy and that generally means one visit after a month and again near the end of the tenancy. Other than that they can forget it

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I have to do property visits as part of my new work (inventory clerk, I am getting on a bit for carpet cleaning now), and I spend on average 10 minutes in the house, but unfortunately I do have to take a photo of each room,

 

but as I tell the tenant, I have to do it, but will do my best not to include any personal items such as photo's etc.

Obviously if there are any problems with the property I take a bit longer and have to photograph the problem such as mould etc, but in general, I am very polite and apologetic because neither of us wants me there, and am as quick as I can be.

 

Unfortunately the letting agents does these as they have to justify the management fees to the landlords, and the photo of each room is to prove that each room has been visited.

I am not a solicitor :!::!:

 

Most of my knowledge came from this site :-D:-D

 

If I have been helpful in any way at all .............. Please click my star..... :-(:-(

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Hi,

 

I'm quite sure that proof of you attending and inspecting each room is proof enough.

 

It is completely unnecessary for you to take general photos of each room, unless there is a specific issue which would help the landlord determine if he/she needs to take action.

 

James

 

 

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I agree but it is the Landlord who pays for the job, and the inspectors (in this case me) have to do as we are paid to do.Your only recourse is to refuse the inspector access. However if you do that, do not be surprised to find a notice to leave the property at the Landlords first available opportunity

I am not a solicitor :!::!:

 

Most of my knowledge came from this site :-D:-D

 

If I have been helpful in any way at all .............. Please click my star..... :-(:-(

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Hi,

 

I have already sent an email to the letting agency responding to the visit notice informing them that I will be removing permission for the visit if I don't get the assurance that general photography will not be taken and that my personal space and privacy won't be violated.

 

If they don't respond, as they haven't yet, I will start to chase it up.

 

However, if they insist on taking photography of all the rooms with my contents and possessions in I will withdraw permission for access immediately until my very reasonable conditions are met. If the landlord wants to seek an injunction or issue eviction proceedings I will be more than happy to discuss the matter at the court hearing.

 

James

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did you where?

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I though eric and cleaner had answered most?

whats outstanding please?

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hi

 

Landlords or the Letting Agent employed by them are legally entitled to carry out inspections of the property to ensure it is in a good condition from when you move into the property and the check in procedure was carried out.

 

Before I continue you need to remember if they are going to take photographs as soon as they do and it either contains photos of your self or those residing in the property or of their personal possessions it comes under the Data Protection Act (DPA) & General Data Protection Regulations  (GDPR).

 

Data Protection Act 2018: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/12/contents/enacted

 

You also have the 'Right to Object' under Article 21 of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR):

 

ICO Right to Object: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/right-to-object/

 

GDPR Article 21: http://www.privacy-regulation.eu/en/article-21-right-to-object-GDPR.htm

(note you use the above quoting them with the links and the reason for your objection and await their reply)

 

Also you are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of your property and 2 hours for a property inspection you class as excessive.

 

Under no circumstances write to them and refuse them access for the inspection as you have then put the ball in there court and it could be classed as a breach of Tenancy Agreement so be very careful if you consider writing that, I wouldn't put that in a letter.

 

Remember on the Inspection day when you answer your front door until they leave your property after the inspection it does not stop you recording their actions on your mobile phone.

 

(If they complain and refuse to be recorded (which they then have the 'Right to Object' then you reply simply with that your own 'Right to Object' for this inspection has not been upheld by them taking photographs of your personal possessions for 2 hours which is excessive and an invasion of privacy ). Remember you need to have previously written to them about your Right to Object beforehand

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Hi Stu,

 

Thanks for that detailed and very helpful response. 

 

I have not informed the letting agency that I have withdrawn permission for the inspection. I have written to them asking them to assure me that no general photography of the rooms in the flat and photography of my personal possessions will be taken. I am seeking that assurance before they come to inspect so both parties know where they stand before the inspection begins. I also reminded them there is no mention of photos being taken during inspection visits in the tenancy agreement. 

 

As yet I have received no reply from the letting agency and think they might be ignoring my email on purpose. I will chase it up shortly. In the chaser I will remind them of the provisions of the tenancy agreement, the covenant for peaceful enjoyment of my flat and now remind them of their duties under the DPA 2018 and my right to object under GDPR, thanks for that. I also think I have some support from The Human Rights Act 1998. If they still choose to ignore my emails and voicemails then 48 hours before the visit I will inform them that I have withdrawn the right to visit and they will not be allowed access. 

 

James

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You need to point out to then the DPA & GDPR about the 'Right to Object' and your reason for the objection as pointed out in my post (you need then to understand that you are aware of the Legislation and your right by doing it that way.

 

Yes you have the Right to Peaceful Enjoyment of the Property but you need to be very careful in the way you use it and your suggestion I would not do as I have previously said you would then put the ball in their court that your have refused them access for a routine inspection of the property which if done correctly they are legally entitled to do.

 

Also if you refuse access when it comes near the time to renew your tenancy agreement they could just service notice to end tenancy.

 

You need to be careful in what you write to the Landlord/Letting Agent i.e. how you word your letter

 

Oh almost forgot as they would be a Data Controller they would need to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) so ask them for their Registration Number and check it out on the ICO website: https://ico.org.uk/ESDWebPages/Search

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Guys,

 

I just wanted to say thank you for your help, it was really appreciated and very useful. I sent a secondary email incorporating what Stu had advised. Soon after I received a response from the letting agency who advised me that no general photographs will be taken and a picture will only be taken if there is any kind of maintenance issue, and none of my possessions will be included in the photo if a photo is necessary. A few days later the lady came round for the inspection. She was in my flat for less than 5 minutes only taking a photo of the smoke alarms. Sweet.

 

Thank you again Stu and others.

 

James

Edited by JamesNeedsALittleSupport
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Hi

 

You are more than welcome and thank you for coming back and updating your topic as it will help others.

 

I hope you had a good Christmas and have a Good New Year

 

I will add **RESOLVED** to your Topic Title.

  • Like 1

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Letting Agency Wants to Take Photos During Inspection Visit ***Resolved***
  • 8 months later...

Hi Guys,

 

Some of you might remember I had issues with my letting agency wanting to take general photos of my flat in their inspection visit last year. I managed to make sure they didn't do that and only took photos of anything that required maintenance. I have had many other problems with this letting agency and I am now withdrawing all permissions for them to access my flat, other than for emergency repairs. I am fully aware that the landlord might issue a S21 or obtain an injunction but I am now making a stand, without going into all the details people who pay their rent and look after the property to the highest possible standard should not be treated like this and letting agencies should not be able to get away with it.

 

Anyway I have another inspection coming up and I want to know what is the correct way of informing the letting agency in writing that I am withdrawing all access permissions bar emergency maintenance, are there any specific details or phrases I need to use? If anyone can help I would be so grateful.

 

James 

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Topics merged...please do not start new topics on existing issues already posted.

 

Andy

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Letting Agency Wants to Take Photos During Inspection.
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