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I am advertising a room in one of my HMOs. I recently organised professional photos of the room and of the rest of the property.The tenant whose room we are advertising has contacted us asking us to take down the photos of their room saying they have expensive stuff in their room. All there is, is a big TV in there and some DVDs. We need to have pictures of the room so we can advertise it. What is the law on this can we use the photos?
Suppose I came into your home, took photos and published them all online? It might be different if I had asked you and you had given permission (all best in writing). Why do you not have photos of the (dressed) room pre-tenancy?
First I would say that it was a gross invasion of the tenant's privacy that you entered the room without their knowledge or permission.If you had sought their permission, then it would have given the tenant the change to remove their personal belongings before having the photos taken.Secondly, if the tenant owns the TV and it does not come with the room, the photos could be considered to be misleading.If I were in your shoes, I would remove the pictures as I really don't think you have a leg to stand on here, although I will ask our legal expert, David Smith to clarify that point.
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
. I should of noted that I did in fact inform the tenant we were going to take pictures of their room. The tenant knew the time and date pictures of the room would be taken.
Well its probably not a breach of the tenant's rights unless you are sharing their personal information. However it's clearly going to annoy them and so I would not expect them to co operate with viewings.
As Vanessa has said, if you publish photos which give a misleading impression of how the room is furnished you risk being prosecuted under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations or facing a damages claim.
Don't think it won't happen. I recently acted for a room let agency who were prosecuted for a clerical error in which they sent the wrong photos to a prospective tenant. They were fined well over £100k and we had to appeal to have the sentence reduced.
Fined over £100k for a clerical error? The clerical error just being wrong photos? Really? If that's right, I give up on the world.
Just found the story of an agency that had the large fine on line which must be the one. A little bit more than just having a photo with a tenant's TV in it, thank goodness.
You don't NEED photos, but obviously they would help: What happened to the last lot of photos?Is this a wind-up? I'm trying to understand why a decent sensible landlord would even think taking such snaps without tenant's express permission reasonable:
``All there is, is a big TV in there and some DVDs. ....We need to have pictures of the room so we can advertise it.``
Its the language you use which is slightly concerning. You minimise the tenants perspective of value and have overrided their wishes in order to get what you want . Its looks as you have just invaded their personal space without considering their feelings on the matter. The material value reason they used may not the true reason they asked you to remove pics. Often its the emotional feeling of invasion of privacy which is more upsetting . But its harder sometimes to tell someone this so they use a more clinical reason as a mask . You organised this so you will learn from this oversight and ensure this wont be repeated
Whether the law protects you or not you should always be alive to how your actions affect and may upset others and in future try to prevent that where possible
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
Did you get the tenant's permission to enter the room? From your post, I am assuming that you are renting each room in an HMO on a separate tenancy with exclusive occupation of the room. In that is the case, you don't have the right to enter each room without the tenant's permission. The tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of the property (room). By entering the room, you have potentially made yourself liable for prosecution under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
Where does the OP state that they did/didn't have permission? It seems to have got a few in here's backs up!
I'd get some more appropriate photos done and relax.....