Photographing and filming tenants' possessions for advertising purposes

Arising out of discussions with the Tenants Union of Victoria, this Community Law Reform Project addressed concerns that the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) had not kept up with changes to how agencies and landlords advertised properties online. Increasingly, advertisers published extensive interior and exterior photographs of their properties across a range of websites, sometimes including the possessions and clues to identity of their tenants. Since this practice was not properly covered by the Act, tenants needed to rely on the goodwill and professionalism of landlords and agents to ensure their privacy and security. This project sought ways to balance the rights of landlords to advertise their properties with their tenants' privacy and security rights.  

The Commission's preliminary research to identify issues included an examinaton of current law in Victoria and other jurisdictions and meetings with tenant advocates, real estate agents and government agencies. A consultation paper published in June 2014 identified options for reform and asked for submissions. Further consultations across Victoria and 20 submissions fed into the final report tabled in Parliament in May 2015.  

You can read the final report, the consultation paper and other documents by clicking below. 

Implementation

18 September 2018, the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 received royal assent. The bill states the right of rental providers to enter the property to produce advertising images provided they give the tenant seven days notice (Recommendation 5).  The renter may object to the images being produced if they contain valuable or sensitive items, or may identify a person at risk of family violence. The renter has the right to review and approve images of sensitive and valuable items, and these images can't be used without the renter's consent (Recommendation 2). 

Community Law Reform Projects are conducted in accordance with section 5(1)(b) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic), which empowers the Commission to initiate inquiries of general community concern, provided they are limited in size and scope. More about Community Law Reform can be found here.  

Photographing and filming tenants' possessions for advertising purposes: Submissions

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Executive Summary

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Photographing and Filming Tenants' Possessions for Advertising Purposes: Report (pdf)

Tabled in parliament in May 2015, the Commission's report, Photographing and Filming Tenants' Possessions for Advertising Purposes, made 9...

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Photographing and Filming Tenants Possessions: Report (html)

Tabled in parliament in May 2015, the Commission's report, Photographing and Filming Tenants' Possessions for Advertising Purposes, made 9...

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Photographing and filming tenants' possessions for advertising purposes: consultation paper (pdf)

In June 2014, after preliminary research, the Victorian Law Reform Commission published a consultation paper on the practice by landlords and owners...

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Photographing and filming tenants possessions for advertising purposes: consultation paper (html)

In June 2014, after preliminary research, the Victorian Law Reform Commission published a consultation paper on the practice by landlords and owners...

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Photographing and filming tenants' possessions for advertising purposes: terms of reference

On 19 December 2013, the Victorian Law Reform Commission initiated a community law reform project on photographing and filming tenants' possessions...

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