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minkeygirl

Internal Photos Taken Without Permission

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Apologies for asking a question on my first post, but I could really use some advice!

I recently moved into a rented property, and a three weeks into the tenancy the landlord asked if he could get the property valued (as he hadn't done so for several years). I agreed to this, but last week noticed that the property is for sale with a local EA, with internal photos of our possessions (including loads of AV equipment, a top-spec computer, etc).

Obviously, I'm not happy that he wants to sell up (although the price it's marketed at is extremely speculative!), but I'm more concerned that my permission was not asked to take photographs of my stuff and publish them. The LL sees no problem with this (and neither does the EA). To be quite honest, it's mainly the principle of the matter and the arrogance of the LL that has annoyed me, but the property is clearly identified and the building has been broken into in the last year - it seems like asking for trouble to display thousands of pounds worth of electronics on Rightmove!

Anyone know if I have any legal right to address this, and get the photos removed?

I'd be really grateful for any help! :)

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I dont think theres any legal redress - Just get a mate to view it and put in a stupidly high offer, he can string them along for 6 months and then pull out, at which point you get another mate to put an offer in...

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I dont think theres any legal redress - Just get a mate to view it and put in a stupidly high offer, he can string them along for 6 months and then pull out, at which point you get another mate to put an offer in...

That`s a wickedly perverse idea - nice one m8 :)

Re. this issue - did the landlord have our permission to have the photos taken (in writing from you)? If not that could be a breach of your rights (24 hours` written notice is normal).

Also, you know he`s got to issue you a Section 21 Notice to Quit, and that`s notoriously difficult to get right ;)

If you`re not happy with the pictures though, get them to take them down. Then arrange to have your goods moved / covered / stored for the duration of the picture-taking, then get them to put the goods back (including rewiring etc). That should make them think.

Have a word with the Tenancy Rights Officer at your local council.

Hope this helps ;)

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Thanks for the replies... I love GiveMeTheData's idea... crafty!

No, the landlord had no permission to take photos. We gave permission only for an Estate Agent to value the property (although we only received the request letter on the morning he was due to arrive - not 24hrs notice).

We have requested verbally that they remove the photos from their website, but they have not done so yet. Before I write to them I wanted to check out my options.

I am surprised they did not let us know that the flat is for sale, as according to our tenancy agreement, we do not have to allow viewings until the last 2 months of our tenancy (3 months off). Even then, I believe we have no legal obligation to allow viewings (but would probably get a horrendous reference if we refused!). I was expecting a Section 21 notice, but we haven't received one - why are they difficult to get right? I think the landlord expects that we'll happily allow viewings throughout our tenancy - not without a substantial reduction in rent!! ;)

I'm guessing the LL was surprised how high the valuation was (it's ridiculous!), and thought he'd nothing to lose by putting it on the market - as he lives in Hong Kong he may not be aware of the impending doom to the UK housing market!!

Cheers again ;)

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Thanks for the replies... I love GiveMeTheData's idea... crafty!

No, the landlord had no permission to take photos. We gave permission only for an Estate Agent to value the property (although we only received the request letter on the morning he was due to arrive - not 24hrs notice).

We have requested verbally that they remove the photos from their website, but they have not done so yet. Before I write to them I wanted to check out my options.

I am surprised they did not let us know that the flat is for sale, as according to our tenancy agreement, we do not have to allow viewings until the last 2 months of our tenancy (3 months off). Even then, I believe we have no legal obligation to allow viewings (but would probably get a horrendous reference if we refused!). I was expecting a Section 21 notice, but we haven't received one - why are they difficult to get right? I think the landlord expects that we'll happily allow viewings throughout our tenancy - not without a substantial reduction in rent!! ;)

I'm guessing the LL was surprised how high the valuation was (it's ridiculous!), and thought he'd nothing to lose by putting it on the market - as he lives in Hong Kong he may not be aware of the impending doom to the UK housing market!!

Cheers again ;)

1) The "getting a mate to string him along" sounds like a good idea in theory, but it will soon fall through when the vendor/EA realises that solicitors still haven't been instructed 3 weeks later.

2) Taking the photographs may well be trespass. You gave the EA permission (in legal parlance, a "licence") to enter your flat for the purposes of valuation, so when they started to take photos, they exceeded the terms of the licence and became trespassers. Just as an aside, trespass is what is known as "actionable per se", which means that even if you have not been caused financial loss by the trespass, you can claim damages nonetheless. Email the EA and put them in the picture (excuse the pun), and tell them to remove the photos from the internet forthwith. Of course if they wish to return at a mutually convenient time, to photograph the property without showing your goodies, then of course you will be willing to oblige, so long as the LL gives you a rent reduction to reciprocate your gesture of goodwill.

3) How is the LL going to sell the property if you don't allow viewings? That has to be worth a rent reduction

Edited by agent46

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That`s a wickedly perverse idea - nice one m8 :)

Re. this issue - did the landlord have our permission to have the photos taken (in writing from you)? If not that could be a breach of your rights (24 hours` written notice is normal).

Also, you know he`s got to issue you a Section 21 Notice to Quit, and that`s notoriously difficult to get right ;)

If you`re not happy with the pictures though, get them to take them down. Then arrange to have your goods moved / covered / stored for the duration of the picture-taking, then get them to put the goods back (including rewiring etc). That should make them think.

Have a word with the Tenancy Rights Officer at your local council.

Hope this helps ;)

Hey Southsea for once I agree with you, be careful with the section 21 though, it can only be used to gain possesion at the end of the fixed term and no judge will ever rule against it. For anything (i.e during the fixed term) else it is ground 1-16 of the 1988 housing act shedule 2 some of which are discresionary i.e. the judge can chose and some mandatory i.e the judge has no choice but to issue

Had the same issue with photo taking myself I was not amused

Edited by Matt Henson

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Hey Southsea for once I agree with you, be careful with the section 21 though, it can only be used to gain possesion at the end of the fixed term and no judge will ever rule against it. For anything (i.e during the fixed term) else it is ground 1-16 of the 1988 housing act shedule 2 some of which are discresionary i.e. the judge can chose and some mandatory i.e the judge has no choice but to issue

Had the same issue with photo taking myself I was not amused

I'm sure Matt knows this but just for clarification grounds 1-16 relate to a section 8 notice not section 21.

It terms of it being tricky the reason is that a section 21 notice is pretty limited in what it can do, it is only really of use for informing a tenant that the landlord requires possession of the property after the agreed lease term, in other words they cannot issue one which terminates the AST early, in that case the need a section 8 notice and the 1-16 grounds are only really relevant if you have been a problem tenant. If you have behaved normnaly and paid the rent then the landlord can't kick you out on a section 8 notice.

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Thanks for the clarification gilf.

There would be no grounds to remove us because of being problem tenants, so it is reassuring to know that the earliest we would have to move out is after the end of the initial 6 month AST (if the landlord does serve us with a section 21 2 months from th end).

I don't want to be unreasonable with the LL or EA, but find it frustrating when my rights as a tenant are blatantly ignored.

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Hey Southsea for once I agree with you, be careful with the section 21 though, it can only be used to gain possesion at the end of the fixed term and no judge will ever rule against it. For anything (i.e during the fixed term) else it is ground 1-16 of the 1988 housing act shedule 2 some of which are discresionary i.e. the judge can chose and some mandatory i.e the judge has no choice but to issue

Had the same issue with photo taking myself I was not amused

HOORAY WE AGREED!! :lol:

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Thanks for the clarification gilf.

There would be no grounds to remove us because of being problem tenants, so it is reassuring to know that the earliest we would have to move out is after the end of the initial 6 month AST (if the landlord does serve us with a section 21 2 months from th end).

I don't want to be unreasonable with the LL or EA, but find it frustrating when my rights as a tenant are blatantly ignored.

Standing up for your rights is not unreasonable; if the LL / EA had acted in a better way you wouldn`t need to assert your rights ;)

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Might be worth looking at copyright law here (Copyright, designs and patents Act 1988) . In very simple terms:

1. They own the copyright to the photos because they took them.

2. However, even a copyright holder has to obtain permission to use images for commercial purposes, including advertising. This permission is granted by the use of a form known as a "model release" for people and a "property release" for property.

The question over whether a property release would be required depends on the prominence of your property. If it is considered "minor" or "incidental" then no release would be required.

I would ask them if they don't have photographs from the inventory before you moved in. If this is the case then they could use these. If they prefer to use the ones that have your property in them because they make the place look more homely, then I would suggest that your property is not incidental, rather it is an integral part of the image and so a property release would be required.

Of course, getting a mate to string them along is much more fun!

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Slightly off topic, but what about the situation where the EA takes photos of the outside of the property and your car (no.plate clearly visible) is on the driveway.?

BTW, another even more off topic situation is when someone else's property is on your driveway. In my local property porn paper there is a small 3 bed for sale around £290k (can't remember exact price) and in the driveway is an "57" reg, bright red, Ferrari 430. Probably £100k+ worth of car.

I considered it might be the house seller's, then thought nobody has a car worth 1/3 price of their house do they? So I must conclude it is the EA car.

What message does this send out to all and sundry who read the paper?. "Come burgle us we're v. rich" or "offer a c**p price for the house 'coz we don't really need the money" ??

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Might be worth looking at copyright law here (Copyright, designs and patents Act 1988) . In very simple terms:

1. They own the copyright to the photos because they took them.

Have you checked that with the information on the Rightmove website? I know that some of the property websites state that the copyright in the images belongs to them and not the agent who uploaded the photos.

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Have you checked that with the information on the Rightmove website? I know that some of the property websites state that the copyright in the images belongs to them and not the agent who uploaded the photos.

I'm absolutely certain on this. If Rightmove state that they own the copyright then there will be a clause in their T&Cs that says that the agents are assigning copyright to Rightmove. If no such clause exists then the copyright remains with the agents.

Copyright law is quite clear with regards to photography - if you took it, you own it, unless you assign the copyright to someone else. The only exception to this is if you are paid to take photographs by your employer, then they own the copyright.

EDIT: to remove a superfluous word and introduce a tautology.

Edited by crash_bang_wallop

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I'm absolutely certain on this. If Rightmove state that they own the copyright then there will be a clause in their T&Cs that says that the agents are assigning copyright to Rightmove. If no such clause exists then the copyright remains with the agents.

Copyright law is quite clear with regards to photography - if you took it, you own it, unless you assign the copyright to someone else. The only exception to this is if you are paid to take photographs by your employer, then they own the copyright.

Yes, thank-you, I'm well aware of the default position in IP law, but my point was that you stated that the agent owns the copyright, when it is actually quite likely that they have signed away the copyright to Rightmove.

EDIT: to remove an error and replace with an irrelevance ;)

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Yes, thank-you, I'm well aware of the default position in IP law, but my point was that you stated that the agent owns the copyright, when it is actually quite likely that they have signed away the copyright to Rightmove.

EDIT: to remove an error and replace with an irrelevance ;)

Oh right, I see what you mean now. I misunderstood the intent behind your question regarding Rightmove.

An agent assigning copyright (or copyright licence) to Rightmove doesn't change the situation regarding a property release (note that in this case we still haven't established whether a release is needed or not). You cannot circumvent the requirement for a property release by assigning copyright.

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Oh right, I see what you mean now. I misunderstood the intent behind your question regarding Rightmove.

An agent assigning copyright (or copyright licence) to Rightmove doesn't change the situation regarding a property release (note that in this case we still haven't established whether a release is needed or not). You cannot circumvent the requirement for a property release by assigning copyright.

Thank you for the repetition, but I hadn't questioned the need for those requirements - I merely pointed out your oversight vis a vis the ownership of the copyright

Edited by agent46

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Thank you for the repetition, but I hadn't questioned the need for those requirements - I merely pointed out your oversight vis a vis the ownership of the copyright

Ehm, I don't understand why you think that is important. It was not an oversight, it is an irrelevance - it doesn't matter whether the agent or Rightmove own the copyright. In order to explain to the OP about copyright law, they needed to be told that they have no copyright over the images the person who takes the photograph automatically owns the copyright, HOWEVER owning the copyright of the images does not mean that the copyright holder has unrestricted rights to use the images. That is the point I made in my original post and that point is not altered if the copyright is subsequently transferred to a third party.

A much more interesting question is whether or not the OP can make a case for the requirement of a property release. If this could be established then they would be perfectly within their rights to insist on the removal of the photographs from the Rightmove website.

Personally, I'm not sure they can make that case. It all depends on the photographs in question and if alternatives exist.

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Ehm, I don't understand why you think that is important. It was not an oversight, it is an irrelevance - it doesn't matter whether the agent or Rightmove own the copyright. In order to explain to the OP about copyright law, they needed to be told that they have no copyright over the images the person who takes the photograph automatically owns the copyright, HOWEVER owning the copyright of the images does not mean that the copyright holder has unrestricted rights to use the images.

I don't think it is important, I just wanted to point out that there really is no need to keep repeating the same nugget of information ad nauseum as if I had somehow failed to keep up with your supersonic reasoning skills. I understood the point perfectly well the first time you made it*, I didn't disagree with it, and, even if I, or anyone else needed convincing, continual repetition won't give it any more force than it already has.

*Which is why I wrote: "Thank you for the repetition, but I hadn't questioned the need for those requirements"

Edited by agent46

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I don't think it is important, I just wanted to point out that there really is no need to keep repeating the same nugget of information ad nauseum as if I had somehow failed to keep up with your supersonic reasoning skills. I understood the point perfectly well the first time you made it*, I didn't disagree with it, and, even if I, or anyone else needed convincing, continual repetition won't give it any more force than it already has.

*Which is why I wrote: "Thank you for the repetition, but I hadn't questioned the need for those requirements"

Hang on a minute, there is no need to be getting rude here. You asked me a question and I answered it. That is why I was re-iterating the point. If you didn't think it was important then why did you raise the point in the first place?

I posted my comment for the benefit of the original poster and you have taken the thread off-topic. If you want to continue to be rude to me, do it in private.

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Hang on a minute, there is no need to be getting rude here. You asked me a question and I answered it. That is why I was re-iterating the point. If you didn't think it was important then why did you raise the point in the first place?

I posted my comment for the benefit of the original poster and you have taken the thread off-topic. If you want to continue to be rude to me, do it in private.

I'm not being rude to you. I pointed out your oversight, which you acknowledged. However, rather than leaving it at that, u then (twice) re-posted your points about release agreements as if I had also called into question the need for such an agreement, or else completely mis-understood your points. That was patronising or condescending and therefore, it could be argued, a little rude.

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I'm not being rude to you. I pointed out your oversight, which you acknowledged. However, rather than leaving it at that, u then (twice) re-posted your points about release agreements as if I had also called into question the need for such an agreement, or else completely mis-understood your points. That was patronising or condescending and therefore, it could be argued, a little rude.

I tried to send you a PM, but you have your PM disabled.

The message was "Drop it, 'nuff said"

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Look, I answered a question that you asked me. I misunderstood the question and so answered it a little more fully than you liked. So let me answer the question again.

You asked:

Have you checked that with the information on the Rightmove website? I know that some of the property websites state that the copyright in the images belongs to them and not the agent who uploaded the photos.

No I haven't checked on the Rightmove website. It doesn't matter though. Transfer of the copyright to a third party does not remove the requirement for a release to obtained in cases where a release is needed.

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Look, I answered a question that you asked me. I misunderstood the question and so answered it a little more fully than you liked. So let me answer the question again.

You asked:

No I haven't checked on the Rightmove website. It doesn't matter though. Transfer of the copyright to a third party does not remove the requirement for a release to obtained in cases where a release is needed.

That is now the third or fourth time you have posted that wiki-factoid and it is now becoming dreadfully tiresome indeed. I cannot understand why you are keep banging on about it (I have never argued that your point concerning release agreements was incorrect), as you clearly have nothing new to say and by your own admission, you wish to "drop it".

Therefore, if you really insist on having the last word, just post up a word selected at random, but preferably a word other than "copyright" "release" or "agreement."

Edited by agent46

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  • 296 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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