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Use of “Context Photos” in Property Inspections

This week’s Decision of Interest highlights best practices for accurately documenting rental property conditions during routine inspections. We cover how to take effective “context photos” of rooms and close-ups of areas of concern and feature a TPS clause you should be using. Additionally, we explore the legalities and practicalities of using 360-degree cameras.

Case Background:

This recent Tribunal case involves a dispute over the methods used by a landlord to document the condition of a rental property during an inspection.

The landlord employed both wide-angle photos to capture the overall context of rooms and close-up images to detail specific areas of concern.

The tenant challenged this practice, prompting a Tribunal decision that sheds light on best practices and legal considerations for property managers.

Key points from the case:

The landlord conducted an inspection on 31 October 2023, with notice given two weeks prior.

The tenant’s mother objected to the use of wide-angle photos, preferring detailed close-up shots.

Tensions arose during the inspection, leading to claims of harassment and breaches of quiet enjoyment by the tenant.

Legal Authorities:

Section 38:

The tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment as outlined in Section 38 of the RTA. It outlines that landlords must not cause or permit any interference that disrupts the tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy in using the premises. Contravention of this section, particularly in circumstances amounting to harassment, is deemed an unlawful act.


The Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) under the Privacy Act 2020, govern the collection, use, and storage of personal information, including photos taken during property inspections. While landlords have the lawful purpose to collect information during inspections, they must ensure they only collect necessary information, communicate clearly with tenants about the purpose of photo collection, and handle and store the images securely to protect tenant privacy rights.

So, are context photos ok to take? And  which TPS clause should you be using? 

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