A rental property owner in Auckland has been ordered to pay a former rental customer $500 after displaying the customer’s personal belongings in online advertisements. Monika Kuciel was renting an apartment in the SugarTree building when it was put up for sale. She gave the property manager permission to take pictures of the apartment, imagining they would just be taking photos of the balcony and ‘unique features’. However, she was shocked to find that pictures of her belongings including shoes, clothing and other personal items were on the internet. Monica initially requested that the acting landlord remove the images, but after this was ignored, she took the matter to the tenancy tribunal.
The outcome of this dispute reminds us of the need for clear, written agreements between rental customers and owners. Written permission should always be sought before photos are taken, specifying exactly what will be visible in the images and where these will be shown. If you have any other questions about rights and obligations, please get in touch!
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