June 22, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

Aussie real estate agents wear body cameras during home inspections as security measure against ‘difficult’ renters

3 min read
  • Some property agents are wearing body cameras 
  • Cameras used as security measure during inspections
  • Some tenants concerned cameras breach privacy 

Real estate agents have resorted to wearing body cameras to protect themselves from potentially disgruntled renters. 

The drastic step comes as skyrocketing rents and low property vacancies put a strain on already tense relationships between tenants and property managers.

Queensland-based company 360 Property Management Mackay has already rolled out the changes.

Office manager and sales agent Adele Crocker made the decision for her staff to wear body cameras when conducting tenant home inspections. 

Ms Crocker decided on the security measure after one of her female agents was trapped inside a property after a renter refused to let her out. 

Some Aussie real estate agents are now wearing body cameras during routine home inspections as part of a security measure to deter potentially disgruntled tenants (stock image, couple getting tour through an apartment)

Some Aussie real estate agents are now wearing body cameras during routine home inspections as part of a security measure to deter potentially disgruntled tenants (stock image, couple getting tour through an apartment)

‘After this occurred we had a big discussion on safety in the workplace and spoke about how we could all feel safer entering into home of what essentially are strangers,’ Ms Crocker told news.com.au.

Current tenants were informed that property managers would be wearing body cameras as part of their personal protective equipment, while new tenants will be advised at the beginning of their tenancy. 

The body cameras will be turned on at the start of the inspection – when an agent enters the home – with the footage uploaded and stored on a data base. 

Ms Crocker added the footage is stored for a short period of time and if no incidents arise during the visit it is then deleted. 

She added the majority of tenants viewed the security measure as ‘important’ and were ‘surprised’ the agency had not implemented the policy sooner. 

However, the agency received some negative written and verbal responses to the security policy claiming the body cameras violate their privacy. 

Ms Crocker said staff are ‘very mindful’ of their tenants privacy but believes the cameras act a deterrent which stops renters from lashing out at staff. 

‘If someone was upset, the camera may very well be a visual deterrent to become upset at staff and instead wait until they have left and then perhaps phone with their concerns,’ Ms Crocker said.

‘If walking into a strangers home with a camera on gives that feeling of security, with or without incident, then we are doing our job correctly.’

Corporate Director of OBrien Real Estate in Victoria Darren Hutchins said his team of property managers do not use body cameras but employ other safety measures. 

The body cameras are turned on at the start of the inspection when an agent enters the home, with the footage uploaded and stored on a database for a short period of time (stock image of a body camera)

The body cameras are turned on at the start of the inspection when an agent enters the home, with the footage uploaded and stored on a database for a short period of time (stock image of a body camera)

Office Manager & Sales Agent at 360 Property Management Mackay Adele Crocker said the policy was implemented after a renter had locked a property manger inside a home and refused to let her leave

Office Manager & Sales Agent at 360 Property Management Mackay Adele Crocker said the policy was implemented after a renter had locked a property manger inside a home and refused to let her leave

 Mr Hutchins explained property managers have a ‘safety app’ on their phone and are advised to take a support person or team member with them if they feel a conflict or issue could arise. 

He added incidences between agents and tenants have occurred but are ‘very rare’, claiming when respect is shown to a renter then it is ‘generally given’ to staff. 

In relation to body cameras and privacy, there is no general ‘right’ to privacy that is enforceable by legislation in Australia.

There is no legal objection for someone to take a photo or video footage of something that they can capture from where they are standing as long as it is in a public space. 

An individual can object to footage provided it was captured in a non-public space including somewhere owned by a person, government department or company. 

However, the law becomes more complicated when dealing with property managers who enter a tenants home for the purpose of an inspection. 

The property manager, in a legal sense, is an agent for the homeowner and therefore is not viewed as an ordinary member of the public just as the tenant is not viewed as ‘owning’ the space. 

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