Property photographs and my position in terms of rights?

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    Property photographs and my position in terms of rights?

    Just after a bit of advice regarding a situation that is quite covered on this forum however without certain specifics to my situation - or simply I am not fully understanding so I thought I'd ask myself.

    I'm currently a private renter within N.I (Northern Ireland) and have recently been informed via phone from my Landlord who I have seen maybe 2-3 times max as we both don't bother each other and she has repeatedly praised how I've been as a tenant and how much pride I take in my home that she wants to sell up. Recently she called to state she is selling the entire flat on as inflation etc are making it too expensive to run 4 homes with how hard the cost of living is currently which I found ironic as she was detailing how hard life is before proceeding to state she would be taking my only home that she previously had stated is mine for as many years as I want as it's one of their pension homes but again I understand that is within her right and it's not her issue that it's tough on me. Initially we discussed that she'd need her mortgage covered until September possibly and having me there would be amazing, and that also gave me extra stability as my contract ends at the very end of July - to find a new home. Initially I took time to think about it and then texted I may be interested in staying longer past July if needs be however I have since updated her that I don' feel that is possible due to how much anxiety I am having daily due to dreading every viewing that may happen.

    I had moved into this property through a friend who was a property agent and he had reccomended this landlord etc as I was in urgent need to move due to a personal situation with a home invasion that has led to long-term mental impacts inclusive of door knocks unexpectedly, people in my home that I do not know on a friend basis - stuff along those lines being incredibly difficult for me. She has been made aware of this and I re-instated how I felt after the photographers recently came to take photos of the flat. The flat is entirely furnished (besides oven, fridge, washing machine) by myself, every TV, sofa, desk, mirror - entirely my own and there is some expensive items that whilst this may sound rediculous just set off something inside me that anyone could see a particularly valuable item and know where I live, and the layout of the home - again very extreme just a personal concern. I raised this all with her and detailed as well that I work from home Mon-fri within a very heavy data protected role and that outside of work hours or weekends I don't want to plan for strangers to trudge around my home - whilst also detailing that I understood this is not convenient and I really want not to be a hassle to her. I got a very bland response, disregarding all of the concerns just an "update me if you find a way that helps you more." On top of it already being a uncomfortable situation the photographer knocked my router off disconnecting an entire meeting in work for a good 5-10 minutes and had just shoved my coats and other items from behind a door into random closets or spaces for the photos, this is fine.. but it just felt a tad disrespectful especially during my work which didn't stop them asking me plenty of questions so it isn't as if they weren't comfortable to approach me and ask can I grab some stuff or can they hit off my switch for the router etc.

    So my question is regarding the above situation, is there anything I have in my rights to request the photos be removed online as I said everything in them is my own and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable due to my past. I also would ideally like to know if there is anything I can do in terms of viewers.. can I be incredibly awkward and ask for a 30 min time slot where I go out for my lunch and they do a quick survey with all the viewers - or is that rediculous? I hope this doesn't seem very entitled or self loathing I am just very stressed and would like some guidance as it does feel as if the Landlord is hard focusing on her sale which is disappointing as we had an incredible rapport before-hand hence I felt comfortable opening up about personal issues around what was occuring due to her decisions. There has also been 0 paperwork given to show I am due to move out, the tenancy is ending etc - should I have received this?

    Thanks a ton in advance, sorry again if it is extremely dramatic.

    You don't have to allow viewings at all.
    You don't have to allow any viewings at any time that isn't convenient.

    It's quite possible that this would be a breach of the terms of your tenancy agreement, but there's realistically the landlord can do about that, if they're already going to evict you, there's not much else available to them.

    If the landlord would like you to leave in September, they should give you notice.
    You still don't have to leave if they do - there's plenty of advice on the Shelter NI web site.

    I don't think there's much you can do about the photos now - you could have declined to allow the photographer in, but that ship has sailed.
    You can always ask, but I can't see the landlord or selling agent complying (unless you negotiate the removal of some of them in exchange for allowing some vewings?).
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


      I honestly had no clue I was allowed to decline the photos and I wasn't asked for permission at all I was just told they are going to ring you to arrange a time and I just kind of went with it due to the initial stress.

      So the contract ends July 28 however she had discussed offering to extend it on a rolling monthly basis however I have pretty much confirmed that doesn't work for me anymore as viewings will be constantly in my face through that so July 28 is probably where I'm aiming to depart and have began chasing propertys down.

      Re: the photos, is there absolutely no rights I have in terms of all of it is my property outside of the walls and ground it stands and exists within? Totally understand if that's the case just feels shocking that someone can use your items as a marketing piece - I would of imagined they could be forced to use old photos if I had displayed discontent but maybe not (you'd know better than me !!)


        Not quite sure what the law in Northern Ireland is about such matters.: Different from England.

        Suggest hunt here...
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


          Also just wondering, in regards to nothing further they can do surely my deposit is at risk if I don't meet the requirement of 2 months before to allow entry for viewings at reasonables times yada yada?


            I am not familiar with NI regulations relating to deposits, but I think (60% confidence).

            They can't use the deposit for anything that you don't agree (unless it goes to arbitration or court).
            And they can only use it to cover a debt or to compensate for a loss.

            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


              If you need to rent a new property, you might want to think about preserving that good reputation youve built up by considering the level of viewings you could live with.


                I would start to look for another property immediately.


                  | would imagine that the publication of photos, without your explicit consent, is a breach of privacy, and infringes laws on data protection.. I assume the landlord is ignorant and in my view has exhibited gross insensitivity. Seek legal advice


                    Regarding photography:

                    If you gave permission for photos to be taken then it's hard to retract that.... and hardly fair to be honest just because you've changed your mind. You either should have refused permission or removed items you didn't want photographed. Once photographs have been taken the copyright lies with the photographer period. You can't dictate that they're not used unless you get an injunction.

                    I think all you can reasonably do is request it but I don't think you have a legal right. The only grounds are on Human Rights as there are laws around taking photos in places where there is an expectation of privacy but I think you've probably kiboshed that with your permission.

                    Externally it's perfectly legal to take any photo of pretty much anything if you're in a public place unless you're going to fall foul of the Children Protection Act or Section a couple of sections under the Terrorism Act.


                    Sorry but it all sounds a little unreasonable to me and I think you'd be better working with your landlord rather than being deliberately obstructive. Bear in mind you may need a reference from her at some point.


                      Originally posted by gnvqsos View Post
                      and infringes laws on data protection.
                      Taking photos of inanimate objects where no living person is show has nothing to do with the DPA.

                      It only applies to living human beings, not property.
                      Last edited by Hudson01; 12-06-2022, 21:21 PM. Reason: spelling



                        I never gave permission I was never asked yes or no simply told it's happening. If given the option - I think it's clear by my text that it would clearly have been a no. I think by the statement "changed your mind" you may have completely not read a huge part of the text. It was sudden and overwhelming - and not something I have expertise on in a short-time frame my initial reaction was not to start a fight over it nor do I plan to I just wanted to know my grounds. Due to the personal circumstances I may have not acted as logically as one should have based on initial emotion - this post was simply to grasp where I stand. Sorry that you took that I was being unreasonable and obstructive from the above text.


                          Sorry if I misread it. I read it that you gave access to the photographer which thereby gave implied permission.


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