Housemates stunned after landlord installs cameras around the house

·3-min read

Eight renters living in a share house in Brisbane felt violated after discovering their landlord had installed CCTV cameras inside.

None of the tenants were told about the plan to install the cameras, however, they were aware renovations were set to happen and an electrician was coming in.

The eight cameras have been set up in common areas, both inside and outside the home. The cameras apparently do not record sound, but still make the tenants feel uncomfortable.

While the cameras have only been installed in the common areas, not bedrooms, Daniel Delaney says one camera in the living room can see into his bedroom.

The tenants were not told the cameras were going to be installed. Source: A Current Affair
The tenants were not told the cameras were going to be installed. Source: A Current Affair

"It's very, very uncomfortable to see somebody's watching you like that — that really just never goes away and it's kind of disturbing," Ameya Tidke, one of the tenants told A Current Affair.

He said he did not want the cameras and he did not "sign up" to having them.

Nathan Thomas told the program he felt as though he was being watched everywhere in the house, with the exception of his bedroom.

The other housemates told the program they felt as though their privacy had been breached.

Landlord had 'the best intentions'

Hive Student Accommodation sent the tenants an email explaining the cameras, insisting the landlord only had good intentions.

"The landlord had the CCTV cameras installed in the common areas with the best intentions at heart — being that should anything be damaged by any one person, we are able to capture the right person and not have to penalise everyone else for repairs," the email said.

However, the housemates told A Current Affair they haven't done anything to justify the landlord installing the cameras.

Antonia Mercorella, CEO of Real Estate Institute of Queensland, told A Current Affair installing cameras in rental properties in generally illegal in most parts of Australia.

"It does potentially constitute a breach of the act and a breach of privacy," she said.

"And whilst the intentions may be good and may be pure, nonetheless, the law is the law."

One of the tenants was told they were welcome to break their lease if they had a problem with the cameras. Source: A Current Affair
One of the tenants was told they were welcome to break their lease if they had a problem with the cameras. Source: A Current Affair

When Mr Thomas pushed the issue, he was told be was welcome to break his lease if he didn't feel comfortable living in the share house.

He said he would not be doing that due to the fees associated with breaking his lease.

Following A Current Affair's investigation, the landlord has reportedly decided to remove all the cameras.

It's not the first story this week where tenants have been upset over their living situation.

Earlier this week, Yahoo News Australia reported a tenant had received an email from a real estate management firm that was probably not intended for him.

The email was "bragging" about how much the agency had upped rent in the last month, news renters don't want to hear at the best of times.

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