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Can a property manager allow a realtor to come into your place to take photos of the interior - including your furniture and personal items - to publish these online to sell the property?

  • @NateEldredge Added "Washington State". – bart Jan 15 at 18:32
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RCW 59.18.150(1), which governs residential tenancies, states

The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

and (6):

The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant, and shall provide notice before entry as provided in this subsection. Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant at least two days' written notice of his or her intent to enter and shall enter only at reasonable times.

Assuming that you were given advance notice, entry is legal. There is no special provision prohibiting photographing a rental unit that contains a tenants property, so there is no statutory prohibition against this. If you can demonstrate that you were damaged by having your property photographed, you could sue the landlord. But I don't see what the damage would be. There is a common law basis for a lawsuit for public disclosure of embarrassing private facts, but it is unlikely that a realtor would publish photos that revealed an embarrassing private fact about you. There is also the tort of placing you in false public light, but again it's hard to see what fact a photograph of your furniture would fill that bill (perhaps there's a detail you're not mentioning).

  • It's about invasion of privacy. – bart Jan 16 at 21:18
  • Canada’s Office of Privacy Commissioner addresses the issue: “Taking photographs of an individual’s apartment or rental unit is a collection of personal information. The purpose must be identified prior to or at the time of collection, the individual’s knowledge and consent must be obtained, and a reasonable effort must be made to ensure that the individual understands how the information will be used or disclosed.” – bart Jan 16 at 21:27
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    Yup, Canada and Washington have different laws. – user6726 Jan 17 at 0:51

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