Threatening and Abusive Tenant – Can I wear a camera?

by Readers Question

16:24 PM, 11th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Threatening and Abusive Tenant – Can I wear a camera?

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Threatening and Abusive Tenant – Can I wear a camera?

I have been a Landlord for best part of 16 years and to date I have not had any tenant who has used foul language.camera

However, I have taken a tenant only 4 months ago who has sworn at me unprovoked. Without going into too much details can I wear “Body-Worn Camera” to protect me against any false accusations and for evidence purposes for future visits at my rented property?

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Simon



Comments

Romain Garcin

9:38 AM, 13th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Without disclosing the recording, I think it is safe to disclose that the recording exists.
And of course disclosure of the recording to the other party is not disclosure to a third party.

I think that once they realise that you do have such recording the other party would likely just drop their false accusations. If not then a court would likely be very interested once made aware of the existence of that recording.

In addition, arguably disclosure to court is necessary for the purpose of legal proceedings and for "establishing, exercising or defending legal rights"
and therefore exempt from the Data Protection Act to begin with.

michael fickling

11:45 AM, 13th January 2017
About 2 years ago

There have been very many cases where people have been unknowingly filmed and often completely covertly and that film has been used succesfully in court hearings...indeed in certain situations its a common police tactic. If you expect trouble its completely reasonable to do so.

Rod

14:17 PM, 13th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Far better to deal with the cause rather than treat the symptom, EVICT ! It may be alright for others to advise you but If the 'T' finds out he is being filmed/recorded it'll be 'you' that will face the consequences! Going by past experience you'll probably end up having to evict anyway. Not worth the stress!

Simon Hall

12:22 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Great advice guys which is much appreciated.

Rachel, I have to agree with Michael and Romain, you are not comparing apple to apple situation.

I particularly like Romain's explanation "In addition, arguably disclosure to court is necessary for the purpose of legal proceedings and for “establishing, exercising or defending legal rights” and therefore exempt from the Data Protection Act to begin with."

Rachel Hodge

14:51 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

I am comparing apples with apples. I'm not sure what the reference to Data protection is about or police recording?

The part I quoted from the article I linked to is specifically for person to person, not police.

The reference to provision of the information recorded to a third party (e.g. court evidence) is for people making recordings, not police. I won't quote it - it's on the link.

Anyway, I was providing research and opinion from a law firm. If you don't want to take it on board, that's fine!

Simon Hall

19:25 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rachel Hodge" at "15/01/2017 - 14:51":

I can appreciate what you saying however there is an overriding thought explained by Romain that "Courts are exempt from Data Protection Act".

Link provided by you makes reference itself that, recording can not be provided to 3rd party and the way I understand is that, if I have dispute with my tenant, I can not provide you the recording being third party but I can however provide it to Court.

Despite all this, if it stills remains as an issue (the way you explain) then this issue could easily be dealt by inserting a clause in tenancy agreement by following/similar wording:

-The Landlord reserves the right to record conversations and footage during his periodic visits without further warning, such recording could be presented to any relevant authorities as a form of evidence by signing this agreement tenant consents to such activity.

Rachel Hodge

19:37 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Yes, I imagine that wording would be fine, as then you have their consent and can use the recordings if you need to. Not sure how prospective tenants would feel about that clause though!

I suppose it all depends on what your objective is. I imagine there are two, but if I've missed yours, please let me know.

The two I can think of are,
1. you want the tenant to stop this unacceptable behaviour and stop threatening you. I think if you film him, and tell him you're doing so, this will be very effective. If it isn't, he knows you were going to film him.
2. You want to catch him red handed, covertly, and prosecute him for his unacceptable behaviour. I understand why you'd want to do that, but there's a chance it may backfire according to my understanding. I'd want to make absolutely sure that I was not going to be subject to the injustice of our justice system, and it looks like there's a chance the tenant could turn this on you if you filmed him secretly. Couldn't ever imagine a judge siding with a tenant against a LL, but you never know!

I'd film him and tell him. If he didn't behave, I'd then use it against him to my advantage. In that way I'd know I was squeaky clean and everyone could see what a nightmare he was.

Anyway, I hope you get my point. I'll leave you to it. Good luck.

Simon Hall

20:11 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rachel Hodge" at "15/01/2017 - 19:37":

Without going around in circles somebody has already explained that people like Bailiffs already wear such cameras and there is no issue presenting their evidence in Court. Once again I repeat, by inserting a clause in Tenancy will cure any ambiguity. Thanks for your contribution.

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