Keep Dishonest Landlords At Bay With Your Camera

Keep Dishonest Landlords At Bay With Your Camera

Even if your landlord seems happy-go-lucky upon moving in, there’s always a chance they won’t be so nice when you move out. Keep all parties accountable and in check for a hassle-free lease with a little help from your camera.

Photo by Lara604

As much as we’d like to say every landlord out there has a heart of gold, the truth is, economic times are tough. Even if you have left your last rental property sparkling clean, there’s rarely any proof as to what it looked like before you moved in unless you create your own. Landlords have been known to claim things are in need of repair, paint or cleaning just to weasel a few more dollars out of your pocket before you officially turn over the keys. More often than not tenants are willing to just pay off final bills with landlords to be out and gone, but that’s obviously not fair. Instead of dealing with the game playing, kill any suspicion before it starts by taking before-and-after photos — both are imperative.

Before-and-after photos leave little room for manipulation or consequence. We’ve put our before-and-after photos to the test by a landlord who claimed our tenancy resulted in water damage. Out came the pictures, which happily proved the condition existed before our arrival and no more questions were asked.

How have you dealt with a bad landlord in the past? Sound off in the comments.

Protect Yourself From Unscrupulous Landlords [Charles and Hudson]


  • I’ve recently had a landlord who refused to accept photos as evidence, even though the date was printed on them.
    Just letting you guys know to make sure your lease agreement is airtight, especially in dealings with shady rental agencies like Dingle Partners

    • Really the issue isn’t whether your landlord would accept them, it’s whether you’d use them if you had to take it to the Ombudsman.

      Digital photos and video haven’t been considered solid evidence to court for years. But if they are the only evidence around then they might help.

      Really what you need to do to be air tight is make sure every minor detail is included on your inspection report that you file when you first move in and include prints of photos with that, keeping a copy of your report and your prints for yourself.

      That way it puts the onus on the landlord to challenge anything at the start, rather than try to claim they’re PhotoShopped at the end.

  • Well digital photos cant be used as evidence, however if you attach the videos to your initial inspection report when you move in they have no recourse for action. Make sure you have a copy with their signature and your fine.

  • Just being seen to take photos of the condition of things can keep a landlord/agent on their toes.

    My last one took extra care to note down items properly in the original inspection sheet when they saw I was photographing in detail every room of the house.

  • I’ve got a friend who routinely photographs before and after every time. He’s been in several houses in South West Sydney over the years and has needed those photos twice. Both times it stopped the shady landlord in their tracks.

    Maybe it should become “code of practice” for better real estate agents to photograph the property themselves and have the tenant sign off on the photos at lease time. It’s a bit more work for them, but hey, they are already out there photographing the places they are selling, it isn’t *that* much more work for them. Telling the landlord and the tenant what they are doing could prevent a bunch of problems from ever happening.

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