Real Estate Agents Using Cameras And Alarms For Protection
Queensland real estate agents are using cameras and alarms at house inspections for protection.
As the rental shortage continues to grow, conflicts between agents and members of the public are rising.
A Queensland government agency told ABC there are statewide reports of real estate agents wearing cameras, but the practice has yet to be common.
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Antonia Mercorella, the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIO), says the safety of their members has been cause for concern for some time.
“It’s a combination of the stress of the pandemic and the stress of the incredibly tight vacancy rate and rental crisis that we are all familiar with.”
According to the REIQ, Queensland vacancy rates tightened to record lows in the first quarter of 2002.
Brisbane experienced the most significant drop, with inner Brisbane’s vacancy rate tumbling to 1.5 per cent, middle Brisbane areas falling to 0.9 per cent, and outer Brisbane areas down to 0.6 per cent.
Residential Tenancies Authority principal project officer Sam Galer told ABC that the legislation regulating rentals did not prohibit the use of cameras, but suggested real estate agents provide written notice to tenants and gain consent.
A Queensland tenant has shared an email she received from her real estate agent online.
“Camera recordings will be active during all routine inspections to ensure public and staff safety,” said in the email.
The email sent out by the agency explained that the implementation of body cameras aimed to ensure the safety of their staff and provide protection.
The agency said that the cameras would be activated during routine inspections, and any recorded footage would be made available to the police in case of any incidents.
However, the announcement sparked controversy and uncertainty.
Tenants were questioning the legality of such a decision, expressing concerns about their privacy and rights.
Many tenants have taken to social media platforms like Facebook to voice their outrage and seek clarification.
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