As far as the “rules”. I was never versed in privacy law. Only the “Take people to jail now” law 🙂
I do know it’s against the law to record someone without their permission. That is why when you call into a service provider or some online store – they tell you, “This call is being monitored or recorded for….” – Some say “So we may provide better customer confidence”, some systems say for “Training”, etc.
You have heard it, but what about when you are viewing homes and real estate listings that are for sale.
You send your realtor a list, or they provide you listings, and you want to get out and start viewing in person. What are the legal issues when it comes to viewing real estate and having the owner record you?
First and Foremost – the Listing Agreement is mute on the subject. However, as a real estate buyer, you would not be privy to it’s contents at the stage where you are merely viewing residential real estate listings.
That would come later, when you wrote an offer and had that offer accepted.
At First Glance – it would appear that you viewing a real estate listing and the seller recording your actions, is completely legal. (If I’m amiss about something – please inform me and I’ll update this posting) – send your correspondence to email@example.com
We had a couple with their two daughters and son viewing real estate listings with us recently. It wasn’t until the next day when I was called by the tenant who informed me he does not want “those people” and “their daughters” to return to their home to view it again.
He mentioned I needed to follow my clients into every room of the home, and that I need to monitor my clients. I agree with him on that. I do monitor my clients and do follow them around. But when we have 5 people in a 10X10 room, my 6’1″ frame would have been way too much. Therefore, I chose to stand outside of the door.
The tenant’s issue was not with anything missing or any of my clients defiling his daughter’s bedroom, but with comments that were uttered by my clients daughters.
Apparently, they go to the same Santa Clarita School with the tenant’s daughter. And they were in her bedroom, being recorded, and said some hurtful “teenage girl” things.
I inform my clients they maybe recorded on audio or video when viewing real estate listings. I also explain it’s the sellers/tenants home and they don’t have to notify anyone that “taping” is occurring. Think of the Time Warner alarm systems. AT&T and ADT also have similar systems where cameras can be placed and where they can be remote accessed and recording enabled.
Know this – just be careful and act accordingly. Sellers, it may also help you on your quest if you were to have your agent put on paper, Video Surveillance underway! This would have buyer being on their best behavior – at least most of them 🙂