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Is it legal for a domestic cleaner to take photographs of the

Customer Question

Is it legal for a domestic cleaner to take photographs of the inside of your home without your permission?

Further to threaten to use the photos against you with a third party?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Remus2004 :

Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What are they threatening to do with the photos?

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

My property is owned by Lord Portman (Portman Estates) and she is threatening to show the photos to them - I don't think they would be interested, however, I am not sure who else she might show them to and/or for what reason.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

I have never given any permission for anyone to take any photos inside my home

Remus2004 :

Is there any reason they shouldnt show them to the estate agents?

Remus2004 :

Whats the threat?

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

Yes, my home is private, my possessions are private and for someone to threaten to show a 3rd party photos of my private home because they want money seems a breach of my privacy.

Remus2004 :

I'm really sorry but that is not unlawful.

Remus2004 :

There are no laws against taking photographs in these circumstances.

Remus2004 :

There are obviously prohibitions upon making threats potentially.

Remus2004 :

It depends what you mean by that.

Remus2004 :

However, if its just that she is trying to argue that they evidence something that the agents need to know about then she is free to do that.

Remus2004 :

If, on the other hand, she is trying to use the threat to exhort money from you then that would be different but Im not sure thats what you are saying?

Remus2004 :

I do understand that you feel aggrieved about this but I'm afraid there is no action arising from breach of privacy.

Remus2004 :

There's no tort of breach of privacy in the Uk.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

Isn't it a breach of privacy? Can a cleaner come into your home and take photos of your private belongings and despite the fact she has nothing whatsoever to do with the Portman estate introduce herself to them and show her photos, which I haven't even seen myself? Her photos could be a scene she has set. She says she took photos before and after cleaning

Remus2004 :

There isn't a tort of breach of privacy in the UK.

Remus2004 :

You don't need consent to take photographs.

Remus2004 :

If you did, the activities of the press would be unlawful all the time.

Remus2004 :

There's nothing unlawful in taking photographs before and after cleaning and showing them to the agents.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

Her note says...."I will go to portman with all shocking photos I have on (sic) on your (sorry their) property in my phone before cleaning and after my cleaning, and will ask for my money"

Remus2004 :

What, of course, might be unlawful is the fact of entry into a property but in this instance she was a cleaner.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

If I was in the street and my photograph was taken I could understand that, however, these are in the privacy of my own home

Remus2004 :

Yes, I do understand.

Remus2004 :

But its not against the law.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

So anyone can take photos in your home without your permission and there is no redress?

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

Don't you think this is a form of blackmail?

Remus2004 :

No.

Remus2004 :

Sorry but its not.

Remus2004 :

Blackmail would be saying giving me X amount of money or I will show these photos to another.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

That is basically what she is saying

Remus2004 :

This just reads like a general complaint about the property which may or may not be merited.

Remus2004 :

Cleaners are generally a bit unreasonable about things like that.

Remus2004 :

No, it isn't.

Remus2004 :

She is saying that she intends to show them to the agents

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

she is saying that she intends to show the photos, taken without my permission and/or knowledge, to the owners/landlords - there is absolutely nothing wrong with my house and they would know that from their inspection 3 weeks ago when they inspected for the renewal of the tenancy - thus is leads me to believe she has set a scene and photographed something which she now terms as "shocking"

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

If you pay someone to clean and carry out specific duties surely anything outside of that remit is not correct

Remus2004 :

That is not blackmail I'm afraid.

Remus2004 :

It might well be that she is wrong in fact but I covered that above.

Remus2004 :

No, as I have said, there is nothing unlawful in this.

JACUSTOMER-58mkgb68- :

I have a different answer from another advisor who is saying it is cover under Article 8 of ECHR

Remus2004 :

I've given you my view of this really.

Remus2004 :

If anybody is saying that Art 8 applies then they are being very optimistic.

Remus2004 :

The case law has hammered Art 8 on the law of photography.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Just a quick reminder, there is an unrated answer waiting for you here from the Professional.

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Thank you,
Nicola

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