What estate agents get up to in your home – and how they’re being caught


It is not the first time an estate agent has been caught out.

In another recent case, an agent was caught on camera helping themselves to some milk from a client’s fridge.

Another was fired in 2014 after being caught on camera stealing chocolate from a client’s property, while in 2021 two agents were heard on camera describing a three-bed bungalow as “disgusting”.

Mr Pryor said that half of the homes he visits now have smart products capable of taking a recording, presenting a growing professional risk to agents.

He now advises colleagues to “assume that a microphone is on and make your comments as if the owners were in the room”. 

Smart devices have also been used by some sellers to accuse estate agents of underselling their property, according to a user of the online forum Mumsnet.

The user wrote that smart cameras had revealed her agent having “conversations about our house which fail to show it in its best light”.

One in five households had a video doorbell last year, according to research firm Consumer Intelligence.

The smart cameras also monitor the inside and gardens of homes as a security measure and can be monitored remotely on a smartphone, alongside other devices such as smart meters and thermostats. 

Graham Bowcock, a chartered surveyor at Cheshire-based Oakwood Property Services, said that the devices “a hundred percent” had the potential to put property agents at professional risk if they are not careful. 

“If myself or a colleague say something untoward I can imagine a seller would be very upset with that. You have to be mindful that everything you do or say is possibly being recorded,” he explained. 

“When we go into a property, house or office we are incredibly careful to act professionally and with integrity. We have to be careful what we say about the property and we have to be careful what we say about the parties.”

And there is an even more serious professional risk. He said that a recording of a surveyor expressing an off-the-cuff opinion of a property that is not noted in their final report could still be held as their professional opinion by clients.

His firm conducted an “evaluation of quite a large house recently and it actually had a comms room in it. There was a room with all their CCTV and WiFi. When we got back in the car I said: ‘I am guessing that everything we did was on camera.’” 

He added that cameras in homes are no longer a preserve of the rich: “At any level people have CCTV. The technology is so cheap.”