A Dunedin tenant and his flatmates were "stunned" when their property manager turned up for a flat inspection with a cameraman in tow.
That decision, along with issues around mould and a hole in the bathroom floor, means the landlord of the Elm Row flat will have to pay out $3500.
But one of the tenants said they had still not received an apology for the breach of privacy, reports Otago Daily Times.
The 10 tenants of the flat took Click Property Management Ltd, an agent for Lucky Dragon Investment Corporate Trustee Ltd, to the tenancy tribunal over claims the landlord breached their privacy by allowing a cameraman to film their flat inspection in February.
They also claimed the landlord breached obligations over mould in the bathroom ceiling, a hole in the bathroom floor, and insufficient smoke alarms.
According to the Companies Register the two directors of Lucky Dragon Investment Corporate Trust Ltd were Matthew Harris and Ke Vin Lee.
Neither could be contacted yesterday.
The tenants signed a fixed-term tenancy for the flat from January 10 this year to January 8, 2020 at $1500 in rent per week.
Tenant Joe Allison said the tenants were "stunned" when the property manager arrived for their flat inspection with a cameraman, who started filming.
He said the tenants asked "multiple times" for that to stop.
"She ignored it and continued filming.
"It was a breach of privacy, we wanted it to stop. We weren't happy."
Afterwards the tenants contacted the property manager and asked for the footage not to be used.
She then forwarded that request to the production company, which agreed not to screen it.
The tenants were still living there, Mr Allison said.
"We're happy it got resolved, that this sort of behaviour has been addressed and hopefully won't happen again in the future, because a lot of landlords try to take advantage of younger tenants."
They had not received an apology from the property manager or landlord, he said.
The landlord had argued the filming, for a show about turning a boarding house into a flat, was not stopped because it was nearly finished anyway.
The tribunal did not accept that explanation, finding the landlord did interfere with the "reasonable peace, comfort and privacy" of the tenants by allowing filming without notice, and continuing the filming when asked by the tenants to stop.
But the tribunal stopped short of finding the incident amounted to harassment and it was therefore not an unlawful act, because the landlord took immediate steps with the film company to stop the film from being broadcast.
The tribunal also ruled against the landlord on the issues of mould and the hole in the bathroom floor, but found the number of smoke alarms was compliant.
The tribunal awarded the tenants $1500 in compensation and $2000 in exemplary damages.