If you’re considering investing in a security camera, it’s critical that you first examine your condominium security policy.
What are the Rules on Security Cameras in Condominiums
These security policies lay out the rules and regulations for camera installation, placement, and use.
Homeowners Associations (HOA) or condominium associations often manage condominiums and therefore enforce their own security policies, as long as they follow local and state privacy regulations.
Over the years, the use of surveillance cameras has been largely debated, with a tricky balance between residents’ safety and privacy.
An individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her own home, meaning your board, neighbors, or association should not and cannot be monitoring you within your private space.
However, there is not the same expectation of privacy in shared or common areas, such as the lobby, stairwells, elevator, and hallways. Therefore condominium buildings generally have the right to place security cameras in these spaces without consent from residents.
Who to Ask About the Security Camera Policy
To figure out exactly your condo’s security camera policy looks like, you’ll have to go directly to the source, your local HOA.
Each building has its own separate set of requirements, and authorization for anything in a condo, specifically security cameras, requires strict approval within the building’s by-laws and rules.
Some condominiums allow residents to install outdoor security cameras as long as they don’t violate one’s reasonable expectation of privacy, while other buildings only permit cameras within one’s private residence.
There are also security camera policies that prohibit drilling or damage of property during the installation of security systems; therefore wireless security systems may be the only option for some residents.
It’s also common for HOA to require condo residents to obtain consent before installing security cameras. So being aware of this requirement in advance helps residents avoid unnecessary disputes or fines.
The Best Places to for Condominium Security Cameras
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your building’s security camera policy, hopefully, you’ll be ready for camera installation.
If your policy allows for security cameras outside of your property, make sure to install a camera at the entrance of your condo. Approximately 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door, so you want to keep this area surveilled.
When setting up your security camera, make sure the camera is facing downward at an angle rather than directly in front of a tenant’s or owner’s door. This angle ensures that you don’t capture footage of the interior of a non-public area without consent, which can constitute a violation of privacy and potentially result in a lawsuit.
To protect your security cameras, place them high enough so they’re out of easy reach. Nine-feet off the ground is generally a sufficient placement for cameras. However, you still want to make sure the camera is visible to strangers to scare off potential intruders.
Make it a priority to read up on your condominium’s security camera policy before installation.