Everything You Need to Know About Apartment Security Camera Laws

Apartment Security Camera Laws

Having an apartment or building of your own comes with lots of responsibilities and duties. Finding a good tenant may not be easy. However, the legality has increased in order to secure the property. To prevent any damage or vandalism, you can follow these regulations and improve your security system at the apartment. Today, you can set security cameras at your home, apartment, or building for surveillance purposes.

However, there are certain things that you need to know before installing any security camera in your rented apartment or building.

What is the importance of apartment security cameras?

As a sole owner of your property, you must be concerned with its privacy and security. You cannot be in your apartment all the time, therefore you require a security camera that keeps you updated with any criminal or theft activity going on in your house. This way, you can protect your house and ensure the safety of your family or maybe tenants.

Is it legal to install apartment security cameras?

Installing cameras at your apartment or building is legal. The installation of audio recording devices is also permissible in many states but you must check with your state law before installation. However, it is important to take consent of your tenants while installing cameras and audio devices in the public areas of your apartment.

Where can you install apartment security cameras?

You can install your apartment security cameras as per the law and protect your apartment with these legal guidelines. Here are some areas where you can install security cameras in your apartment or building:

  • Main gate
  • Mailrooms
  • Laundry room
  • Hallways
  • Staircases
  • Elevators
  • Pools
  • Courtyard
  • Game rooms
  • Parking area in garage
  • Exit doors

Note: No security cameras are allowed in the bedroom or washroom until and unless you are living there.

Audio recording vs video recording

As an apartment owner, you need both an audio and video recording system for your building. Video recordings are legal to install in public areas while audio recordings may depend on state law. Audio recording with a security camera is a better feature as it also provides you with the added advantage of listening to people who may have ill intentions.

Furthermore, if unfortunately, you face any kind of intrusion in your property then you will be having the audio as well as the video of the perpetrators. So even if they have their faces covered, vigilance agencies can identify the person through a voice sampling test of the probable suspects. However, in some places, you may be facing some legal issues while placing audio cameras, so you better check out the regulations for your area.

Best practices for installing apartment security cameras

For better surveillance and comply with the legal guidelines, you can follow the following best practice tips that will help you in installing a video surveillance camera at the apartment:

Camera placement

Camera placement is very necessary as installing a camera at the right places where it does not affect someone else’s privacy. So, install cameras in public areas like entrances, parking areas, laundry rooms, or hallways. Keep the angle of the camera in such a way that it covers the entire space so that you can track down any mischievous activity happening around you. Moreover, avoid installing your camera’s in a private place.

Masking features

There are various modern video surveillance systems that offer masking features. Camera masking is mainly a feature which is also popularly known as privacy masking or blinding. This feature acts like a cover inside the apartment which covers the angle of the camera.

Generally, people use this to monitor the public area and if any private area gets captured, it can automatically blur or shield the lenses. The privacy of others is maintained with this masking feature which allows tenants or people inside the apartment to keep their private lives secure.

Posted Signage

To install surveillance cameras, it is good to keep out a signage poster that clarifies that entering the apartment area or building area will lead you to come under the surveillance of the camera. This will cause no reasonable expectation of privacy to the people entering public areas like staircases, hallways, elevators, or courtyards. When people see that signage, they agree to give their consent for both visual and audio surveillance.

Rental agreements

When you come up with an idea to install a camera in your building or apart, you must go through state rental law. Moreover, take the consent of your tenants and improvise them in the rental agreement. Add a separate clause and make a clear privacy policy in your agreement.

The bottom line

Having security cameras installed in your house will ensure better protection of you and your family from security issues in the future. However, you need to check with your local authorities about any regulations that may have been in place regarding placing cameras to save yourself from any compliance issues.