Thinking About Common Area Cameras? Proceed with Caution

When it comes to installing cameras in common areas, your clients may have any number of motivations. They could be driven by an uptick in area crime, pressure to crack down on rule violators, or just the desire for a greater sense of security, among other reasons.

Cameras may be more affordable and less obtrusive than ever, but your clients shouldn’t rush into installation. They need to consider several factors before making the move.

For example, when talk turns to camera surveillance, questions about privacy naturally arise. Privacy concerns may not present a significant hurdle for associations, though.

“Normally there’s been talk in the neighborhood, and owners have requested cameras,” says Scott Weiss, of counsel for the Nashville, Tenn., law firm Ortale Kelley and a fellow in the College of Community Association Lawyers.

Moreover, he says, owners can’t really complain about privacy invasions when they’re in association-owned common areas: “Once you’re in those areas, you can have no reasonable expectation of privacy.” But Weiss cautions about installing cameras in common areas that can pick up activity outside of those areas.

“Don’t install them in an area or point them in a direction where it can invade someone’s privacy, like a changing room,” he says. “You don’t even want those locations in the background where you can zoom in.”

To learn about the other critical considerations for clients mulling the installation of cameras, and how to help them themselves, read our new article: Cameras in Common Areas: Yay or Nay?

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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