Whether tenants can install security cameras is a concern for many apartment dwellers.

With soaring housing price around metropolitan and big cities, buying houses in the city is increasingly stressful, especially for young people like fresh graduates.

Therefore, millions of people seek alternatives by renting an apartment or communally living with others in a shared apartment unit.

Mid-Sized Apartment Interior

However, apartment dwellers are faced with pressing security concerns and it’s urgent for them to boost apartment security by taking necessary precautions.

There are many great tips for securing your apartments, for example, deadbolt locks, window lock, security cameras, and alarm systems.

And today, we are gonna work on the issues about the cameras on the rental property, and try to reach a conclusion on whether a tenant can install a security camera outside and inside in California, Ontario Canada, and other places.

Content:

Why Tenants Need Security Cameras (Systems) after Renting Apartments

There are growing necessities for apartment security cameras and systems, these trivial matters could add up to be a colossal nuisance.

  • Landlord enters my apartment without prior notice;
  • Landlord unlocks my apartment for maintenance or repair workers without my consent;
  • Suspicious activities next door, afraid of unwanted troubles;
  • Strangers kept knocking at the door while at home;
  • The rented apartment is old and can be easily broken into with very few security measures in place;
  • Landlord sneaks into the house to check on my pet while I am away;
  • Three apartments in the building directly adjacent to mine were broken into and “cleaned out“;
  • Landlords wire his/her electronic into my apartment and I pay for the bill;
  • Have to share communal space with others you don’t know and feel unsafe;
  • Suspect roommates kept coming into my room while I am away and touched my stuff;
  • Feel like someone entered my apartment and took something but not sure what is missing;
  • Someone tried picking my lock while I was away;
  • Property managers or apartment personnel have a spare key to my apartment and get into my room without my knowledge;
  • Had a couple of attempted break-ins during broad daylight through the front door of the apartment;
  • Former tenants get access to your current place;
  • Handymen (electrician/plumber/cleaners.etc)/pet sitter have access to the apartment when you are not home;
  • Rumors said that the property managers steal stuff from tenants but no evidence;
  • Apartment with a few vulnerable spots inside the apartment (balcony/old windows);
  • The apartment is not gated, anyone or strangers could get into the building;
  • Sublet an apartment from others in a duplex and living with strangers;
  • Packages kept missing without a clue of who might have done it;
    …..

The list could go on and on, surely there are still more annoyance or agony untold by hundreds and thousands of apartment dwellers.

The overwhelming sense of insecurity and incessant hassles are the recipes for further trouble if no actions are being taken in a timely manner.
Apartment Security Risks

If you found yourself grappling with security issues and looking for advice on boosting security around your apartment, such as security cameras, it’s important to know ins and outs of regulations regarding surveillance in or out of the apartment.

Is It Legal for Tenant to Use Video Cameras

Generally, the Supreme Court held that tenants are generally entitled to use exterior parts and general parts of a rented building, provided that they have a legitimate interest, the building is not damaged and the other residents are not disturbed or impaired in their interests.

So make sure that the security camera is positioned in a way that it can catch only the rented apartment, and it will not violate the privacy of other tenants, their guests, and the neighborhoods. Otherwise, you are very likely to have legal issues with the security camera installed around the apartment.

Can a Tenant Install Security Cameras Inside the Apartment

In our previous articles, we discussed the legality of landlord putting surveillance cameras around the rental property and revealed various security issues faced by tenants after renting a house.

So can you install security cameras inside your apartment? No doubt, the question strikes a chord with millions of apartment occupants as they are looking for advice on securing their apartments.

The answer is it depends.

#1.Occasions Tenants Can Install Security Cameras

If you are open to WiFi security cameras, like the wire-free Reolink Argus Pro, which requires no drilling or damage to the apartment, it should be okay to watch over the apartment door and pets (possibly) as long as it doesn’t implicate privacy violation of other roommates (if there is any).

Reolink Argus® 2

100% Wire-Free Starlight Camera

Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 1080 Full HD; Starlight Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; Live View Anytime Anywhere.

Or you may take a look at the PoE security cameras for a small apartment which involves less physical wiring, and you can avoid drilling on the surface of your apartment or any mutilation of the property, if planned ahead.

For these two kinds of cameras without drilling, of course, the answer is YES, just as you bring home a TV.

#2. Occasions Tenants May Not Allowed to Install Security Cameras

However, it doesn’t hold true for tenants in some circumstances where you need a written permission from landlords or sort of rent regulatory body (such as apartment association) if you opt for contract alarm service, security cameras with professional installation, or hard-wired security system.

If you take the liberty to install surveillance cameras or alarm system without landlord’s permission or proper consultation, such as on apartment door, inside the apartment, you will be held accountable for the property damage, which could result in your security deposit being withheld by landlords.

Of course, the corresponding consequence varies in different circumstances, it’s important to notify landlord beforehand to avoid unnecessary disputes and gain consent from them, as well as drawing up some sort legal document to protect your legal right in cases there is any dispute in the future, just to be safe.

Security Camera for Apartment Inside

Then Can a Tenant Install Security Cameras Outside the Apartment

Many apartment tenants are thinking about putting security cameras outside their rented apartment to keep tabs on the people coming and going outside the apartments.

However, it seems to place security cameras outside their apartment such as a hallway, the staircase, is not in the territory of tenants or renters’ right, by doing so will solicit opposition from other tenants and spark concerns.

Even though landlords gave green light to the security camera in the apartment hallway, the surveillance cameras around apartment public areas will still be subject to abuse for other exterior motives, for example, learning about neighbor’s routine to plot break-in or attack, especially for a single woman living alone.

One tenant, in particular, voiced concerns about being watched by stay-at-home-all-day neighbor every single day coming and going in and out of the apartment building or apartment complexes.

Security System for Apartment

If you found out other tenants install security cameras around common areas, it’s better to touch base with landlords and notify them the nuisance and implication, if the matter was left unresolved, you can talk to your neighbor and consult local police about the matter.

If you are planning to install security cameras, maybe it would be better you and other tenants work together to demand landlords to install security cameras in common areas to avoid unnecessary outlay or hassles with neighbors.

WiFi Security System for Apartment Outside

Conclusion

Tenants either renting a house or apartment unit are entitled to feel safe and unthreatened by unanticipated dangers. Security measures in place are essential to protect you and your family.

No matter what kind of security measures you are aiming for, it’s important to touch base with property owners, apartment association, or landlords to eliminate misunderstanding.

If you really have no idea whether it is legal to install security cameras inside or outside the apartment in your region, as a tenant, it’s advised to call the District Attorney’s office to try and clarify the ruling for a tenant who desires to use a video camera anywhere in or on their apartment complex.

  • John Robinson

    I have a neighbor who has absolutely no life. Before I moved into my apartment I knew the people who lived there. He had security cameras installed on the front porch and on the back of the house..He clamed someone was stealing all his tools from the cellar. He also has cameras in the cellar on his side and one in the back hall way, I can understand those but in the back yard the only use for those cameras is so he can sit at his monitor and watch what the other tenants are doing then makes up stories to tell his girl/wife, whatever. This pathetic fool never leaves his apartment only to go to his very much needed Doctors.. Now its my turn for him to stark. He watches me on his monitor or sits on his bed actually peeking through his curtains.. He goes to his poor pathetic girl/wife and tells her I saw john working on his scooter and he keeps going in and out of the shed. No shit Sherloc. And tells her I’m going in and oud to sniff drugs. This guy is out of control and he never confronts me he tells his girl and she has the fucking nerve to come into our apartment without even knocking on the door.. This ferry sees me coming and runs into their apartment and locks the door as fast as the little pussy can. I going to go to my lawyers and have him served with papers. He is not only distracting me but he is also spying on me so he can start fabricating these unbelievable stories. His girl has to believe him even though she never sees any thing because she feels she cant live with such a pathetic person and she is just as bad. When she sees me in the hall way she tries to start an augument oyer something he thought up in his brainless mine. I don’t say anything and just walk into my apartment and close the door. This crazy bitch which I forgot to mention they both eat klonipins by the hand fulls. says to me John why do you always walk away instead of fighting, WOW, I came back out and told her if she really wanted to fight I have a very bad case of P.T.S.D. and if I didn’t walk away I would rip her fucking head off and shit down her neck then her husband next walk back into my apartment and not even know what happened. They have pushed me as far as they are safe when they run back into their apartment and look the door. Those cameras on the back of the house have to come down. They are not for security they are to watch every move I make. He also sits on his bed and watches the neighbors on the other side of the fence and that is not security that’s sick. No life what so ever.

  • John Robinson

    My pathetic useless neighbors have no lives at all. He sits at a monitor and watches/starks me on his security cameras and watches the neighbors on the other side of our fence with his binoculars. Those back cameras have to go. They are deffinitly not for security.

    • John, taking legal action is necessary if you are thinking his or her actions have crossed lines or have a significant impact on your life. It’s also important to have a conversation with them to make sure they know they should respect your privacy and privacy of others.

    • Nina C

      The truth is that so many people have cameras these days — even those that we don’t know about. If anything ever happens and the police need the cameras, you’ll be glad your neighbor had them up. There are definitely some pros and cons when it comes to having security cameras. Just be aware that they are around and more people having security cameras these days and THEY are everywhere..even where you least expect it. In many ways, that’s a good thing because it helps the police catch the bad gus at the end. With hidden cameras, there is no such things as a perfect crime.

  • Coach

    My brother lives in a 4-br apartment with 3 roommates in NYC, one roommate is the owner of the apartment. Owner just declared she is going to install video surveillance cameras in common areas of the apartment (kitchen, hallway, etc). This is creepy, but is it legal? Does he forfeit his privacy rights because she lives there? His lease of course says nothing about this.

    • Hi Coach, technically, she has right to install security cameras (not spy or hidden cameras) in public areas but not in areas where people expect a high degree of privacy like change room or bathroom.
      Do have a look at my another article about legality of landlords putting security cameras in rental property /legality-reason-for-security-cameras-in-rental-property/.
      If you have problem with the use of surveillance cameras, it’s always better to talk to homeowner association or other legal consultancies or your lawyer about this legal matter.

    • Nina C

      Interesting legal question I must say. Definitely something that I will keep in mind if ever I have to draft a lease :). In any event, I think it does come down to the expectation of privacy. I mean even in common areas of the apartment you don’t want someone spying on you. I mean if people wanted to live in the Big Brother house they would. Know what I mean? In any event, you have to weigh the pros and cons of having cameras installed. The cameras could protect you, but can they be used against you too? I personally would feel uncomfortable having my landlord install cameras in my house. Many renters are discovering illegal cameras in their bathrooms and apartment , so you definitely want to be aware of that.

      I would say that this is definitely a legal issue that needs to be discussed with an attorney. It’s a complex one. Is he waiving his rights to raise issue with the camera being in the apartment if he lets it go for a while? Not sure. There are statute of limitations where causes of action are concerned. In any event, if you have any questions I would highly recommend contacting an attorney.

  • MOLLY

    The neighbor above me is OCD and although we have two security cameras installed by management outside our building, he has now installed his own security camera to keep an eye on things, including his car, 24 hours a day no matter where he is. This means he is also keeping an eye on my coming and going. Is this legal? It’s creepy as hell.

    • Hi Molly, If you found out other tenants install security cameras around common areas, it’s better to touch base with landlords and notify them the nuisance and implication, if the matter was left unresolved, you can talk to your neighbor and consult local police about the matter.

      • DIAVLO 666

        I have similar situation like this but instead I’m the one recording my vehicle only when I’m at home because the person next to me keeps damaging my vehicle kicking the door open and it hits my car making really heavy scratch marks not just one but many of them I already went through my insurance but manager is telling me to remove my GoPro from my window my car sits right outside of my window what can I do

  • Peace88

    I live in a building where the super installed in an empty apartment (above mines) and a strung out crackhead family’s apt across the hall (from me) some kind of camera that allows these people to view several rooms in my apt. I found out about it because one of the crackheads yelled at me one morning as I got off the elevator that she ‘had to go upstairs in order to look in my rooms’.
    All the stuff that’s been happening during and since that time is the reason I know this woman is telling the truth. As crazy as it sounds, literally every room I walk in in my apt, something happens in that room. A beep goes off, somebody will start stomping on the floor, or some kind of popping sound will go off from the central a/c or banging on the wall, but literally inside the room I walk in. It’s as if they’re waiting for me to walk in a room so they can do this.
    The worse is when I take my shower before work. Beeps go off in the bathroom as well as above me in the shower. I have these portable cameras that I leave in each room so I know nothing like this has happened prior to my walking into that room. I live in NYC and I live alone. Can anybody suggest what I can do to have this investigated (at the very least)?? Its such an awful feeling living in a place where this is being done. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Hi there, not sure whether your apartment is controlled by any association, if so, it’s advisable to share the information with them. Or you can make a documentation of those annoyances and save the video footage of any suspicious activities. Besides, it’s important to talk to your local police and share your records or footage with police. At the same time, it’s important to take some further actions to avoid getting yourself harm in any possible way, for example, /safety-tips-for-single-women-living-alone/.

  • Charlene

    Hi, my daughter moved into an apartment recently with her young daughters. Her super has gone into her apartment without her consent many times even though she should be notified.
    Also, she doesn’t smoke but she has smelled cigarette smoke in her apartment a couple times, but nothing she noticed was touched. She thought maybe someone was smoking near her apartment and that’s how it got in.
    Well, yesterday she was entering her apartment and her neighbor called her over to speak to her. My daughter noticed her neighbors on and off again husbands car was park right where they were standing and my daughter noticed his cup holders were filled with little red colored coffee creamers that are rare to find in our area. And she noticed that since she is the only one who drinks coffee in her home that they were running out fast.
    This man works as a security guard somewhere else. We believe he is the smoke smelling thief. This is frightening. What if this man has installed cameras and is watching my daughter and grand daughters. This is making me so paranoid.
    We will have her install cameras in her apartment and we would like them to be at her door on the outside. Since her super enters as she feels we are wondering if we should not report this and wait for the cameras to do their job.
    And, if he has installed little spy cams, where would they be?

    • Hi there, yes, you can have your daughter install cameras in her apartment so that your daughter can keep an eye on who’s coming and going into her apartment. Assuming she has bought the apartment, if it’s the case, having a security camera on the door pointing outside is acceptable. If not, having a camera in public areas need be approved by the neighbors or gain consent from the people sharing the apartment. Having a security camera inside the apartment pointing at the doors seems like a good idea as well.

      There is possibility that there would be a spy or hidden cameras, go for some commonly seen items, for example, books, smoke detectors, desk plants, house plants, tissue boxes, stuffed teddy bears and electrical outlets, to find out or spot hidden camera, read more on https://www.techlicious.com/tip/the-secrets-to-finding-hidden-cameras/.

  • Joshua Hodges

    I live in a gated community and I have a neighbor who is using 2 security cameras with motion activation and uploading the video to cloud services. The cameras record our private staircase and landing upon motion or press of a button. I am concerned that such recording is an invasion of privacy. I do not mind if he had a doorbell camera that required a doorbell to be rang for its activation but the motion activation is a little upsetting. I understand the person want for security but it makes it possible for him to record me coming and going and knowing my routines. This is why I moved into a gated community. I do not mind if the apartment management company has cameras but an individual living here should not be allowed to do such things.

    • Agree! Individual renter having surveillance cameras on shared areas is an invasion of privacy, it’s important to reach out apartment management company and let them know it bothers you. If it’s possible, you could talk to your neighbor and maybe share access to the security footage.

      • Call-my-name. Bastian, please.

        My downstairs apartment neighbor (an alleged detective) just installed a video surveillance cam next to the entry door to the apartment building the other day. He claims his scooter was stolen, so wants to be safe.
        The only problem I see with that? He doesn’t own the building, and his scooter is gone already.
        His father lives upstairs, so I am sandwiched between the son (38 year-old, downstairs) and the father (60 year-old,upstairs). They have a friend who lives in the unit next door to me, on the same floor. The building is four units. I am kinda the odd man out here, even though I’ve lived here for years.

        They are all straight and Jewish.
        I am the only gay person.
        Yes, I feel uncomfortable about it.

        Just last week, the son opened one of my delivery packages from the USPS, claiming he didn’t read who it was addressed to first first. Seems fishy for a detective to be that stupid.
        Yes, that made me feel uncomfortable as well.

        • Proto Theatre

          sounds like my neighbor.

      • Karla Bianca Guarino

        Then there is two people invading peoples privacy. I feel the only one who has the right to put security cameras around the property is the landlord

        • Noone

          Well my landlord has her bf living with her and my car get broken into and I dont feel safe. Also, I think it’s okay as long as its facing my car and not someone’s window. But I’ve seen more things happen durning after hours that I’m glad I got cameras outside my window . I wouldn’t have caught drug dealers, and someone vandalizing someone’s car with a ball bat. I have a video of my landlord’s kids vandalizing my car, and when I told her that her kids was vandalizing she didnt believe me she called me a liar till I told her I have it on video from my cameras and her face dropped and she got angry and cussed me out after that she treats me disrespectful and trys to calls issues with me.

      • Proto Theatre

        honestly, speaking to neighbors isn’t a good option. they are glorified strangers, not friends nor family. the conversation would not be an easy one.

  • Brenda Adams

    Hi, just moved into a complex and someone is stealing off our patio. We have spoken with the sheriff and police who state we can video our patio only but our apartment manager is saying the police say we can’t and keep telling us that we can not use our (no holes in walls) camera’s. What can we do? Don’t we get to have a sense of privacy on our patio?

    • Hi Brenda, sorry to hear your recent trouble. Not sure about your contract or documents regarding security camera in an apartment.

      It’s really important to keep an eye on your belongings. It should be okay to put up a security camera (without drilling holes) to protect your property if your belongings are under risk. How about having a indoor security camera pointing at the patio? For example, Reolink Argus /product/argus/.

      Let us know if we could provide a better surveillance solution for your needs.

  • 马原野

    Is it legal to install and use a security camera in the apartment where I share and split rent with roommates?

    Hi, I am an international student from China and now in a graduate program of a university in Boston, Massachusetts.

    At the beginning of this semester I started sharing an apartment and split the rent with 2 roommates. We signed the lease with the apartment manager and the lease will end in August 2018.

    But soon enough I found that one of my roommates like to steal things form me when I am at school attending classes. Although most of the things stolen are not expensive, the theft behavior has left me tons of harassment. I tried to talk to her, but she showed her propensity for violence and intimidated that she will hurt me physically by saying thing like “If you make me unhappy, I swear to god I will pour boiling water on you while you are asleep.” or “I will lie on the ground pretending to be beaten by you and call 911 to turn you in.”

    Then I began to think about moving out, but was told that I cannot just leave the apartment and find a new place to live because I signed the lease, and according to some clauses in the lease, I cannot find somebody else to put his or her name on the lease so that my name can be canceled from the lease. Further more, I do not have solid proof to prove my roommate’s frequent misbehavior, so now I am thinking about installing a security camera in my room. However, since I am a newcomer and my knowledge of American law systems is next to zero, I am humbly asking for help to make it clear whether it is legal for an international student like me to use security cameras in the apartment where I share and split rent with roommates. Thank you!

    • Hi there, do you share a room with your roommate or you do have an individual room of your own? If you have your own room, then you could use security camera like Reolink C1 Pro /product/c1-pro/ to keep an eye on your belongings.

      It’s always better to consult local police and lawyers. We did a quick research on the free legal assistance services around Boston and here is what we found out http://statelaws.findlaw.com/massachusetts-law/free-legal-aid-in-boston.html.

      Hopefully, it helps.

  • Call-my-name. Bastian, please.

    My downstairs apartment neighbor (an alleged detective) just installed a video surveillance cam next to the entry door to the
    apartment building the other day. He claims his scooter was stolen, so
    he wants to be safe.
    The only problem I see with that? He doesn’t own the building, and his scooter is gone already.

  • Kirsten Mullins

    I live in a very poorly managed apartment complex, and our parking lot area is right outside my window. Recently, our cars have been getting broken into, and stuff stolen out of them. I have an antique car (he’s older than I am) and he’s already been broken into once once I bought him. Is it legal to put a camera in my window and point it at my car?

    • Janet Planet

      yes, you should. i have one. make it invisible. i have mine hidden flower pot. lol

  • Eric

    Would it be legal to install a peephole camera?

  • DIAVLO 666

    Hi i live in a section 8 aparment complex that is for people with mental helth issues and my apartment is the first one. i have put up a go-pro on my kitchen window facing my car thats right infront of my kitchen window because the person that parks next to me keeps scratching up my car door with their door when they open it. I put it up because the apartment manager does not want to move the person thats scratching up my car door but she came to me telling me i have to take my camera down because I can’t have it up keep in mind this is a GoPro on my window with a suction cup not damaging everything on the property or the apartment second of all it is recording my vehicle and it is not violating anybody’s privacy my car is in the parking lot the only person that is complaining is a person that is damaging my vehicle do I still have the right to put my camera up due to the fact that they are damaging my vehicle I have a 2017 Toyota Camry that I’m still paying for at the dealer and they have a busted up PT Cruiser, am I violating kind of law I have asked her as well to please give me anything that says that I am violation of my contract of the apartment or any legal documents that can prove that I cannot have my GoPro face in my vehicle that is being damaged by the person park next to me. If anyone could please help me out with answer to this it would be great I live in Los Angeles California.

    • Gail Abner

      The apartment complex is private property and you may give up certain things that we normally consider rights when we are on private property. I have lived in government subsidized housing that has had rules against taking photos or videos on the property. You couldn’t even take pictures of cars, the complex or dogs. Managers at two different complexes I have lived in believed it was a lease violation and they could make you delete pictures or give you a write-up. Picture or video taking fell under the lease category of disrupting others peaceful enjoyment (even if it only bothered management).

      • Olivia

        Hi Gail, thank you so much for sharing. It really helps the community!

  • I’m a landlord and I would absolutely install a video doorbell if someone wanted one. I think it’s a great security and convenience feature. I’m in the process of installing them on my properties now after having installed one on my own home.

    • Olivia

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It really helps putting things into perspective!

  • Brian Hill

    I am a renter in California is is legal for me to point my cameras at the parking lot where it doesn’t see into anyone eels apartment or window?

    • Olivia

      If you are hoping to watch your parked vehicles and camp trailer, we do suggest using a in-car camera like Reolink Argus 2 /product/argus-2/ to help with the monitoring.

      • Brian Hill

        I already have a,system where I can see my vehicles i don’t need to see inside of them it’s what’s inside of them that’s valuable so I need to be able to see the whole outside that way if someone tried to break into them I can see who it is

  • Ginny

    Can a neighbor place a camera in his apartment to watch the activities of the women who lives directly across from him.

    • Olivia

      Hi, Ginny, if the security camera is deliberately installed to spy on the woman and aims at places where she can expect her privacy, like the bedrooms or bathrooms, such deeds would be a pure invasion of privacy and she could file a lawsuit against her neighbor.

  • Karla Bianca Guarino

    Does another tenant in my building which is a house broke down into a number of apartments. Can they install cameras around the property in the halls and record the coming and going’s of other tenants? Please if you don’t know the answer can you refer me to someone. I appreciate any help.

    • Olivia

      Hi, Karla, the surveillance cameras in the halls can be subject to abuse for some exterior motives. It is suggested that you contact your landlord and notify him/her the nuisance and implication. If this still doesn’t work, talk to the tenant who installed security cameras directly and see if he/she can move the security cameras. Hope this would help.

  • sarahchakrin

    I live in a smallish apartment building (4 floors, 19 units), and someone in the building has been stealing my packages whenever they’re left on the ground floor. In the last month, it’s happened three times, with the last time being this morning: A delivery of groceries, for which I’d requested an attended, signature-required delivery, which didn’t happen. The management company does have a security camera on the ground floor, which looks to include the mailbox area in its frame. My question is, if I call them, do they have an obligation to review the footage or can they legally tell me it’s completely not their problem nor responsibility to look at or grant access to the footage?

  • SarahCee

    I live in a smallish apartment building (4 floors, 19 units), and someone in the building has been stealing my packages from the mailbox area. Three times in the last month, the last time being this morning: A delivery of groceries, for which I’d requested an attended, signature-required delivery, which didn’t happen. The management company does have a security camera on the ground floor, which looks to include the mailbox area in its frame. My question is, if I call them, do they have an obligation to review the footage or can they legally tell me it’s completely not their problem nor responsibility to look at or grant access to the footage?

    • Olivia

      Hi, Sarah, you may look through your rental contract to see if there are any related terms. Generally speaking, if you inform the management company of the package thefts, they should have the obligation to let you review the footage. In case they are not willing to do so, you can contact the local police to seek for help.

      • SarahCee

        Thank you!

  • Ursula Alberts

    Hi, I live in an an apartment in Texas, and have had maintenance men enter my apartment twice without notice. They did not use my alarm code, causing the police to be notified each time. I am at a loss as to what to do. Suggestions, thoughts? Do I have cause to call the police and press charges assuming that they are entering illegally. The apartment manager has said that it is my fault, as I have an alarm system. Our apartment went through a spate of breakin’s and were told that we needed to get alarms. Thoughts?

  • Cody Staab

    So heres my situation I have a down stairs neighbor in a duplex whose activly vandalized my car. smashed several of my potted plants on my deck because they where sheding leaves. and made some off color comments about my 10 year old sister whose underwear has been disapearing from the shared laundry room.
    I don’t have anything I can go to the cops with.
    Can I install a camera in the shared laundry room which acts as a back door to our apartment. What about my deck which overlooks the parking lot? Or the storage unit I use on the property?

    • Olivia

      Hi Cody, the video surveillance in the shared areas may violate your neighbor’s privacy. You may contact the landlord or talk to the management company and see if they can help address the issue or install the security camera on the common area for you. Hope this would help.

  • Olivia

    Hi, there, it is legal for landlords to install cameras in common places like front door and porch to prevent break-ins or other suspicious activities. You may communicate with your landlord to demand access to the camera or ask them redirect the camera to monitor not only the front door. Hope this would help.

  • Olivia

    Hi, Jacky, your landlord has violated your privacy by entering your apartment without any notices. In fact, it is acceptable for tenants to set up cameras in private interior spaces as long as you don’t break the original decor of the house. To resolve the issue better, we suggest you seek help from local police or professional attorney. Hope this helps.

  • Proto Theatre

    A tenant installed a surveillance camera above the outside stairs into the 4-unit apartment building i rent in. they can see everyone coming in and going out 24/7. he claims it is there to keep his scooter safe – it’s chained to the building’s basement window grate along sidewalk. yes, it bothers the ^%$! out of me. I am gay. I don’t like having heterosexual neighbors watching me and my company come and go. I live in Philadelphia, PA. the tenant who installed the camera is a state trooper. should that make a difference? I think not. he is simply another renter.

  • Brent G. Kamrath

    There is a renter in the building here that has installed two seperate cameras in coming areas . Both point on my door!!

    • Olivia

      Hi, Brent, it is only acceptable and legal for a renter to monitor open and public areas. If you are not comfortable with that, try to communicate with the renter and ask him/her to redirect the cameras. If this doesn’t work, you may seek help from local police or attorney.

  • Olivia

    Hi Marguerita, if the stair is shared by every tenant in the apartment, it would be acceptable for this man to monitor the public place with a security camera. You can negotiate with him and ask him to redirect the camera. Hope this helps.

  • Dale Telfer

    Theres a tenant in my building who has been trying to break into my apartment but I have no idea who because I have not caught them in the act. I know it’s someone on my floor but the building manager wont answer my calls or respond to a text. I have no idea who the new property owners are or how to contact them. I live in Ontario Canada and I’m not really sure what my rites are in this situation. It’s a shady building and another tenant was evicted for putting a camera outside his door to protect himself due to a prior break n enter and assault on him. I have very inconspicuous servalance camera’s and can easily set them up with out people knowing. I guess my question is how much trouble will I get in when I bring the video too the police?

    • Olivia

      Hi Dale, if you have caught that people in the act with your surveillance camera, you may send that video to the building manager before contacting local police. If the manager still doesn’t respond, you may team up with other tenants so as to avoid getting into troubles and show the video footage to the police. Hope this helps.

  • Olivia

    Hi Mena, if the security camera installed outside the flat doesn’t damage the external decoration, it is not necessary for a tenant to ask the landlord for permission. However, if that security camera captures other tenants as well, it is best to notify others or put up a surveillance sign as well. Hope this helps.

    • Nancy

      Hello Olivia,
      Can a landlord take down a tenant-installed security camera on the exterior of the house if another tenant on the property has requested that they do so because they feel unsafe?

      • Olivia

        Hi, Nancy, you may communicate with your landlord and another tenant and tell them your purpose of installing a security camera on the exterior of the house – to keep your home protected. If this doesn’t work, negotiate with them to reach other possible solutions like pointing the CCTV camera towards your door. Hope this helps.

  • PK

    My apartment is next to a stairwell door that if you are entering from the outside you need a key. For the past month someone on my floor is breaking the lock so they won’t have to use their key to get back in the building. I don’t feel safe at night knowing that the door in unlocked, I have had knocking at my door. It is ok to mount something in on my apartment door to see who is damaging the door and also who is knocking on my door at night.

    • Olivia

      Hi there, yes, it is acceptable for you to set up a security camera at the door to catch the bad guy in the act. However, to avoid any privacy issues, you need to be careful about the direction of which your security camera points to. Also, it is best to put up a surveillance sign as well.

  • Olivia

    Hi, Amanda, in your situation, you may team up with other tenants and ask that neighbor to reposition his security cameras and monitor his property only. Hope this helps.

  • Olivia

    Hi, Teresa, it may not be acceptable for the landlord to turn off the tenant’s security cameras without good reasons. You can communicate with your landlord and ask him/her not to do so since those CCTV cameras are set up to protect yourself and your children.

  • Mad Alice

    I’m a single mom renting a first floor apartment of a two family home. A new tenant moved in upstairs and installed cameras pointing in common areas. I complained about this because I felt it was a complete violation of my privacy. My landlord had them remove the camera however he put his own up all around the building in place of theirs!!! I’m not comfortable with this at all! I’ve had a landlord in the past that would enter my house while I slept!! Obviously I called the police and moved out. I’m heartbroken because I’ve been here 5 years and this owner has only owned the place 3 months and did not intend on having cameras at all until the new tenant had to take theirs down. This was “his compromise”. Is this legal?? I’m completely afraid that anyone knows when I’m here alone or when I’m not here at all! What if anything can I do?

    • Olivia

      Hi Alice, in fact, it is acceptable for the new tenant to set up security cameras and monitor common places like the front door and hallway. If you are not comfortable with that, you may negotiate with the tenant to redirect the CCTV cameras. To avoid any invasion to your room, you may attach a door chain on your door to protect yourself and your family. Hope this would help.

      • Mad Alice

        You didn’t quite answer my question. I’m living in a duplex. One family lives upstairs and my family lives downstairs. The landlord does not live here. How is my privacy not as important as to say the neighbor that lives next door in a separate house? I’m in a separate apartment. I’m not comfortable with anyone monitoring when I am here alone or even worse when I am not here at all? I feel this is unfair to me because I’m not able to see what these cameras see. I’m not benefiting from them at all but they know when I’m here and when I’m not therefore they can get into my apartment without me ever knowing. How is that fair????

        • Mad Alice

          I also want to point out that the upstairs apartment has a private porch off of their kitchen. There are no cameras there. I do not have ANY private outdoor space now since the landlord has installed his cameras everywhere that I go that is not inside my literal apartment. I smoke frequently outside on my deck but because the common door leads to it it is no longer considered “private” to me and I feel as though I’m constantly being watched even when I sit in my car in my driveway! I’m completely overwhelmed with this! I feel this is ridiculous.

          • Olivia

            Hello Alice, we totally understand that you feel unsecured being monitored by the landlord. You may communicate with your landlord about your privacy concerns and seek for a feasible way to work this out.

  • Fuckkkkk yo feelinz

    People should never feel uncomfortable in a place you call home, especially, considering how much you pay. But another point I wanted to raise is PTSD is no joke, make sure that your “feelings” are not brought upon over believing things that aren’t really true. Being a victim of PTSD doesn’t have to control your life into believing something as a reality, when it really isn’t. Good luck!

  • Marsia Hirsch

    I live in a duplex and when you walk out my door you see my neighbors door we are maybe three feet away from each other’s door okay is it against the law to put a camera on my side too cuz the lady in the other side of my duplex keeps coming over and taking my stuff breaking it and then put in the back are throwing it out in her side of the yard where I can see it is it against the law for me to put a camera outside my door to watch my stuff as long as it’s not pointing towards her door

    • Olivia

      Hi Marsia, it is legal for you to set up a security camera pointing at your door but not at your neighbor’s. By doing so, you will be able to protect your property and catch your neighbor in the act. Hope this helps.

  • Olivia

    Hello there, to protect yourself and your child, it is better to add a deadbolt or a door chain to your bedroom door. Also, a small and hidden security camera like the battery-powered one https://store.reolink.com/battery-security-cameras/ will be an ideal option to monitor the bedroom without being noticed by your mother. Hope this helps.

  • Rob Richards

    In Hawaii, your neighbors are extended family (for the most part). I have since moved to the mainland and I haven’t met the people living in the next apartment yet. A year later….and not for lack of trying. I have a camera on a swing arm that I can swing I to place in the upper corner of my patio door. I used the lexan sheet from inside a 52″ flat screen TV as a diffuser on the glass. Long story short, I can stand on my patio and not see the camera. When I am at work I swing the camera back against the wall where it is disguised behind a hanging plant. If the maintenance scumbags show up unannounced it will automatically record them. Seems here in Indiana nobody trusts anybody so neither do I. The point of this is it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission.

  • Thomas Deines

    Okay so the reason I’m on this page about this subject is because my neighbor across from me not only has a camera in the hallway that’s motion activated and then follows me outside of my apartment and down one flight of stairs but she also has one by her balcony which covers the whole parking lot so would this be considered stalking or harassment also I live in Colorado and I don’t know if this is okay to do of her putting a security camera in the hallway and I’ve talked to my leasing office and they’re looking into the matter but it’s gotten me so stressed out

  • MissP

    I’m in Illinois, in a unit townhome type. One of my neighbors put cameras facing out in our public area as well as one in their upstairs bedroom. This faces our yard and I feel like my privacy is being invaded. This is a stalker type neighbor who stays home all day and I’ve even caught her creeping looking in others windows. I know that isn’t legal but the cameras??? Please help!

    • Olivia

      Hello, there, it is acceptable for your neighbor to point the security cameras to the public area. If you feel like your privacy is being invaded, you may unite with other neighbors and talk with the neighbor who set up security cameras to negotiate for possible solutions. Hope this helps.

  • Hunter Leon Nordwall

    so my covered balcony has my bunnies on it, my 3rd floor neighbor has threatened to steal them.
    Its only LEGALLY accessible THROUGH MY APT.
    Can I put up a camera outside, on my balcony, facing my apartment, but so that if they try to climb the balcony fence to do so they will be seen?

    • Olivia

      Hello, there, it is acceptable and legal for you to put up a security camera on your balcony that points to your property only. When anyone tries to climb the balcony fences, they will get caught on the cameras. If you are looking for such security cameras, click here to find more options, https://store.reolink.com/battery-security-cameras/. Hope this helps.

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