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Security Camera Usage in an HOA

Before installing a security camera in a homeowners’ association community, homeowners and associations should consider federal, state, and local laws, as well as the community’s governing documents. In the last decade, security cameras have become smaller, less expensive, and easier to use increasing their popularity with homeowners and businesses but their installation should not be done without consideration. 

Can Homeowners Install Security Cameras?

Homeowners who live in an HOA community may want to install a security camera to monitor their property. However, homeowners should be aware that their HOA’s governing documents may limit their ability to install cameras. Almost every HOA has a section in its governing documents that require owners to obtain approval before making improvements or changes to the exterior of their property, which may include the installation of a security camera. 

Further, any homeowner planning to install a security camera should be aware of their neighbors’ reasonable expectation of privacy. A reasonable expectation of privacy means that homeowners may not position their cameras so that they record the backyards or interiors of their neighbors’ homes. Homeowners should consult with their association to ensure that they adhere to all relevant rules and guidelines before installing a camera.

Can HOAs Install Security Cameras?

Associations are usually not required to install security cameras in common areas. However, if the association decides to install security cameras or the homeowners request cameras, an HOA lawyer can help the association review aspects of security camera usage that can protect both the association and the homeowners. 

Before installing security cameras, an association should:

The association’s security camera policy should be put in writing and homeowners should be made aware of the policy. The association can share the policy with homeowners by posting a physical notice or posting it on an online community forum. Homeowners need to be aware of the policy so no one is under the impression that the camera feed is constantly monitored. Further, the association should ensure that the footage is stored professionally and that no one can access the footage privately or from their personal computer. A policy regarding storage and access can help protect homeowners’ privacy. Consulting the association’s lawyer will help associations navigate any issues associated with installing security cameras. 

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My family and I are thankful to Maddox, Segerblom and Canepa for their assistance during a three year case regarding construction defects to our home. We are truly appreciative of their knowledge, determination and assistance during this process. They were always courteous, and available to answer any and all of our concerns and questions. Thank you for the wonderful resolution. Many thanks to you and your staff.

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Atam & Margo Lalchandani

Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa did a FANTASTIC job in our construction defects case. I interacted with several people from their office throughout our 2 year litigation. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and always prompt about getting back to you when you have questions/comments/concerns. I especially enjoyed working with Darcy, Ardea, Eva, and Sandra. Being part of a lawsuit is no fun for anyone, but if you have to be a part of one, I can’t say enough positive things about this firm!

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