We know you want to feel safe at home and you should. Maybe you’ve tried trimming foliage, increasing exterior lighting and installing a home security system. Maybe you’ve even considered installing video cameras outside your home to feel more secure.
Before you invest in a high-tech video system, there are a few things to consider. Personal safety and privacy are two ideals everyone wants in a community, but they can collide. Association policies weigh both these concerns, while also taking local and state laws into consideration.
Installing any security equipment, including cameras, is considered an architectural alteration of the home’s exterior and therefore requires written approval from the association. In addition, the installation will only be approved after the neighbors’ right to privacy and quiet use and enjoyment of their property has been considered. We may also ask the association attorney to review your application.
If you chose to install video surveillance, the camera needs to be placed in the least intrusive or visible location, and it can only be focused on your property—never directed at windows of adjacent structures, neighboring or common property.
Applications to install a security camera must include a plot plan showing the camera’s location in relation to neighboring structures, a property survey and specifications on the size, shape and angle of view of the camera. Any changes from the application, such as altering the location, equipment or field of view of the camera may require a new application.
Before deciding to install a security camera system, think about why you want to monitor particular views. Ask yourself:
- What do I achieve by installing cameras?
- Are the lighting conditions (night and day) good enough?
- How much video do I want to store before the system records over itself?
- Do I want to monitor cameras myself, access them via the Internet or keep a recording for investigative purposes?
Many homeowners are going beyond motion-detecting lights and in-home security systems, and installing video cameras for safety. However, our association must—at the same time—balance your desire to feel secure and your neighbor’s need for privacy.