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The Benefits and Challenges of Multifamily Surveillance

The Benefits and Challenges of Multifamily Surveillance

“From day one of the initial placement of apartment security systems cameras onsite loitering and suspicious activity stopped entirely. What was once a safe haven for criminal-entrepreneur activity has now been returned to a much safer environment.” – Owner, Apartment Complex & client of Stealth Monitoring

If this a statement you dream of being able to make of your own property, video surveillance may be the solution.

There are many benefits to having security cameras on your property, including:

  • They act as a deterrent—In a recent New York Times article, Larry Dolin, the chief executive of American Security Systems, said, “Every building is putting in cameras everywhere. And the truth is, you want them. They are a deterrent. People see a camera, they are less likely to do something if they know they are being recorded.”
  • They make tenants feel saferRenters are 85% more likely to experience a home burglary than homeowners. Many renters, for obvious reasons, consider security systems and surveillance to be an amenity and would pay more to have them. They make them feel safer.
  • They help solve problems and crimes, when needed—Need an accurate detail of an event? You can’t get much better than a video recording. The catch to this ‘benefit,’ however, is that the cameras must be continually monitored.

But before you run out and buy some surveillance equipment to throw up around your campus, there are legal technicalities of which you need to be aware.

In a recent article, New York attorney, Lucas A Ferrara, said, “…the well-established rule is that individuals retain a reasonable expectation of privacy within private areas of living space--not necessarily in public spaces, such as the common areas of residential buildings.  Therefore, high-tech surveillance cameras and other security systems may be lawfully installed in public--or common--areas of residential and commercial buildings.” 

Plain English: Not only can security cameras not be mounted on the interior of a unit, they also cannot be mounted at an angle that catches a view into a unit when windows or doors are opened. If you ‘fudge’ on these rules, you’ll not only be dealing with rapid tenant turnover, you could likely face jail time and hefty fines. 

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Good article for a brief intro into an area that requires Texas state certification.

  Andy Davis
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great article! I didn't know about the liabilities you explained in the article, that was very helpful. But is there any type of way for multi-family housing management to get someone else to do the install and prep for the security cameras? And do you suggest a do it yourself camera system?

  Stephanie
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Yes Stephanie! Please call or email me and I will explain. We do it all and work with many multi-family, multi-tenant businesses.
Andy
972.644.1992 Ext. 5635, [email protected]

  Andy Davis

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