Security Cameras in Public Areas: Florida Condo Law
Many condominium owners in Florida choose to live in condominium community because of the sense of security. It is a greater sense of security than residing in single-family communities.
Condominium associations and their managers, desire these owners to feel safe and secure in their homes and shared areas and condo owners want the same safety for their tenants.
As a condo owner, it is legal for your condominium associations and property management company to install cameras to surveil the common areas of the condominium community. These cameras cannot be installed anywhere a resident has a reasonable expectation of privacy, like locker rooms, bathrooms, and of course inside an owner’s condo unit.
If you have concerns about your privacy, or you’re a condominium manager and have questions about your condo association’s rights, the condominium law attorneys at the Ferrer Law Group can help.
What if you want to protect your property?
Many owners look to install surveillance cameras to deter crime or incidents in the common areas of the condo property and to capture burglaries inside the condo unit. As a unit owner, your Condo Association should not be requiring you to obtain the approval of the Condo Association prior to installing surveillance cameras on the inside of your unit. However, more than likely, your condominium board will have zero concerns about you installing cameras inside your unit.
Suppose you have questions about your rights as a condominium unit owner. In that case, there is a Palm Beach County condo lawyer, Miami-Dade County condo lawyer, or a Dade County condo lawyer available to advise you of your privacy rights. Call the condominium law attorneys at the Ferrer Law Group, today.
Concerns for your privacy
Condominium owners with camera equipment surveying activities outside of their own unit, like balconies, parking areas or the community pool/clubhouse could be encroaching upon the privacy of other owners and their visitors. Even if it is not done on purpose, spying intentionally or unintentionally could be a violation of another individual’s privacy.
Florida statutes Section 810.14 prohibits anyone from secretly observing another person when they are inside a house, building, or car and also prohibits anyone from secretly observing another person’s intimate areas, when doing so with lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent.
If you need someone to evaluate your situation, listen to your concerns, and help you legally address them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our condominium law attorneys at Ferrer Law Group.
Florida statutes Section 810.14 make this a hyperlink to:
Condo Boards – Before you install
Condominium associations usually install security cameras in the common areas to help promote security and to also provide video evidence if the condominium residents are a victim of any intentional vandalism or criminal acts resulting in damage to the common areas. For instance, if an impaired driver drives their vehicle through a gate guarding the community and causes damages or harm, these cameras would be beneficial. In addition, other condominium boards seek to install video cameras to deter criminals from burglarizing or committing acts of violence in the first place. Security cameras should help to provide condominium owners and residents some peace of mind.
Before you install cameras, be informed by contacting a condominium HOA attorney at Ferrer Law Group.
Condominium association boards and property managers must work closely with highly knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel. Legal advice is necessary to develop and construct the ideal plan for doorbell surveillance equipment for their communities. This equipment usually includes audio cameras. The use of audio surveillance cameras is a serious privacy concern. It should be proactively addressed in your agreements with condominium owners upon their commitment to occupy the premises.
Though Florida law does not prohibit video surveillance cameras in shared areas of condo communities, both State and Federal laws ban audio cameras in many situations. However, Florida law prohibits the intentional interception of oral communications using a device when all parties involved have not given consent.
The RING Doorbell
The RING Doorbell has become very popular in recent years. It is a doorbell with a built-in camera and 2-way audio device that you can access from a mobile device, even if you are not home. The advantages of this device are easily recognizable and it understandable why a home or condo owner would want to install one on their front door.
Florida condo law has a provision regarding what is known as a “material alteration”. Florida Statute 718.113(2)(a), states in pertinent part as follows:
…there shall be no material alteration or substantial additions to the common elements or to real property, which is association property, except in a manner provided in the declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein. If the declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein does not specify the procedure for approval of material alterations or substantial additions, 75 percent of the total voting interests of the association must approve the alterations or additions before the material alterations or substantial additions are commenced….
The condo unit owner might think that installing a RING doorbell on their front door would not be a material alteration, however, they would be wrong! Under Florida law installing a RING doorbell is considered a material change to the appearance of the common elements, (meaning the front door of the condo unit), and it also requires the installation of electrical wiring within the common element walls. Also, a RING doorbell has a camera that captures both video and audio of people and activity within the RING’s field of view. As a result, the installation of a RING doorbell in a condo association is considered a “material alteration” to the common elements that would require a vote of the unit owners to approve.
Florida condo law make this a hyperlink to:
We are here to help!
Whether you have questions about Palm Beach County condo law, Miami-Dade County condo law, or Broward County condo law, the Ferrer Law Group is available for you.
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