Renters & Security Cameras: How to Protect Your Apartment
Tenants have options when it comes to securing their homes.
With so many people coming in and out of your building, you need cameras with superior video quality that will capture all the details. However, protecting your home can be more complicated when you’re a renter. Arlo can help you get the answers you need to better secure your apartment.
There are plenty of reasons a tenant would need apartment security cameras. With porch pirates, intruders, untrustworthy neighbors, and intrusive landlords, you want to stay on top of your home’s security to ensure the safety of people and property. Even in a gated community or an apartment building with security, having something as simple as a doorbell camera can be the difference between peace of mind and a state of worry.
There are steps you can take to ensure the legality of your camera system. If you want to install wired security cameras, you may need permission from your landlord before opening any walls to install a hard-wired system. Different buildings have different requirements that may limit what you can and cannot do.
You should also consider local and federal laws pertaining to privacy, which determine what you can monitor for your own security.
Ask yourself the following questions to get a better sense of what you can do and what you should avoid.
The answer depends on the language within your rental agreement. Read and reread your contract carefully, and don’t be shy to reach out to a lawyer for help with any confusing or vague language. This can also be especially helpful if your rental agreement features language that doesn’t comply with state or federal laws granting you rights to your own security.
Having an open dialogue with your landlord about your security concerns can help you determine whether you can install cameras, even if no such language is included in your lease agreement.
This is a big issue for many landlords. If you are renting, you want to be extra careful not to damage property as you may risk losing your security deposit and could face legal consequences. Always ask for permission to install security cameras, especially those that require hard-wiring, as you may need to drill new holes and make changes to the apartment to accommodate the system.
If your landlord approves your apartment security cameras, you are good to go, but make sure you also have proof of this agreement in writing to protect yourself from any future liability.
People have a reasonable expectation to privacy and this right should not be impeded by video and audio recording. Your security camera system shouldn’t be able to record a neighbor’s movements in a way that infringes on their privacy nor conversations from inside their private space. This would be a clear invasion of privacy and can have severe legal repercussions.
For example: If you have a front door camera, make sure it’s pointed in a way that doesn’t capture a neighbor’s door, so they maintain their privacy while you ensure your safety.
Wherever someone has a reasonable right to privacy, a camera should not be observing their behavior. If you are living with roommates, any installation of an indoor security camera in a shared space within your apartment should be approved by all parties. Additionally, a solid relationship with your roommates can go a long way towards a successful and safe stay in any apartment.
Now that we have covered the fine print, it’s important to go over the apartment security cameras at your disposal.
Your options for outdoor cameras are limited to your circumstances. If you’re renting an apartment, you may be restricted to a doorbell camera to ensure you do not invade a neighbor’s privacy in a common space. If you have approval to install other cameras around the exterior of your apartment without any invasion of privacy, choose an outdoor camera built to withstand the elements.
Apartment doorbell cameras are good for keeping track of who comes to your door, allowing you to screen people before you even consider unlocking it. Doorbell cameras may also come with a host of other features, including:
A doorbell camera is ideal if it’s your only exterior option.
An indoor apartment security camera is key to protecting your most valuable possessions, like your jewelry, electronics, official documents, and other personal items. These cameras can also be used to check in on your loved ones when you’re in the other room or away at work.
Most cameras require a Wi-Fi signal to connect, though some also operate with a cellular network. Make sure you have coverage before purchasing a camera and place it where the signal is strong. Password-protect your Wi-Fi network for added security.
You may also need to pay for a cloud storage service for your video recordings, with subscriptions ranging in price depending on the service.
A quality security camera system should also come with an app for ease of use and anytime access to security features.
These tips can help you navigate exactly how to go about securing your space. By abiding by your rental agreement and laws, gaining permission from your landlord, and consulting your neighbors and roommates, you are that much closer to gaining greater peace of mind in your apartment.