Is it Legal for Landlords to Install Security Cameras on a Rental Property?
Landlords, always have a long catalogue of justifications and reasons to feel entitled to protect their rental properties, be it HDB/Condo or landed properties. They feel a sense of protection by installing security cameras on rental property, even without gaining consent from tenants or house guests.
The question is whether it’s legal for them to put security cameras on rental property? Or to be more specific, where can they place surveillance cameras?
And if legal, can landlords watch tenants on CCTV without permission? Or should they notify tenants beforehand?
Yes – It's Legal to Install Surveillance Cameras
There is no definite legal framework in place to justify landlords’ legality to install security cameras on rental property or buildings.
However, it’s their property and they can be justified to install surveillance cameras to protect their property and their tenants.
Having visible surveillance cameras (not spy or hidden cameras) in the common areas, like the driveway, front door, backyard, garage, apartment hallways, lobbies, vestibules, stairwells and any other areas used for ingress and egress where access is relatively uncontrolled, is not an act of flouting law.
Actually, installing security cameras in such common areas listed above is a plausible and feasible measure to prevent break-ins, burglaries and suspicious activities.
But…Definitely No Surveillance Cameras in These Places
Having security cameras on rental property to boost up safety of property owners and occupants can be justified in many scenarios.
However, placing interior surveillance cameras or CCTV hidden cameras inside the house where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, is clearly and absolutely out of the question and off limit.
For example, putting CCTV security cameras on rented property such as change rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry areas, toilets, etc. can seriously violates and encroaches right to privacy, according to the apartment security camera laws.
Also, security camera audio recording laws are much stricter than video regulations. In many places, both parties need to be aware that the recording is taking place.
That is to say, if a landlord films tenants with audio at an apartment complex without permission, it could invite in unexpected legal trouble.