S.H. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a CT condo where residents are not allowed to have outdoor cameras. It’s a decent working-class neighborhood. Many of us have cameras installed indoors monitoring our doors & we all mind our own business. A few have RING doorbells. My neighbor, who lives on the top floor of a 2-story condo, has several cameras set up OUTSIDE in the common areas which are pointing at everyone else’s condos. I know because men were here to set them up & they were all over the place, bottom floor and top. These residents also have a doorbell camera which would cover their front door (and also points into one of my windows which is in front of their door) and most of the common area. But that doesn’t seem to be good enough coverage for them. Another camera is pointing directly at my door & now I see they have one installed in my stairwell as well. (We each have separate stairwells). I know because one was standing in front of my door to check the camera. (it wasn’t working correctly). To make matters worse they have their network setup in MY NAME & were told (by the men) not to acknowledge it if anyone asks! I have proof of this.
One of the condos belongs to the board president. The board made them remove a camera that was placed in the front entrance a few years back due to invasion of privacy. They let them keep a larger camera which overlooks the parking lot. This same board president lives in our building & has no idea there are cameras aimed on her own condo. She is a president who doesn’t seem to care much about things, so approaching her would be for naught. These cameras are small & not easily visible. If it weren’t for these men I would not have known where they were located or that there was so many. I cannot even open my front door & I wonder if they can see into my windows. I have to keep blinds drawn. Can a unit owner 1. Install cameras outside pointing at others doors & units in the state of Connecticut? And 2. what can I do about the network being in MY name? I feel this is another ‘invasion’ of privacy & do not want to be held responsible for cameras that aren’t mine.
Mister Condo replies:
S.H., I am sorry for this dreadful invasion of privacy. The person who has installed these cameras is in the wrong here and there is plenty you can do to correct the problem although it may take some time and diligence to do so. Let’s start with cameras attached to your home network. Simply change the password to your network and don’t tell the person trying to tap into your network. That will eliminate them from connecting to your network. As for cameras aiming into or installed on common areas, you are right, there are privacy laws and association rules being violated. The uncaring Board President is another matter but there is an entire Board who is responsible for enforcing the rules of the association, not just the President. Send a letter and offer documentation to support your claim that a unit owner has installed personal equipment on association-owned common elements against association rules. As for privacy issues of cameras aimed at your unit and the units of others, be sure to let everyone know that there is a camera aimed at their home. Call the police, speak with an attorney, get a cease and desist order placed against the homeowner, whatever it takes to have those cameras removed. Everyone has the right to privacy within their own homes. All the best!