A.A. from Santa Clara County, California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
There have been many vehicle break-ins in our city. We had a 5-car break-in in January. These cars are parked on the street in front of our association. Now residents are speaking up on social media with comments stating the HOA needs to put cameras in the trees and at the entrance of our courts. I believe the trees between the sidewalk and street are city property. Is putting cameras in these trees legal?
Mister Condo replies:
A.A., I am sorry that crime has reared its ugly head in your community. Security cameras sound like a reasonable idea to help prevent vehicle break-ins. However, without permission (in writing) from the landowner (the city), I would venture that you cannot install your security cameras on their property. Also, how will you power them? You wouldn’t be able to run power from your property to the cameras without invading the city property. I would suggest that you install poles on your property for the security cameras. Yes, they might be ugly but they will be highly visible, which may also help deter would be vandals. If you do decide that the “only” place to install the cameras is in the city trees, be sure to get the proper permission. I hope the break-ins stop. All the best!