A.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Mister Condo replies:
A.B., cameras are all around us these days. Everything from traffic and security cams to cell phones and wearable devices like Google Glass keep a seemingly endless amount of footage of all sorts of activities. The real question here is how is this video evidence being gathered and are any privacy laws being violated or skirted. I am not an attorney so I can only offer my friendly advice. If you require a true legal opinion on this matter, I must insist you speak with a qualified attorney who can better advise you.
Many HOAs are using surveillance equipment within their association to monitor their common areas. This is especially true at associations that have pools, golf courts, and tennis courts. If someone is using or abusing any of these facilities, chances are there is a video record of what happened which can be quite useful to keeping association liability minimized. However, in these instances the cameras are not secretly filming activity in private space. If one homeowner is filming a second homeowner while they are within their own unit, they may be violating their rights and the law. If they are simply filming them throwing cigarette butts or not picking up after their pet while on association common grounds, they are likely not violating their rights or the law. Either way, since this a unit owner versus unit owner situation, the association really doesn’t need to take action. If the unit owner being filmed feels their rights or the law is being violated, they are free to contact the local authorities that will deal with the issue.
The bigger issue for me is why is the unit owner being filmed violating association rules? Is the board taking action each and every time the rule violation is being reported? Why do the violations continue? If the unit owner stops breaking the rules, my guess is that there will be no reason to film them. That gets rid of two problems for you and keeps the peace in the community. Good luck!