J.P. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can a member of the community videotape a maintenance man working without his knowledge?
Mister Condo replies:
J.P., for the most part, videotaping any person without their express knowledge is bad form and in some parts of the country, illegal. You would need to check with your local and state laws to see if that is the case where you live. However, the underlying question here is WHY does a community member feel it is necessary to videotape a maintenance worker who is performing work on behalf of the association at all? Board Members wishing to document poor or shoddy workmanship may wish to address the issue with a contractor but an individual community member has no business videotaping a worker whom they did not hire, especially without that worker’s knowledge. Of course, the person whose rights may have been violated here are the worker and not the association. It would be up to the worker to press charges against the association member if they violated his privacy rights. Now, if the association has its own video surveillance system in place and there are signs clearly indicating that video surveillance equipment is in use, there is no reason that the surveillance tapes couldn’t be used by the Board to document the worker’s performance. If the unit owner who is videotaping the maintenance worker wishes to make a complaint against the worker for whatever reason, the unit owner should be requested to write to the Board with the complaint and advised that the Board will review the complaint. If the unit owner wishes to submit videotape as part of their complaint, I would suggest the Board speak with the association attorney before accepting or reviewing the videotape so as not to make the Board compliant with the possible violation of this worker’s rights. All the best!