Being a property manager, management company or estate agent comes with a lot of responsibility. Maintaining rentals and keeping up with property owners and customers is a challenge on its own – not to mention the anxiety of not knowing how tenants are treating a property.
Security cameras are one tool that you can use to protect investment, keep properties secure, and make sure that tenants are treating a property as intended. When it comes to security cameras for rental properties, however, it’s not just a matter of plugging it in and walking away – there are a number of legal issues and restrictions.
Before you go select a security company to install CCTV, access control or intruder and fire alarm systems, here’s what you need to know about security for rental properties.
Where Can Property Managers Install Security Cameras?
Hopefully you already know this, but just in case: You’re not allowed to record video or take still photos (which many Wi-Fi cameras do) in any area where someone would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Bedrooms and bathrooms are clearly off-limits, but so are living rooms and common areas in shared properties. Tenants expect privacy when their front door is closed; so, long story short: No cameras in the house.
The same expectations of privacy aren’t in effect outside of a rental property; for the most part, it’s legal (and common) to record video in public places. For example, most people are aware that they could be recorded by security cameras on the street or in a public place; or even by Google Maps’ Street View cameras while you’re in your own drive way.
If your neighbors are in close quarters, however, they may not appreciate a security camera if it’s pointed toward their home.
Should You Install Security Cameras for Rental Properties?
Legal guidelines are not in place to discourage you from securing a rental property, they are there to ensure that privacy rights are protected. If you decide that a surveillance camera is the ideal security solution for you we can offer a CCTV solution that will comply with the legal requirements. In addition to installing cameras there are other options also available from Advanced Overwatch:
Alternative #1: Fake Security Cameras
Fake / dummy cameras look just like the real thing, but they’re significantly less expensive. A burglar won’t know if your camera is real or not – especially with a blinking red or green light that makes it look like it’s “on.” Chances are, they won’t wait around to find out if it’s fake or not.
Just like with the real thing, if you install a fake camera oriented toward your neighbor’s property, make sure you talk to them first. Let them know that it’s fake and they shouldn’t have any issues.
Alternative #2: Security Lighting
Security lighting is a great way to discourage would-be criminals. Thieves thrive on privacy, and darkness provides a sense of protection. Timed lights and motion detectors fool them into thinking that someone is home – and may even shake them up enough to chase them off.
Lighting that is triggered by motion offers you a great chance to startle a burglar – if you’ve ever gotten caught in a motion-sensor floodlight, you’ve probably experienced that ‘deer in headlights’ feeling.
The best part: timed lights help you save on electric bills. With the recent proliferation of solar, LED, and motion-sensor security lighting options, you don’t have to rack up a high electric bill to feel secure.
Put motion sensors in your walkway or near your front door so they turn on only when necessary. You can also put them on a timer so that they switch off and on at random times. Many of our customers combine security lighting with IP CCTV cameras.
Alternative #3: Wireless Alarm Systems
Wireless alarm systems are the new choice when it comes to security a property: older standard wired systems that require additional cable installation and maintenance take longer to install and are more labour intensive. With a wireless alarm, you decide how many components you need (think: different sensors and alarms) and we offer our customers a solution that works within a budget.
Advanced Overwatch wireless alarm systems come with a main console, as well as additional motion detectors that send an alert when someone is on your property. We also offer systems that sync with your smartphone so you’ll always know what’s going on at your property, no matter where you are. We can integrate this with your existing or new CCTV installation.
If you want to keep your tenants in check and discourage burglars from hitting your property or business a CCTV surveillance system, alarm or combination of Advanced Overwatch products will help achieve security and peace of mind.
Advanced Overwatch CCTV and Security Solutions are an ISO:9001 and ISO:27001 certified security installer. Contact us today to find out how we can secure your rental property or business with CCTV and security products and solutions.