We know you want to feel safe at home and you should. Maybe you have tried trimming foliage, increasing exterior lighting and are considering installing a home security system to feel more secure. Before you invest in a high-tech home security system, there are a few things to consider.
Personal safety and privacy are two ideals everyone wants in a homeowners association community, but they can collide. Association policies made by the HOA board weigh both of these concerns, while also taking local and state laws into consideration.
Installing any home security system, including cameras, is considered an architectural alteration of the home’s exterior and therefore requires written approval from the homeowners association. In addition, the installation will only be approved after the neighbors’ right to privacy and quiet use and enjoyment of their property has been considered. An HOA board may also ask the association attorney to review your application.
Applications to Install
Applications to install a home security camera must include a plot plan showing the camera’s location in relation to neighboring structures, a property survey and specifications on the size, shape and angle of view of the camera. The HOA board may require a new application if there are any changes made to the initial application, such as altering the location, equipment or field of view of the camera.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Before deciding to install a home security system, think about why you want to monitor particular views.
What do I achieve by installing a home security camera?
Are the lighting conditions (night and day) good enough?
How much video do I want to store before the system records over itself?
Do I want to monitor cameras myself, access them via the Internet or keep a recording for investigative purposes?
If you chose to install a home security camera, the camera needs to be placed in the least intrusive or visible location, and it can only be focused on your property—never directed at windows of adjacent structures, neighboring or common property.
Many homeowners are going beyond motion-detecting lights and in-home security systems, and installing a home security camera for safety. However, an HOA board must balance member's desires to feel secure and neighbor’s need for privacy.