Security Camera Recommendation

7 Replies

I want to have some security cameras installed at a duplex.  One of my tenants has kindly offered to let me piggyback off of her internet.

I'm thinking I need 2 cameras out front, 1 on the side and 2 out back.  Does anyone have any recommendations as to what system to put in place, name brands, cost, etc.  Also,  I'm guessing I need an electrician to install the cameras, but perhaps they are wireless now.  

I'm starting from scratch with the research on this so any insight other can provide would be most welcome.  Thanks!

Hello William,

This is an extremely hot topic.

As a landlord I would not want any access to be able to view or log into the cameras.

The last thing you need is the tenant saying you are spying on their teenage daughter or wife sunbathing in the backyard.

Before installing any system I would suggest you consult with the real state attorney about any possible liabilities.

It is one thing if a tenant installed a camera for themselves and then deactivated it or took it with them when they left.

It is a whole another ballgame when the owner or the property manager is installing cameras in or around the rental property.

Seek out good advice use caution in this area.


I'm with Kevin I believe you need to consult an attorney or security expert to determine the risks and legality of the security cameras.  My understanding is that if someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy then there could be issues with the security camera.  
Also my understanding is that the camera shouldn't face any neighbors windows for obvious reasons.

Additionally if the camera has the ability to record audio this is a separate issue.  

Lastly if the camera is considered to be "hidden" then there are huge financial implications possible.

hi William. 

I do this as my day job. I would not seek out an electrician to do this as they typically don't do low voltage security installations. At least not here in pittsburgh. I would look around and talk to a few local security companies and stay away from the big name guys because they are typically higher in price for the same work. Wireless cameras are great but also come with a higher price. If you can't get into your attic or don't have a basement area that provides access to the walls the cameras might have to be installed using conduit,again a little more expensive. My company uses FLIR cameras. They are one of the best out there for quality and they offer them at a fair price. But there are a number of different brands that we use for different applications. Speco, Hikvision, Axis, and Acti all have great products as well.  Let me know if you have any questions regarding the set up!

Next I agree with the guys that posted before me. I would maybe ask a lawyer before installing anything on your property. I know we here have to post signs stating you are being recorded on any commercial property and audio recording is not allowed from the best of my knowledge. Once they give you the okay to do that I would start getting some quotes from a few companies. If you're worried about someone gaining access to the cameras inside the. Building it would take a good bit of knowledge and hacking ability once your installer changes the passwords and programs everything. 

Hope this helps!

Best of luck,


@Steve Myers - Thanks for the suggestions!  One of the tenants has asked to have these installed for her protection so I think as long as I have the camera pointed out at the street and at her front door I should be okay.  

I'll look into the various options based on your recommendation above and if I have any questions I may reach out to you.  Thanks again for the offer!

It is better if you consult an attorney before you have these cameras installed. You could go for the outdoor dome cameras. They are commonly used because they look good and can easily fit in. Though they are easy to detect it is not possible for anyone to know exactly where they are pointing because of its dome shape. They can be used in recording video at night since they have infrared technology. If the place where the camera is installed is tampered with you could install armor dome cameras which cannot be tampered with. Now if you want the dome camera to focus exactly where you want it to focus then you could try installing varifocal camera. You can adjust the focal lens of the camera to wherever you want it to focus. The main thing that you have to keep in mind while choosing a camera is to determine where exactly you would like to place it. This camera is also weather proof.

@William Price I think to answer your question in more detail requires a discussion of your end goal.  Do you want cameras you can monitor or would your rather have an ironclad backup of footage you can access later in the event of some sort of incident? Nighttime performance?  Motion sensing only or constant recording?

I ask because that changes the game a bit when it comes to wired vs. wifi and camera quality.

I think a lawyer is a bit much but sure, half hour of your lawyer's time to say "don't put it inside" in writing couldn't hurt if you want.  It's not like he or she will come inspect your camera installation so a written "do this, don't do that" isn't that expensive.

And I really don't mean to be a downer or anything but if your tenant is concerned about safety, solid deadbolts, sturdy doorframes and a monitored alarm would be worlds better than a camera system that only passively records things.

I guess two-way voice service system may help you out. I'm using their service and completely satisfied. They'll install the cameras wherever we need and they are affordable too. I've earlier tried other security cameras, but they were not much useful because even if I spot an intruder in the camera, I was not able to do anything. But in this case, they'll monitor our and when someone breaks-into our home they'll warn them that authorities are on the way. Before installing the system, I've checked their reviews and found that all are greatly satisfied. You can check this for more information about the working.  Hope you'll find it useful.