Surveillance in the Trash Can Area at my Rental Property

12 Replies


I want to put a surveillance camera outside my rental property. I live around 10 miles away for this property. This is a 5-unit building in Milwaukee, WI. There are 4 trash cans and 2 recycle bins. These get filled pretty fast and someone has been putting their stuff like old couches, mattress etc. around there. My property manager has to clean it up!!! Of course, I get billed for that…

I asked the city inspector if I could put a surveillance camera right above the trash can area and he said that is a good idea. My building is adjacent to a side street and the trash cans are on the side of this street. Not much through traffic there. The only people who use this side street are the people live in that area. I’m not sure if I should contact an attorney since I am putting a camera right above the trash cans but I will still run it by an attorney. I found some surveillance camera deals for this online.

Do you have any suggestions for the surveillance cameras that you (or someone you know) have used successfully? Please note that I do not live in my apartment building so I do not have internet connection there. This building has a basement.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated…


What about something like a deer cam?

@Dawn Anastasi , Deer cam is one option. I have looked at surveillance companies that charge $40 per month for 3 video cameras; equipment cost is around $100 but they want a 3-year contract. I am trying to find something that will not require contracts. I thought about setting a DVR in the basement. The tenants have access to basement.

Are there laws against putting cameras in a public place besides bathrooms etc.? You mentioned contacting an attorney.

Cameras can be put outside the property. I have checked.... I am looking for some video surveillance camera suggestions....

All - I work for a company that manufactures surveillance cameras and recorders. If you would like any advice, let me know.

Would you consider a fake camera that looks real? They have a battery powered red blinking light to make it seem legit. For 10-15 bucks you could try this and see if it solves your problem. I think it will. 

If you have a flood light, you can get a security camera that looks like a burned out light bulb.  Some kids threw some eggs at some cars in my neighborhood and I put that up.  The video quality is really good.  It records in low temperatures and stores the video on a micro SD card.

Is there a reason to hide the fact that the area is under surveillance?  I think I would want a sign up stating that there was a camera, that might be enough to stop whoever it is from dumping things in your trash area.

LOL. Why are you asking people for permission to put a camera on your own property?

And what do you plan on doing if you see some stranger put garbage in there? Get mad at him? Your camera isn't going to stop the dumping. Especially if nobody is actually watching.

I used a deer cam in a metal box for the same thing.  Worked great, just took stills instead of video, but they resolution is super sharp and I had no problem identifying the perps.  

They are motion activated, and the night vision is excellent, so you get a series of photos of them doing whatever they are doing.  

DVR is asking for trouble if tenants have access.  Go with simple, cheap and effective.  

I have a 12 unit property and both myself and my wife have caught persons in the act of illegally dumping.  We contacted a Zmodo installer.  Paid for the system and installation, put 6 cameras up around the buildings, installed internet into the buildings with a direct line from the phone box.  I can view any of my six cameras on my cell phone at the touch of a button.  Have solved two criminal cases and caught the garbage man dumping out a television onto the ground and leaving it.  Hard to argue against video.   Not one camera is aimed into a bedroom window or towards a bedroom window.  I also know when services arrive/depart; meeting contractual obligations.  Trust, but verify. 

Side bonus, when I mow or do maintenance, the wireless router/modem allows me full internet access on my phone without using 4G Data to death.  (I rock out to 80's hair bands when mowing or cleaning....and yes, I'm serious.)  

Having been a police officer for over 16 years...true believer in video.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

LOL. Why are you asking people for permission to put a camera on your own property?

You laugh, and I know this is from Italy, but a hotel I know very well got broken into, several thousand euros taken, so they started down the line of cameras inside the hotel in the common areas.....until they discovered that there were all sorts of privacy laws in Italy, and official inspections and permits required and so forth. Was such a pain in the rear end to jump through the hoops, they just empty the tills at night now.

Never underestimate a politician to screw things up.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here