Camera in the basement

12 Replies

I live in Massachusetts. One of my basement windows was broken and I'm not sure if the tenant accidentally broke the windows and not tell me or it was mother nature. Tenant have access to the washer/dryer in the basement. Is it legal to install camera in the basement ? Does it have to be in the open or can it be hidden away. 

@Dave Smith if it is a common area say in a multifamily there is likely no expectation of privacy. What is the issue, do you think the tenant broke in due to lost keys or similiar? 

Really need to say more about the type of unit this is and who has access to the basement.  That said, I would not keep it a secret that just has trouble written all over it.  I would post signs and send each tenant a letter/text/email/phone call.  I would broadcast it everywhere you have a camera.  But the type of unit would really help determine if this is legal at all to begin with. 

Hiding it could be a disaster.  

Originally posted by @Colleen F. :

@Dave Smith if it is a common area say in a multifamily there is likely no expectation of privacy. What is the issue, do you think the tenant broke in due to lost keys or similiar? 

 Thank you.......

Originally posted by @Scott M. :

Really need to say more about the type of unit this is and who has access to the basement.  That said, I would not keep it a secret that just has trouble written all over it.  I would post signs and send each tenant a letter/text/email/phone call.  I would broadcast it everywhere you have a camera.  But the type of unit would really help determine if this is legal at all to begin with. 

Hiding it could be a disaster.  

Thank you

 

Dude you can't to put a hidden camera in your rental. That's just not a good idea. Even if it wasn't hidden and I went to look at your house to rent and saw a camera anywhere in doors I wouldn't be your tenant. 

Originally posted by @Dave Smith :

I live in Massachusetts. One of my basement windows was broken and I'm not sure if the tenant accidentally broke the windows and not tell me or it was mother nature. Tenant have access to the washer/dryer in the basement. Is it legal to install camera in the basement ? Does it have to be in the open or can it be hidden away. 

 Common basement or is this a single family rental?

Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @Dave Smith:

I live in Massachusetts. One of my basement windows was broken and I'm not sure if the tenant accidentally broke the windows and not tell me or it was mother nature. Tenant have access to the washer/dryer in the basement. Is it legal to install camera in the basement ? Does it have to be in the open or can it be hidden away. 

 Common basement or is this a single family rental?

 Common basement in a Duplex house.

So you are going to take time and money getting a camera installed due to a small basement pane of broken glass (one time)?

I'd just replace the glass and ask them to be more careful.

If it's a high crime area and they are breaking in and stealing things, you might want to look into sealing the window with glass block (if it's allowed in your area).

Good Luck!

I mean. .  . Why would you want  a camera in the basement?  To be able to tell who breaks the window the next time it breaks?  So you're going to install a camera in a rental duplex basement and point it at a window?  Something doesn't seem right there. .  .

Legally, my guess is you probably could, but why would you want to?  It's like $50-100 to have a guy come out to fix it -- probably $10 if you buy just the custom cut glass and fix it yourself.  

If you're really worried about the window, you might be on better footing putting a camera outside, in definite common area and point it at the window.  Then you are actually looking for anyone, tenant or burglar that could be breaking the windows. .  .  Inside, it seems like you just want to keep tabs on the tenants. . . 

EDIT: 

I see you live in the other half.  Seems even more weird in that situation.  Whether your intentions are iffy or not, I'd stay way on the side of not nad NOT put any cameras up to spy on tenants!

Here is a google search with a bunch of opinions. . . 

Always disclose locations of cameras and even post signs that say "you are under video surveillance". You can buy these signs on Amazon and the signs will act as a deterrent. 

Originally posted by @Dave Smith :
Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @Dave Smith:

I live in Massachusetts. One of my basement windows was broken and I'm not sure if the tenant accidentally broke the windows and not tell me or it was mother nature. Tenant have access to the washer/dryer in the basement. Is it legal to install camera in the basement ? Does it have to be in the open or can it be hidden away. 

 Common basement or is this a single family rental?

 Common basement in a Duplex house.

 Given that it's a common area I would go ahead and place a clearly visible camera down there along with a sign that says there is a camera down there. Catching a criminal after the crime has occurred isn't really your goal. Your goal is crime prevention. The camera is a deterrent.