Can I Install a Camera That Records Activity in the Common Area of a Condominium?
In most cases, setting up a video monitor is legal unless the cameras represent an unreasonable violation of privacy or the images are being used for commercial purposes without a person's consent. A neighbor has a right to survey his property as long as he does not violate your rights to privacy. If the camera views the outside of your home and garden, it is generally not an invasion of privacy, but if the camera is surveilling the inside of the home, rights to privacy are violated.
The CCRs may regulate the installation of devices that are visible from the street or from a neighbor's property. The CCRs often regulate the installation of satellite dishes and HAM radio antennas, for example. The same CCRs may require a homeowner to obtain HOA permission to install security cameras unless the cameras are unobtrusive. Any applicable CCRs should be carefully analyzed to determine if you complied with CCRs and architectural guidelines before installing the security cameras.
A tenant has an implied right to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the premises. It would be a matter of subjective determination for the court to determine whether the congregating persons are disturbing enough to be considered to be depriving the tenant of the intended use of the premises. Some of the factors, among others, that the court may consider include whether there have been police reports of crimes involving the congregating individuals and break-ins in the area, whether they are congregating on the patio or a public area, and whether the patio is part of the leased property, and whether you are deprived of the use of the patio.
A tenant's right to quiet enjoyment is impaired when the landlord blocks the tenant's access to the premises or changes some essential aspect of the premises so substantially as to render the property unsuitable for the purposes for which it is leased. It may be possible to claim a material breach of the lease by the landlord if you have provided written notice of the condition and there has been a failure to take action to remedy the situation in a reasonable time, resulting in inability to use the patio or a threat of danger due to criminal activity.
In legal terminology, a nuisance is a substantial interference with the right to use and enjoy land, which may be intentional, negligent or ultrahazardous in origin, and must be a result of defendant's activity. Nuisances can include noxious smells, noise, burning, misdirection of water onto other property, illegal gambling, unauthorized collections of rusting autos, indecent signs and pictures on businesses and many other activities.
If a nuisance interferes with another person's quiet or peaceful or pleasant use of his/her property, it may be the basis for a lawsuit for damages and/or an injunction ordering the person or entity causing the nuisance to stop or limit the activity (such as closing down an activity in the evening).
There are various strategies for dealing with offending neighbors. Some of these include:
-Discussing the problem with or writing a letter to the offending neighbor
-Calling the police/sheriff's office to file a complaint
-Asking the landlord or neighborhood body to remedy the situation
-Filing a lawsuit for breach of peaceful enjoyment, infliction of emotional distress, nuisance, harassment, etc.
-Talk to a councilperson about passing a local ordinance