Best Practices for Using Security Cameras in Rental Units

Be A Better Landlord
January 2, 2024

Welcome to our podcast episode where Krista and Jonathan discuss the intricacies of implementing security cameras in rental properties. This guide aims to navigate landlords through the process, ensuring tenant privacy while enhancing property security.


Understanding the Need for Security Cameras

Jonathan highlights the importance of identifying the motive behind installing security cameras. Primarily for security purposes, cameras should be placed in areas like hallways, common areas, entryways, mailrooms, and parking garages of multifamily properties. Transparency and clear documentation in the lease agreement are crucial to avoid infringing on tenants’ privacy.

Interior Cameras: A Big No-No

Installing cameras inside the rental, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or bedrooms, is highly discouraged. Exceptions might be made for shared utility spaces for specific issues, but general interior surveillance is deemed inappropriate and invasive.

Exterior Camera Installation and Tenant Relationships

While exterior cameras can be beneficial, improper installation or use can damage the landlord-tenant relationship. Cameras that record audio might be perceived as eavesdropping, and placing cameras in private areas like backyards without a clear, justified reason is advised against.

Reacting to Lease Violations with Cameras

Using cameras to monitor suspected lease violations is not recommended. Such actions can create a hostile environment, deteriorating the landlord-tenant relationship. Open communication is always the preferred route.

Tenant Requests for Cameras

When tenants request the installation of cameras, landlords should discuss the purpose, who bears the cost, and the specifics of access and subscription fees. Decisions on equipment ownership and responsibilities upon lease termination should be clearly outlined.

Adding Camera Language to Lease Agreements

For existing lease agreements, adding an addendum that outlines the rules and expectations regarding camera usage can provide clarity and legal solidity.

Recommended Security Camera Brands

Jonathan recommends opting for cameras from established companies like Ring (Amazon), Nest (Google), or Arlo (Netgear) to ensure long-term app and hardware support. Features like doorbell integration, battery or hardwired options, and solar panels are also discussed.


Installing security cameras in rental properties requires a balance between ensuring security and respecting tenant privacy. Landlords are encouraged to communicate openly with tenants and clearly document all agreements regarding security cameras.

If you have experiences or questions about security cameras in rental properties, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe for more insightful landlord tips.

Video Transcript


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