Honolulu, HI asked in Landlord - Tenant for Hawaii

Q: I have a lightbulb camera outside of my apartment front door. It faces the main entry gate to our building, Is that ok?

There are 2 other units front doors in view of my camera field of vision. But that’s the only way to view the front main entrance from my unit. Is that illegal? I was told to turn it away or remove it

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The legality of using a camera that captures views of neighboring units can vary depending on your location and specific circumstances. In general, you have the right to install security cameras on your property for safety purposes. However, the camera should not infringe upon the reasonable expectation of privacy of your neighbors.

Here are a few points to consider:

1. Purpose: Ensure that the primary purpose of your camera is to monitor the main entrance for security reasons and not to surveil your neighbors.

2. Positioning: If possible, try to adjust the camera's angle to minimize the view of your neighbors' doors while still capturing the main entrance.

3. Notification: It's a good practice to inform your neighbors about the presence of the security camera and its purpose.

4. Local laws: Check your local and state laws regarding the use of security cameras in multi-unit buildings, as regulations may vary.

5. Lease agreement: If you are renting the apartment, review your lease agreement to see if there are any specific rules about installing security cameras.

If your neighbors have expressed concerns, it's best to have an open dialogue with them to address any issues and find a mutually agreeable solution. You may also consider consulting with your landlord or property management company for guidance.

Ultimately, if you are unable to find a compromise and your neighbors believe that the camera is infringing upon their privacy rights, they may have grounds to take legal action. To avoid potential legal issues, it's advisable to consult with a local attorney specializing in property law or privacy matters to ensure your camera setup complies with applicable laws and regulations.

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