This article discussing Owners Corporations and Security Cameras has been provided by Warwick van Ede, JS Mueller & Co.
The use of surveillance cameras in both private and public spaces is increasing significantly. Cameras are installed by local councils and private enterprise, and you can expect to be digitally recorded walking into a shopping centre, travelling on public transport, and even taking the dog for a walk in a local park.
An often vexed issue is what rights lot owners and owners corporations have to install their own security cameras.
Two recent NCAT decisions confirm that lot owners generally do not have the right to install security cameras on common property without first obtaining the consent of the owners corporation. Where they do not obtain that consent, then the owners corporation is entitled to require the security cameras to be removed.
However, there are also lessons for owners corporations, with the possibility that owners corporations and lot owners may commit an offence under the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW).
The First Case – A Couple of Cameras
In mid-2018, the lot owner moved back into a unit owned by her and which had been let to tenants. Due to her concerns about a level of “dispute” within the strata scheme, the lot owner installed 2 security cameras on the (common property) building – 1 outside the main bedroom of her unit, and 1 outside the kitchen.
The security cameras were motion-activated and recorded footage which was then stored on a hard drive.