Subscriber Discussion

Can Home Owners Association Restrict Surveillance Cameras?

Just received a letter, that they are changing the CCR and adding security camera system guide.

"exterior security cameras must have approval of the ARC prior to installation. All exterior security cameras may record video but must not record audio. All exterior cameras must be installed in a workmanlike manor and wiring must NVR concealed or painted to blend with surrounding materials and must be mounted using a stationary mount (no moving or paning mounts allowed) to the primary structure of the property, no higher than 9ft above finished grade. No more than 6 exterior security cameras may be I stalled per property. Cameras must be positioned to point toward for view the interior of the property and must not be able to move or pan to view any adjacent property. Owners must demonstrate to the ARC the mounting position and the direction all cameras are aimed. Signs alerting others of security alarms and/or cameras are permitted but must meet the "yard sign" definition of the residential guidelines currently in effect. Signs must not be mounted on fences."

  • only 6 camera limits
  • must be facing toward interior
  • no ptz

I understand the privacy concerns, but seems to be too limiting in my opinion. Ethernet only video you can record of a possible burglar is after the fact that they leave the house then? For the cameras will be pointing towards the emtrance door, not drive way??

can HoA do this? This is from TX.

Search |homeowmners associations and security cameras| Amazing!

Else, ask (the HOA) if that table lamp in my winodw is restricted. Or any object in my window(s).

Don't know and don't intend to live under those conditions. Hard enough under City, County and State code.

Sorry for the late reply. Was on vacation with my lap and no password

Why HOA's in general feel they can dictate such rediculous rules to those who pay them is beyond me. I pay $150 per month to my HOA where I own a single residence home, and we have no club house, no association pool, no tennis courts, no gated community, no security personnel, nothing. For $150 each month I receive letters informing me that if the jet skis are not removed from my driveway within 30 days, I will be fined. Funny thing is, I don't own any jet skis. Many of my neighbors received similar harassing HOA 'violation' letters that are unfounded. In your case, you probably have a few neighbors who are also fed up with your HOA. Maybe you can organize them together and as a group approach the HOA Board during their next meeting informing them of your disagreement with their new rule. You may want to ask them who was it that composed that rule and what are their qualifications. And were they paid from the HOA funds? The HOA Board and HOA management company works for you, the paying members. If other HOA members don't side with your opinion to have that new CCTV rule removed completely, they may be in favor of a more practical and reasonable re-write. See how the other HOA members feel about this silly rule and maybe you can gather up a large enough group to challenge the Board. Please let us know how this turns out.

hahahaha... so, any external cameras have to be mounted low enough so burglars can reach them, they must be mounted on the house itself, AND they have to be pointing inward so as to not view a neighbors property?

"must be mounted using a stationary mount (no moving or paning mounts allowed) to the primary structure of the property, no higher than 9ft above finished grade."

"Cameras must be positioned to point toward (f)or view the interior of the property and must not be able to move or pan to view any adjacent property."

The specs appear to violate the laws of physics...maybe a former camera manufacturer ad designer wrote the HoA camera specs?

Peter, here are a few links to laws regarding HoAs in Texas here and here and here. The last link describes powers of a homeowner's association. If an HoA in Texas can regulate what religious items you have on your porch, then I wouldn't be surprised if they are allowed to regulate camera placement. You should also check your HoA agreement and see what that says. Maybe even bring up some reasons to the board on why limiting views is problematic. I think they're probably thinking more about privacy and aesthetics than security.

You'd probably have to check with specific state legislation to determine the limits of what your HoA can and can't do, but generally, anything outside of your own home's walls falls under their purview.

Here in BC, provincial legislation includes the Strata Property Act, which lays out in detail what a strata council (same idea as an HoA) has control over in a strata property. Typically, they can make any rules they want relating to the VISUAL aspects of the property (most want to keep everyone looking tidy and uniform), and many prohibit "eyesores" like patio umbrellas, satellite dishes, and so forth, and would possibly include cameras in such a bylaw... however, I don't know that they'd be allowed to control where any such cameras were aimed.

In some cases, fixtures may be allowed with the permission of the council/HoA, but considerations may be placed on that permission... for example, in our townhouse complex, owners must request permission each spring/summer for window-mounted air conditioners, and approval is almost always given, but contingent on them being mounted properly and safely, and any open window area around them must be blocked with glass or clear plastic - no cardboard, plywood, etc. Again: visual aspects.

Someone in TX may have more specific information on how HoA law works there...