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Subject: The RING brand Doorbell./lock
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Author Messages
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/06/2018 4:55 PM  
Urgent.. does anyone know about a type of door lock/bell called the RING. It is noise activated and can record/photograph within an area... In a condo complex, the door of the one condo is about 10' feet from the entry door of another condo. This one person affixed a RING door lock on his condo entry door.. As said before, it is motion activated so when someone is in the area, it will record what is being said and it also will motion picture around the area of that one condo door.....The person at the condo 10' away is complaining that that person's neighbor can record what she is saying outside of her door or what her guests are saying outside of that persons door and also have a running film of who that person is having in the condo, etc. My question... Is this legal? Is it an invasion of privacy?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2156


02/06/2018 5:57 PM  
Legal questions require a review by an attorney. If this was placed by your neighbor, have you discussed your concerns with him/her?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:433


02/06/2018 6:01 PM  
"And when you get behind closed doors"

Common areas are fair game. It is no different if the HOA installed CCTV cameras throuought the common areas.

Word to the wise this day and age, everything is being recorded.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7294


02/06/2018 6:07 PM  
Anything outside your front door is public. So if your expectation of privacy is pretty much limited inside your door. Reality is that you are probably being video taped or recorded about anywhere you go now a days. Pump gas? On cameras. Stop at a red light? On camera At a cross walk? on camera. Stop at an ATM? On camera. Drop kids off at school? on camera. Go to Walart? On camera. Take a walk in your neighborhood? On camera if someone has a security system.

So expectation of privacy is a bit ridiculous at this point. Heck the computer I am typing on? I am ON CAMERA! Sounds like a neighbor/neighbor issue the HOA needs to stay out of.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15724


02/06/2018 6:07 PM  
This is something that needs to be asked of a local attorney to see if it's legal or not.

The first issue would be the applicable wiretapping laws.

Per K title 13 § 176.3 and Can We Tape (book for reporters on State taping laws - see page 14), you must be a party to the conversation in order to legally record it without a court order.

Therefore, recording video and audio through a security system aimed at the hallway would, in my layman's opinion, may be a violation of the statute. Check with an attorney to be sure. Now, once someone knocks on the door and the owner answers via the security system, they are then part of the conversation.


The second issue would be is a common hallway considered an area where there is an expectation of privacy?

This is the issue that will likely decide if it's legal or not.
Hence, the need to speak with an attorney.



I have a security system that records both video and audio at my 2nd home in TN (detached homes). TN has similar statutes on wiretapping but also had definitive court cases on expectation of privacy. Therefore, to be safe, I disabled the audio recording capability.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15724


02/06/2018 6:21 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 02/06/2018 6:07 PM

Anything outside your front door is public.




Although this is a common thought, and certainly applicable for video, when audio recording comes into play a whole different set of rules are used.




AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/06/2018 6:32 PM  
It makes it even more of an issue when the one person in one condo unit and the one right across from another unit by approximately 10' and both are extremely antagonistic with each other..One person has promised to remove the camera part of it but how would the person opposite know for sure it is off? I still have that feeling that an attorney is best to consult on this matter.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15724


02/06/2018 7:07 PM  
Actually, I also think that this is a neighbor v neighbor issue and not an HOA issue.
JerryD5
(Colorado)

Posts:200


02/07/2018 7:29 AM  
Ironically, the same neighbor complaining about privacy outside her condo door probably has an "Alexa"-type device that has the capability of doing the same thing. Welcome to the 21st century.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/07/2018 8:34 AM  
Outside a condo unit's door is not "public," as Melissa puts it. It's common area, thus condo board can make rules about them and we have a few in our condo HOA. One, per the fire dept., is that we can't have any welcome mats, potted pants, furniture, etc. which might impede Emerg. personnel during their work.

Since the exterior of our front doors are the HOA's responsibility to maintain, we may not hardwire door bells, or attach door knockers or door stops to them. So our own rules may prohibit such a device as Alex's HOA has deeding on how it's attached to the owner's front door or hallway wall.

So, for Alex, are front doors the HOA's responsibility to maintain? Or Owners'?

Otherwise, I tend to agree that you need an attorney's advice.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:722


02/07/2018 8:50 AM  
Just put a small sign on the door that has the camera saying "24 hour surveillance in effect in this area", or something like that, and you're legal in most states. The audio would still not be admissible in court except for special circumstances, but it should solve this Non-HOA issue.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/07/2018 11:31 AM  
If the door is the HOA's responsibility, the sign would be prohibited.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/07/2018 3:13 PM  
I have had a great number of suggestions offered... we will be bringing this to a conclusion later and I will come back on here to give the results.
GeorgeR8
(Arizona)

Posts:149


02/07/2018 5:16 PM  
My condo board voted to approve RING a few months ago. We have several now and many of the owners are interested in getting one. Seasonal residents are getting a discount on their insurance for having one. Not one complaint. The way our condos are located I think it is a good idea, for others with closer doors it may not be.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3959


02/07/2018 11:40 PM  
Posted By AlexM1 on 02/06/2018 4:55 PM
Urgent.. does anyone know about a type of door lock/bell called the RING. It is noise activated and can record/photograph within an area... In a condo complex, the door of the one condo is about 10' feet from the entry door of another condo. This one person affixed a RING door lock on his condo entry door.. As said before, it is motion activated so when someone is in the area, it will record what is being said and it also will motion picture around the area of that one condo door.....The person at the condo 10' away is complaining that that person's neighbor can record what she is saying outside of her door or what her guests are saying outside of that persons door and also have a running film of who that person is having in the condo, etc. My question... Is this legal? Is it an invasion of privacy?


It is not noise activated ... it is motion activated. While RING is a doorbell you also have many other options such as ARLO which I have on my house. Pretty much if it is being “Sold” in stores within your State then most likely “Legal” within your State and not considered any invasion of privacy. Since you are Condo here is potential issue you can run into ... if you do not allow someone to install for safety reason and something happens the HOA can be sued big time. This has happened in HOA’s who before RING denied owners installing simple security lights around their units (cost those HOA’s a lot of money). If it was my HOA ... I would keep OUT of the issue (if at all possible) and let any two neighbors have their petty dispute. ??? Who owns and maintains the damn doorbell ???
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15724


02/08/2018 3:19 AM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 02/07/2018 11:40 PM

Pretty much if it is being “Sold” in stores within your State then most likely “Legal” within your State and not considered any invasion of privacy.




I completely disagree.

I also own the same system you have.
I can say for certain that it is sold in TN, VA, MD and DC. More then likely, it is sold in all 50 States.

MD requires consent of all parties to a conversation
TN, DC and VA requires you to be part of the conversation (but only 1 party consent)



AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/08/2018 7:21 AM  
Janet: VERY good point.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/08/2018 8:21 AM  
Alex, do NOT neglect the question of who is responsible for maintaining your condo front doors? If the HOA, your HOA may have rules against installing anything that needs to be hardwired, or anything that must affixed with screws, etc. That's our rules, but our front doors are in interior halls. Maybe yours aren't?

What do your docs say, Alex?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:433


02/09/2018 12:28 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/08/2018 8:21 AM
Alex, do NOT neglect the question of who is responsible for maintaining your condo front doors? If the HOA, your HOA may have rules against installing anything that needs to be hardwired, or anything that must affixed with screws, etc. That's our rules, but our front doors are in interior halls. Maybe yours aren't?

What do your docs say, Alex?





The momentary pushbutton SPST switch which is the "doorbell" is typically in a tiny gang box like your electric outlet or it's surrounded by a wire cage where
2 set screws hold the button in place. The RING doorbell replaces that "momentary switch" TO affix the backing plate to the wall for the ring system can use the existing
template without having to affix extra screws to the wall. Honestly I don't see these being any CC&R violation. Probably soon to be added to FHA regs.
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:796


02/09/2018 8:08 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/08/2018 8:21 AM
Alex, do NOT neglect the question of who is responsible for maintaining your condo front doors? If the HOA, your HOA may have rules against installing anything that needs to be hardwired, or anything that must affixed with screws, etc. That's our rules, but our front doors are in interior halls. Maybe yours aren't?

What do your docs say, Alex?




Do the doors have peepholes/viewers?
Can someone standing inside the door hear the conversations of the neighbour?
If either is "yes" one would have to ask if the neighbour has a reasonable expectation of privacy in that location.
Legal question for the courts, my personal opinion is no, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy there. Don't want to be heard, go elsewhere with your conversations.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15724


02/09/2018 8:10 AM  
Keep in mind that the issue isn't overhearing conversations.
The issue is recording said conversations without permission and without being part of the conversation.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/09/2018 8:36 AM  
I agree with Tim. I'm not raising the privacy issue.

I'm reporting that my HOA's Rules & Regs do not permit anything attached, that penetrates the doors, to the exterior of our front doors (interior hallways) other than what's original (peephole, original door handle). We may install combo locks. This is common among high rises in my urban 'hood.
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:796


02/09/2018 1:39 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/09/2018 8:36 AM
I agree with Tim. I'm not raising the privacy issue.

I'm reporting that my HOA's Rules & Regs do not permit anything attached, that penetrates the doors, to the exterior of our front doors (interior hallways) other than what's original (peephole, original door handle). We may install combo locks. This is common among high rises in my urban 'hood.





No. You're trying to find a way to get rid of the camera that you don't like.

Would you be 100% ok with a camera that replaced the existing peephole? I don't think so.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/09/2018 1:54 PM  
I think you're confused, Dave. No one is or has tried to install cameras at any of our 200+ condo units' doors.

Alex from OK is the OP.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/09/2018 1:55 PM  
This is one problem that keeps coming back to bite us... the combo lock.. where you put in a code and the door opens....In some readings, this is not authorized and in other readings, ,it is authorized
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:796


02/09/2018 2:09 PM  
Mistook you for the OP, Kerry. Sorry.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/09/2018 3:57 PM  
So, Alex, what is it that's confusing in your documents about installing combo locks on front doors? If your HOA isn't responsible for maintaining them, there should be no issue.

Our HOA is responsible for maintaining the exterior of the front doors in our hallways, but we do permit the installation of combination locks.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/09/2018 4:07 PM  
It is a tough one.. so... we are going to take the stand that any combination locks that are already on the doors... will have to send in permission request for those types of locks.. They will undoubtedly be approved.. but the RING will not be approved.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/09/2018 4:16 PM  
Alex: Can't you tell us what your governing documents say about your front doors??
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/09/2018 4:23 PM  
When I get to the office tomorrow, I will copy that section and send it
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:796


02/09/2018 4:54 PM  
Posted By AlexM1 on 02/09/2018 1:55 PM
This is one problem that keeps coming back to bite us... the combo lock.. where you put in a code and the door opens....In some readings, this is not authorized and in other readings, ,it is authorized




In SOME readings? The only reading that matters is the reading by the Board of Directors. If they interpret the restriction to permit (or restrict) their installation, they can notify the membership of that official interpretation and have it be so.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/09/2018 7:36 PM  
Thank you, Dave. I seem to have trouble encouraging Alex to tell us what his docs say.
AlexF2
(Georgia)

Posts:12


02/17/2018 1:18 AM  
The RING video doorbell does not require new or existing wiring. It runs off a rechargeable battery and communicates via the home's Wi-Fi network. Now, the RING Pro does require hard-wiring since it is designed to replace an existing doorbell.

I am interested in how this issue plays out in a condo situation and how anyone draws a distinction between a hallway leading to a condo door and a sidewalk in front of a private home. Both are public walkways aren't they? HOA's can be responsible to the maintenance in both cases.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/17/2018 6:12 AM  
Later, I will send two sections in our CC&Rs on this subject.... and also will let you know of the outcome
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5160


02/17/2018 9:18 AM  
WHO, Alex, is responsible for maintaining the exterior of residences' front doors? Owners? Or the HOA?

Do these doors have existing wiring for doorbells that the developer originally installed?
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:215


02/17/2018 10:24 AM  
I am going to send another answer later when the final decision is made. The OWNER is responsible for the door but JUST beyond the paint on the outside of the door and the normal handle/latch...... Those combination locks built into the handle... or/and the RING are not authorized without an ARC to excuse them.....We will come up later with the final decision but for the moment, this is probably going to be the decision.
ElizabethR5
(California)

Posts:1


04/06/2018 6:14 PM  
I own my condo here in California. I just installed the ring doorbell camera surveillance for my own security. My ho a board gave me the go-ahead to do this. There may be a problem because the woman across from me directly may or may not like this I'm not sure yet. My camera is facing adjacent towards her door. Our condo is similar to a hotel room setup the way the interior appears with the long hallways closed locked doors you must have keys. So far it works excellent and I'm very happy with it. I think everyone should install one. Oh I forgot to mention I do suspect that my neighbor across from me has a peephole security camera surveillance. She was waving at it one time as I look through my own people looking towards her door. That's a good thing hopefully she does.
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