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Subject: Security Cameras viewed by Board Member
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KarenJ5
(California)

Posts:2


07/31/2019 8:57 PM  
I am a board member in a 120 unit Condo Building in California. A few years back, we installed a large camera system that covers the common area & garage. I volunteered to be the one that would be in charge of reviewing any incident that was reported.

A friend who lives in another complex in the area has insisted that her management company stated that it is illegal for a board member to review the video tape when a incident occurs. I asked our building management company if that was true and they said no. I tried to see if there were any laws out there, but could not find anything.

Is there anyone here that are board members or HOA volunteer that monitors their HOA security cameras.

Just wanted to show her that she might have been give incorrect information.







RichardP13


Posts:0


07/31/2019 9:30 PM  
Have them recite, chapter and verse the law making it illegal for a Board member to review camera footage.

There isn't any.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:789


08/01/2019 6:15 AM  
I have to concur with Richard, surveillance footage is just one component of the records that an HOA keeps. Why wouldn't a board member or a HOA member not have access to it.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:419


08/01/2019 6:40 AM  
Karen,
I was on a board in Ca. for 8 years. We also had a great camera system. It is important that you have very clear signage that states the area is under 24 hour video surveillance. If it is common area there is no privacy expectation. As the others have said I feel you are well within your rights. If the board is not looking at the video then who is responsible for viewing and reporting incidents? The cameras do not notify the board or tell you when something happens. All systems have storage systems but if the incident goes unreported and the video is erased after usually a week or 2 the event did not happen.

One thing that I will warn you about is people who do not like you can make up some ugly lies about board members who they think are watching them using cameras. This has happened in the past and as I am sure you are aware it is hard to prove a negative. We decided that we would only have our guards who were onsite for 16 hours a day view and report incidents. This only worked in our case because we had outside security.

In Texas now and back on my new HOA. The board has access as well as our Property Manager. We do not have security and so the only eyes that see the footage is 5 board members plus 1 PM.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6632


08/01/2019 7:54 AM  
I agree with others that there's nothing illegal about a director reviewing the camera footage. In our urban condo high rise the PM reviews it and our security too. And I think that's best. But if your HOA has no one to review the footage, it seems OK. I do think the board should place this on an agenda and confirm your ability to review the footage. For some reason, I'm uneasy about this.

I disagree with LetA that an owner could review this footage as it's not among the records listed in CA Civ. Code that Owners may review.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:419


08/01/2019 8:18 AM  
We had a rule that stated the homeowners would only be given video if a Police report was filed and they requested the video. The last thing you want to get involved in is a Husband or Wife checking to see if the other is cheating on them. Got to have rules for everything now days.
KarenJ5
(California)

Posts:2


08/01/2019 8:51 AM  
Thanks everyone for your replies. We have not had any objections from homeowners about the cameras. We do not have on site security, so that is why I volunteered to do it. Our management does have access to the cameras, but we have found that I can run through the footage must faster when something has happened. I only review when a issue has been brought to my attention. We do have signage in the lobby that states we have video surveillance so that is covered.

When the cameras went in a few years ago we had a resident that was bringing in a lot of “bad” guest that were stealing mail and packages from the complex plus lots of other activities in the common area. I was monitoring all the time as LAPD was involved. When that resident finally sold & left, the reports of incidents has gone down to almost nothing.

Most of the time I review for violations that are found in the building. . Many people in the building know I have access to it so they will let me know if they see a issue. If the violation go against our Rules & Regs, then pictures are sent to management to send out Violation letter.

One thing that we don’t have is a Security Policy. We have our board meeting tonight, so will be brining it up to see if our management company might have a policy from another HOA that we can review.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:419


08/01/2019 9:00 AM  
Karen,
If I might make a few suggestions since you are going to meet tonight.

1) Yes a policy gives you something to stand behind if challenged.
2) I would try to form a committee of board members that has access. Even if you are the only person watching you can say the committee gathered the info. Why should you be the bad cop on the block? You are working for the community to insure safety.
SylviaS5
(Illinois)

Posts:4


10/02/2019 11:21 AM  
I agree with the previous MarkA. Our Board has 5 people generally only 2 have the ability to view footage we don't make it known who are the people that see the footage. When a violation is sent out because it is caught on camera it is sent out as the Board so no one is set up as being the "Bulldog".

The problem we have here right now (Illinois) a Borad member from 5 years ago had footage of an altercation getting off an elevator. She wrote a nasty email to all 120 owners in the building. The email was about a member that was running to be on the Board stating it was her fault these 2 people had gotten into the altercation. She said she had a copy of the video and would send it out to whoever wanted to see it. To the best of my knowledge the video was sent out to about 5 people. Does sending out this video violate any law?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:459


10/02/2019 12:14 PM  
Posted By SylviaS5 on 10/02/2019 11:21 AM
I agree with the previous MarkA. Our Board has 5 people generally only 2 have the ability to view footage we don't make it known who are the people that see the footage. When a violation is sent out because it is caught on camera it is sent out as the Board so no one is set up as being the "Bulldog".

The problem we have here right now (Illinois) a Borad member from 5 years ago had footage of an altercation getting off an elevator. She wrote a nasty email to all 120 owners in the building. The email was about a member that was running to be on the Board stating it was her fault these 2 people had gotten into the altercation. She said she had a copy of the video and would send it out to whoever wanted to see it. To the best of my knowledge the video was sent out to about 5 people. Does sending out this video violate any law?




That's a question for a lawyer. It's not illegal to record people in a public space like the common area around the elevators, because people should have no expectation of privacy there. However, sending the footage to others who have no reason to see it crosses a line. If it's not illegal, it certainly reflects poor judgement, and it would be enough for me to vote against this person. Not sure what you'd do about it now, though, and it would be up to the persons whose reputations may have been harmed to take legal action.

(Not sure how far they'd get, though. Spreading accurate, factual information about another person is not defamation, no matter how embarrassing the information is. I'll assume the video wasn't doctored, and so is factual. And the fight occurred in a public area -- who knows how many people were just inside their doors, listening. The problem was the email with an unproven accusation in it. But it sounds like the board member is no longer on the board, correct? It appears the rest of the community was not impressed with her shenanigans.)
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