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Subject: Ring and Blink Camera's Privacy issues HELP PLEASE!
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RaffiM
(California)

Posts:7


10/24/2019 5:14 PM  
I live here in California, I recently purchased a condo in an older association, and along with me there have been at 6-7 new owners (out of 20 total units) that have all bought in alongside me within the last year.

The building is in pretty rough shape, and more than a few of the new owners paid market value and some a bit over because units here rarely hit the market, also a few of us (myself included) bought privately direct from the old owners, most of the units in the building have never been remodeled since the 60's so every one of us new owners spent a small fortune remodeling our units happily, we all love the area and the charm of the building.
we were all aware of buying into an HOA but we were not expecting a board like this.

So that being said, we have nothing in our HOA that states we can not have cameras.
There is a board of 3 members, two of those board members( who do not live on site they are renting their units out) own multiple units so whenever we've had a vote on anything in the last year there is no winning our opinions mean nothing and they control everything.
Because they literally own so many of the votes.(not that we are too upset the majority of issues are trying to get the building back together but some of the money spent we believe is a bit much for the work we receive, but most of us are ok with it but again our opinions don't matter)

We have had a few incidents since we've been here over the last year, i.e. car break ins,
a neighboring property had a loose dog that came and attacked an owner on our property and the obvious porch pirate stealing packages .. along with homeless people camping in common areas and sometimes in the elevator. Some of us new owners have installed ring doorbells and blink cameras in our doorways so we can see in front of our doors(and a few those doors point down the hallway due to the direction of the door, but those do not see into any windows or doorways) all of our doors are set in, and all of our doors and walkways are open to the public so anyone can just come in off the Street.

Even though most of the owners on site are OK with the cameras there are the two board members above who keep saying it's a privacy issue (again public common area where there isn't a reasonable expectation of privacy) and now they plan on voting and changing the CC&R's, which we really shouldn't spend the money on because our funds are severely depleted and we have bigger things in need of the time and money like plumbing issues ect.

The new owner's all feel that the board does not want change and are doing this just to spite us and abuse power. What we are concerned about here is our safety and protecting our property and we feel that the A/V devices and the technicality of the law is what the board is going to use to make this change happen just because they can.
We all feel defenseless and defeated and more than a few of us are staring to regret the purchase of our homes.
It's like the CC&R's don't matter because if they don't like something they are just going to vote to change it. They don't like something, just amend and add it to the CC&R's.
They are even considering a removal of our security doors which from my understanding have been installed by previous owners of units many years ago.

We are all looking for any loophole to be able to keep our rings, and our right to protect our property and our safety.

Thank You.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6703


10/24/2019 5:18 PM  
How many units of the 20 total do these two directors own?
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:196


10/24/2019 5:19 PM  
https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Hallway-Cameras

QUESTION: Is it legal for homeowners to install a camera at their door that covers the hallway entrance to their unit?

ANSWER: If the camera is inside the unit looking through the peephole, that would be no different than an owner looking through their peephole to see who is standing in the hallway. As long as the camera is located inside the owner’s unit, it is legal. If the camera is installed in the common area hallway, it must have the association's permission.

Association Cameras. Associations may install hallway cameras as part of their own security system. There are limitations on recording conversations where owners may have a legitimate expectation of privacy regarding their conversations. Board's should consult with legal counsel regarding their security cameras.
RaffiM
(California)

Posts:7


10/24/2019 5:39 PM  
KerryL1,
one owner(board member) the one with the real issue here owns 3 then his employee
yes a person who works for him and is also a board member owns two that are rentals also ,(Personally that's a conflict of interest) that's 5 votes out of 20, but they have a few business partners who also own a few units so If I'm not mistaken the have around 9 votes anytime something happens so all they need is 2, and that's if everyone votes ... the rest of the votes either don't vote because they are renting out and just don't care they just send money whenever needed and the elderly don't vote because they forget or again just don't want to be envolved anymore(and I understand why) so if they don't vote and lets say 15-17 total people vote and 9 of those are from them nothing gets done or the wrong things get done like the last time where a bid for doing some work on the building they went with the higher bid by like 3k more for the same service. Trust me we all knew the situation of the Building and future assessments but non of us had any idea we would all be in for such unreasonable drama. Oh and to boot the board purposely has the HOA meetings at 5:30 on a weekday so almost no one can make it since normal people don't get off work until 6 and the owner open forum is usually over by 6. At any given meeting that I've been to in the last year only 2-3 owners make it to the meetings... even I have miss a few during the year I've been here.

Thanks Again and I will post this in the other forum also, but again all we care about is to be able to keep our ring camera's. Most people just want to live here and enjoy it.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3328


10/25/2019 5:42 PM  
2 board members own 5 units between them? That's not a conflict of interest.

How many of the 20 units are rentals that have absentee owners and tenants living in them?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:508


10/26/2019 7:41 AM  
The real issue isn't the cameras. It is that the OP does not agree with how the board is running the association. Personally, I think that cameras would be useful and maybe discourage prowlers. However, it sounds like the money isn't there and that there may be more serious issues facing the association such as aging plumbing systems. That's a legitimate concern. (In fact, if I'd be more concerned about the reserves and whether there are special assessments looming if a critical system were to break down.)

In the OP's place, here's how I'd approach things:

* Become VERY familiar with the association's finances, including the reserves and if reserve studies are being done.

* Talk to the board to find out what their objections are. Don't assume that they're just being difficult to give you a hard time - that attitude won't get you anywhere, and it's probably not true.

* If the money isn't there, it is possible that the board may approve the installation of cameras on common areas if the individual homeowners pay for it. However, the board will still need to look into applicable laws and implications for association insurance, so this isn't a purely monetary decision.

* Talk to the neighbors. The more people you can find who agree with you, the better. A big problem here is going to be the rental units. Many landlords simply want high rents and minimal expenses - this means they're not going to be on board with raising assessments unless the increase will benefit them personally. They'll need to be convinced (for instance, a safer building can allow landlords to increase the rent).

In short, don't approach this issue as a single homeowner. Approach it as if you were a part-owner of a business, which is exactly what you are.



MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8711


10/26/2019 8:20 AM  
Don't overlook this little tidbit. The OP said the board wants to change the CC&R's. Well is it not up to the majority of membership and NOT the board to make changes? Do not believe this is a board decision in changing the rules but the entire membership. So if can not get a majority vote, then it dies as it lays.

Former HOA President
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:538


10/27/2019 9:02 PM  
I think your best bet is to talk to the board members and make an argument for why security cameras are good. I agree that there is no privacy issue but there are a lot of people who think you cannot video someone without their permission, so you may have to educate them. You could start with your local police crime prevention officer for education materials.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3328


10/27/2019 10:56 PM  
It's up to you but personally I am not a fan of cameras that allow outside parties to surveil the property. Keep it within the association? Fine. If done right I have to problem with that. It's when the big providers can essentially spy on you and have nameless employees who can look at live footage of the community in order to market you to their advertisers that I call foul.

Check out this article on how Amazon is coaching police departments on what to say about its Ring survellance cameras. They're doing this quietly in an effort to assemble a for-profit surveillance network. Amazon writes their press releases for them.

No thanks. If you think it's all about enhancing security and safety you haven't been paying attention.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3395


10/28/2019 6:23 AM  
.....but there are a lot of people who think you cannot video someone without their permission


Many people have issues with cameras. Its best to keep your camera hidden and secret. Tell no one.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1373


10/28/2019 7:12 AM  
I’m thinking, over time, our perspective wrt there being many cameras, of many varieties, is going to change.

HOA/COA/POAs will adjust, but the cameras do provide great opportunities for law enforcement to arrest, try and put bad folks away.
KennethS2
(California)

Posts:24


10/28/2019 10:15 AM  
IF you look at Amazon for the Ring doorbell you will find one that does the same thing but it is a "peep hole" camera. It is installed in your door peep hole. That might take care of the problem(?)

Ken
RaffiM
(California)

Posts:7


10/28/2019 2:52 PM  
there is a board of 3 there are 2 members that own 5 units between them .. one owns 3 and the owns 2 both are rented also one board member is employed by the other. Who's going to vote against his employer?...

Out of the 20 units one has been foreclosed on by the Hoa recently,

there are 19 votes there are now 6 total rentals that are absentee and 5 of those belong to the board members
RaffiM
(California)

Posts:7


10/28/2019 3:13 PM  
@CathyA3 I do not want to fight with the Hoa, I tried along with another home owner to plead my case and I was basically scolded and told not to talk. The board member just kept pushing the privacy issue, I have been talking to the home owners and everyone who I've talked to seems to be on board with letting people have their own cameras,I just feel that even if a vote wins the board is going to find some other excuse to make us take these down.
This Hoa has more important things to be worrying about and they don't need to be wasting time on a small issue like this... this makes me wonder on how really things are being run around here. I honestly do not want to go to meetings I just want things to run ok and vote when I need to, but I see property management does almost nothing in cleaning the place .. ie: fixtures have bugs, ect and it takes them days to get back to you if there is a problem.
We own these units but it feels more like we are renting apartments.


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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Ring and Blink Camera's Privacy issues HELP PLEASE!



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