When police seek to obtain evidence about suspect residents involved in criminal activities, they may want to install video cameras in common areas of a community. These may have been installed with permission of the board or condominium manager with or without a warrant.
Condo boards and management have no authority to approve installation and operation of hidden cameras in common areas including parking, lobbies, elevators and hallways without a warrant authorized by a judge. Police are able to visually inspect common areas without consent of the board or management. Condo boards and management have authority to consent to police access to the building including hallways, lobbies and elevators.
When cameras are installed with an authorized warrant, they should not be situated so as to include coverage inside the suite from common areas.
Condo boards and management have no authority to consent to police access to a suite.
- Security cameras can be installed by condominium corporations in common areas so long as they are not hidden and not directed at suites, and residents informed that common elements are under video surveillance.
- Condominium corporations may allow police to access hallways, elevators and other common areas if informed of the possibility of criminal activity in the building.
- Police require a warrant for installation of hidden surveillance cameras in common areas. The condominium corporation does not have legal authority to grant consent.
- Condominium corporations may allow police access to the parking garage. This is considered an area where residents do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.