BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
Here are some key points to consider:
- Privacy Concerns:
Video doorbell cameras can capture images and recordings of common areas and individuals entering or exiting the building. Privacy concerns arise when cameras capture the activities of residents, visitors, and even neighboring buildings.
- Co-op Governing Documents:
Review the co-op’s proprietary lease, bylaws, and any house rules to determine if they address the installation and use of video doorbell cameras. Some co-ops may have specific rules or guidelines regarding surveillance devices.
- Consent and Notice:
Before installing a video doorbell camera, it’s advisable to obtain consent from the co-op board and inform other residents about the installation. Transparency can help address privacy concerns and maintain a sense of community.
- Common Area vs. Private Space:
Co-op residents generally have more control over the interior of their units compared to common areas. Video doorbell cameras that capture common areas could raise issues related to surveillance in shared spaces.
- NYC Surveillance Laws:
NYC has strict surveillance laws that govern the use of cameras in public and private spaces. Be aware of these laws to ensure that the installation and use of video doorbell cameras comply with legal requirements.
- Reasonable Use:
Even if video doorbell cameras are allowed, they should be used for legitimate security purposes and not infringe on the privacy of other residents.
- Recording Audio:
In some jurisdictions, recording audio without consent is subject to more stringent regulations than video recording. Check local laws to understand the rules regarding audio recordings.
- Accommodation for Disabilities:
Consider the needs of residents with disabilities when implementing video doorbell cameras. Accommodations may be required to ensure equal access and security for all residents.
- Data Storage and Security:
Ensure that any recorded data is stored securely and is not at risk of being accessed or misused by unauthorized individuals.
- Consult Legal Professionals:
Given the potential legal and privacy implications, consult legal professionals who specialize in NYC co-op law and privacy regulations. They can provide guidance on navigating the installation and use of video doorbell cameras while complying with applicable laws.
- Co-op Board Approval:
If the co-op’s governing documents require approval for alterations or installations within units, seek permission from the co-op board before installing a video doorbell camera.
Please note that laws and regulations can change over time, and there may have been developments in this area since my last update. Always consult with legal professionals or relevant authorities to obtain the most current and accurate information regarding video doorbell cameras and other matters related to NYC co-ops.
Citations, References and Potentially Useful Resources for Further Information:
New York State Constitution
Federal Securities Regulation
New York State Martin Act
New York Condominium Act
New York State Security Regulations
New York Business Corporation Law
New York Limited Liability Company Law
New York Uniform Partnership Act
Federal Internal Revenue Code
New York State Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
New York City Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
Winston Churchill Owners, Inc. v. Regents Real Estate Associates
Board of Managers of the Park Regis Condominium v. Park Regis Owners Corp.
Park Sutton Condominium v. 447 E. 57th St. LLC
28 E. 10th Street Corp. v. Veras
Riverside Syndicate, Inc. v. Munroe
Essex House Condominium v. Marks
The Parc Vendome Condominium v. Atkinson
54-56 Meserole Street Owners Corp. v. Rossi
The Beekman Regent Condominium v. Bottiglieri
Chelsea 19th LLC v. West 19th Street Realty LLC
New York Department of Finance
New York City Department of Buildings
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
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