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Real estate Q&A: What are my rights if condo board refuses to provide parking lot security?

Gary M. Singer, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Q: I live in a condo and had a video camera in my patio area pointed directly at my vehicle in the parking lot for security. Management told me I would be fined if I did not remove it because it invaded the other residents’ privacy. I pulled the camera, and a few cars have been broken into. The board is refusing to do anything about it, saying they are not responsible for any vehicle damage. What are my rights? — John

A: You may take reasonable measures to protect your home if you do not infringe on others’ rights, including their right to privacy.

Many people use video cameras to enhance their security. It is estimated that everyone is caught on camera almost 80 times a day. Still, some places cannot be recorded, including anywhere that someone reasonably expects to be private, such as in their home.

Condominium common areas create an interesting question because they are both public in that all of the residents can use the area but are also private because they are not open to the public.

While you may install cameras in your unit, the law has developed to require approval from your board of directors before you can point your camera at a common area.


It is understandable that you are concerned about your vehicle and want to protect it. Surveillance is one option, but not the only one.

If parking lot security is an issue in your community, attend the next board meeting and request that the problem be addressed. Your board is your neighbors, and they do not want their cars damaged either.

If your board is reluctant to act, get your other neighbors involved. There is strength in numbers. While it may be easy for your association to ignore one or two complaining residents, it is impossible to ignore a problem when many people are demanding a resolution.

Review your community rules to follow the correct procedures to have your grievance heard.

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