The relationship between landlord and tenant is a complicated one. While there are rules regarding both landlord and tenant rights, the laws differ from state to state and are often difficult to implement.
In an ideal world, you would get along great with your very accommodating landlord. But if you struggle to see eye to eye, you are not alone.
Security is one big issue that often comes up between landlords and tenants. It is the landlord’s job to ensure that the home is secure.
However, how much security is necessary is debatable. Some landlords will claim that a working lock is good enough!
If you've moved into a rental that does not feel secure enough, you may approach your landlord with the suggestion of CCTV cameras. In some cases, landlords will be all-too-happy to improve the security on their own property. Others will give you trouble, unconcerned about what happens to your possessions.
So what do you do? Should you fight your landlord to get security cameras or should you bite the bullet and do it yourself?
First, it is important to note a type of security the tenant always needs to take care of.
Many renters do not realize they need to take out insurance. They assume that the landlord’s insurance will cover them as long as they are on the property. However, this is not the case at all.
What is renters insurance? Renters insurance covers your possessions while living on someone else’s property. It is a cheap way to protect yourself in the event of theft or other loss of property.
Renters insurance can also include personal liability cover, which takes care of claims made against you by others for damages to their person or property.
Without renters insurance, no amount of security is enough, as an unanticipated catastrophe could destroy all your possessions.
Now, here are the reasons you may want to install your own security cameras at your rental.
Since you are living on the property, you should have control of security. If the owner of the property has security cameras installed, they may want to have sole access to them. They may not trust you to monitor the cameras and will be more interested in keeping their property safe than your possessions.
Installing your own cameras gives you full control over how to use them. If you go for wireless cameras, it will be particularly easy to take them with you when you move into another place.
By far the biggest reason for installing your own security cameras is privacy. Now, we’re not suggesting that your landlord is going to install cameras in the home while your guard is down. This would obviously be illegal (and would be done in secret, in any case).
However, when your landlord installs security cameras, they get immediate access to some very significant information. They can get notified when you enter and leave the home. They can see who you are having over. They can see where your car is parked and when you leave it unattended.
In other words, they become the biggest security threat to your possessions. They can make it very difficult to trace a theft back to them, as they know where the cameras are and how to avoid them.
Is your landlord going to rob you? Probably not. But if they have access to your CCTV system, they have more information about your comings and goings than you should feel comfortable with.
Furthermore, there are certain things you do not want your landlord to know even if they are perfectly legal. Your landlord may not be able to do anything with the information of who you bring home, for example, but you certainly don’t want prying eyes.
Installing your own security cameras at your rented home gives you control over the CCTV system as well as your privacy. You can take them with you when you move to a new rental or buy your own home.
Doing it yourself saves you the trouble of fighting with your landlord, while ensuring they do not have more access than you are comfortable with.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 19+ years of experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems. He is currently working for Axis Communications as a Technical Services Engineer and living in the United States with his family.