For better or for worse CCTV cameras record us every day as we drive or use public transport, are at work or in many public spaces such as shopping malls.
A growing percentage of Australians now live in units / apartments. If you’re one of those people you might incorrectly think that you have the right to install a video doorbell outside your front door or a security camera in your car park space
Two recent NCAT decisions confirm that lot owners generally do not have the right to install security cameras on common property without first obtaining the consent of the owners corporation. Where they do not obtain that consent, then the owners corporation is entitled to require the security cameras to be removed.
Common property in a strata apartment building roughly refers to any area outside your apartment eg the front door, hallways, dedicated parking lot marking lines, lift etc.
While strata apartment laws are different in each Australian state and territory it would be safe to assume that similar restrictions about installing security cameras on common property apply to the rest of Australia outside of NSW.
So if you’re pondering installing a video doorbell, CCTV system or any other surveillance device outside your apartment including in your car space ask permission from your owners corporation or strata committee first and don’t be surprised if they say no.
Reader Jimmy Wong sent in this useful clarification:
If the carpark is part of a lot then it is not common property despite being outside the apartment. Although the ceiling and floor structure, walls etc adjacent to the car space generally are common property, so fixtures cannot be installed without prior OC approval.