Security Cameras Gotta Go? – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
(WSVN) – They put a doorbell camera in the front and small surveillance cameras in the back to see what’s going on. Not a big deal unless you live in a South Florida condominium association, and when a homeowner was told to tear down his apartment, he reached out to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser about a way to keep it.
When we got to Lech’s door, we didn’t have to knock. His doorbell camera let him know we were there.
Lech Zalewski, surveillance cameras have to go: “The camera is basically my eyes when I’m not at home.”
When Lech’s doorbell stopped working, he replaced it with a doorbell camera and attached two cameras to solar lights on his balcony.
Lech Zalewski: “One on the east side points to my car and the boat, and the west side points to the rest of the boat in the canal and in the pool and on the other side of the parking lot.”
But since it’s a condo, another neighbor wants you to undo it if you do something.
Lech Zalewski: “He didn’t like it because he thought my camera was pointing to his balcony.”
Lech thought of nothing from the balcony cameras until he received a letter from the association’s lawyer accusing him of altering the common area of the building, especially the exterior walls and balcony.
Lech Zalewski: “The letter from the association’s lawyer told me that I had to remove my cameras immediately within 48 hours.”
The letter surprised Lech because he knows the rules. He was once the president of the apartment.
He also knows that other neighbors have doorbell cameras and the club has cameras scattered all over the place.
Lech Zalewski: “The building has around 20 cameras. There are cameras everywhere. “
Lech is also surprised that he is accused of having changed ownership as the two cameras on the balcony are tied to his solar lights.
Lech Zalewski: “I installed these lights maybe eight years ago and the lights didn’t bother anyone.”
But these cameras are obviously interfering with his condo association.
Lech Zalewski: “This shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s just – I’d stand on the balcony and look outside. “
So Lech’s question: What is he doing?
Lech Zalewski: “I will follow Howard’s advice on how to proceed.”
You turn on the camera, Herr Finkelstein.
Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “You can keep the doorbell cameras, but the balcony cameras are a closer association as condominium associations have great power in regulating what you can put in public areas and outside walls and balconies as the association does thinks a change of ownership is possible, but here is a loophole: If Lech wants to watch his boat and car, put the cameras on a tripod or attach them to his chair. The association has no control over it. “
I spoke to the apartment lawyer. He said doorbell cameras are allowed as the door is not considered a common room but the balcony cameras are not allowed. He said that if Lech is concerned about security, the club has 20 cameras.
He added that Lech could achieve whatever he wanted and follow the rules by putting a surveillance camera on the boat.
When I asked if he would agree to set up the cameras on tripods or furniture on the balcony, he said probably depending on where they were pointing.
Howard Finkelstein: “A lot of condominium documents were written 20 or 30 years ago, before security cameras were so small and cheap. Condos are having to rewrite their documents to accommodate a safer world. “
If the housing association doesn’t change its old rules, Lech could put the cameras on his chairs or a tripod, but he just doesn’t understand why there is so much fuss about a small camera.
Lech Zalewski: “I just want you to leave me alone and leave my cameras where they are.”
If Lech doesn’t want to put the cameras on a chair, he has another option.
If you live in a condominium association, you can use what is known as binding arbitration to take up the disagreement and let an independent arbitrator decide who is right. It’s a great option for a condo owner when they can’t get the board to change the rules.
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