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HOA Guide to Installing & Using Security Cameras

person installing HOA security camera to home

Security cameras are becoming increasingly popular in communities throughout the world. Whether it’s a tiny doorbell camera to help catch porch pirates or an outdoor security camera connected to the cloud, these devices are becoming easier to install and cheaper to purchase. Homeowners' associations (HOAs) are looking at security cameras to deter crime and monitor common areas. But, before your board installs a new neighborhood camera, there are some essential things to consider. Below is all the important information your community needs to know about installing and using HOA security cameras.

Find Your HOA Security Camera Policy

The first and most important step your board should take is to search through the governing documents for any rules or regulations regarding camera use or an HOA security camera policy. These community documents will help inform what is or is not possible moving forward. If there are any questions, you should consult with your community association manager or your HOA lawyer for details.

Look into Local, State, & Federal Laws

Additionally, local, state, or federal laws may impact how and where your board can install HOA security cameras. The generally accepted law about camera usage emphasizes that everyone has a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy. What this means for your board is that you’ll likely be able to record in public areas, but it’d be unacceptable to point a camera at any indoor or privately owned spaces. Again, when in doubt, always consult with your manager or community lawyer.

Craft an HOA Security Camera Policy That Protects Your Community

After you’ve done your due diligence to follow all the rules and guidelines for camera use as it pertains to your community, it may be a good idea to craft specific HOA security camera policies that your HOA can start to follow. Set clear expectations for homeowners of where the cameras can be placed, how the footage will be stored, and who will be allowed to view it. Likewise, work with your board to establish a budget to support your efforts. Two of the most important things to keep in mind for your community camera policy are how the cameras will look and what will be done to protect resident's privacy.


Cameras can quickly become an eyesore. Plan carefully for your security camera installation and make sure they won’t negatively affect the aesthetics of your neighborhood. Likewise, consider possible weather conditions for outside cameras and use hardware that’ll look good and withstand the elements.


Always remember homeowners have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their community. Make sure cameras are never pointed into backyards, windows, or other areas that are considered private. Do your best to keep any saved video protected and have clear rules of who can access any files. Also, set standards for how long footage will be stored, and how it'll be deleted after an appropriate amount of time.

Budget for Ongoing HOA Security Camera Expenses

When planning and budgeting for your HOA security cameras, keep in mind that there can be ongoing expenses. Be sure to plan for these, including: 

  • Video storage
  • Maintenance
  • Upgrading hardware and software
  • Additional cameras for growing communities

8 Tips on HOA Security Cameras From a Community Expert

Julian White is a Business Development Manager at Associa Tennessee and has helped solve countless community issues, including when and how to install security cameras. He wants every association contemplating HOA security cameras to keep these eight crucial tips in mind.

  1. Unless written in the governing documents or state legislation, the board isn’t required to install security cameras.
  2. Only the HOA is permitted to install a camera in the common areas, or in a place that’ll record the common area.
  3. If the board is looking to install cameras, they should consult their community attorney, manager, and insurance agent to weigh the pros and cons.
  4. There needs to be an HOA security camera policy of who will review the footage and how often (daily, weekly, after an occurrence, etc.). 
  5. Homeowners need to be made aware of the camera policy. You can do this by posting it in the clubhouse, on a community message board, or through a community app like TownSq
  6. Footage from the security cameras should never be stored or accessed on a personal computer, including board members.
  7. No one person outside of law enforcement should review the footage in private.
  8. Recordings should be kept in congruence with the state's statute of limitations for personal injury claims.

Beyond HOA Security Cameras: Get More HOA Safety & Security Tips

Now you know about HOA security camera policies and how to properly install HOA security cameras, but you may want more expert advice to keep your community safe and secure. For additional assistance with protecting your HOA, check out our post on "5 Ways to Effectively Curb Crime in Your Community." 

HOA Security Camera FAQs

Do you need HOA approval for security cameras?

The governing documents in an HOA often require homeowners to get approval for exterior changes to their property, including the installation of security cameras. Check with your association's materials before making any changes to your home security system. 

Can HOAs restrict security cameras?

Yes, associations have a right to restrict the installation and monitoring of resident's security cameras. These restrictions often involve protecting the privacy of other homeowners in the community, such as allowing video to be recorded, but not audio, or requiring homeowners to have cameras that are only pointed at their property. 

About the Author

Julian White has over 7 years combined experience in Business Development and Marketing. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Julian moved to Nashville in 2016. Prior to joining Associa, Julian worked as a Marketing Director for an Occupational Medicine Clinic. He applies a genuine and honest approach to business development. He works by the standard of under promise over deliver. He empowers his team to be successful by working with the clients to learn their needs and find a solution within our procedures.

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