CCTV in Swimming Pool & Gym Area | Common Property | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered
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Our Executive Committee want to install CCTVs over the pool, in the gym and at the entrance to the pool area. All this is on common property. They have said it is necessary because it is “the law”, but they are unable to state what laws. We are in Sydney, NSW. I have been through the Strata Schemes Management Act as best I can (I am no lawyer) and cannot find anything.
What law says this?
None that I know of. Never heard of a legal obligation to film people in the pool. Tell them that unless they can quote the law to which they refer they need to re-consider the approval because it has been done of false pretenses. They will, however, have to put up signs warning residents and guests that they are on video. And they need to be very careful about how much detail viewers can see and who has access to the feeds and recordings.
It’s one of those weird ones that has lawyers adjusting their briefs (the legal equivalent of ‘girding their loins’) in gleeful anticipation.
Easy bits first: the nude swimmer will be breaking any by-law you might have about being appropriately dressed while on Common Property.
But then you have that wobbly area between privacy laws and indecent exposure. For instance, if a man stands at his window in the nude and a woman across the road stares at him long enough to realise he’s naked, and they both scream at the same time, who committed the offense? The same question might apply to who is offended most – the skinny dipper or the person watching their nude frolics?
And in your case, presumably there is a facility for viewing these CCTV feeds so the question is, by whom and under what circumstances? And then there’s the whole social media catastrophe – if one of your residents accidentally exposes themselves and it ends up on YouTube, your EC may just as well hand the sinking fund over to their lawyer right away.
The critical answer is the positioning and power of the camera – near enough to see what’s going on but far enough away not to offend either the viewer or the viewed would be the ideal compromise. And all of this is covered by privacy laws, rather than strata law. I’ll go and find the relevant bits … just as soon as I’ve had a cold shower.
OK, I tracked down an earlier discussion which is quite informative. This is one bit of legislation you need to know, informatio supplied by StrataGuru Whale:
- The cameras should not invade resident’s rights to privacy in their units, so avoid positions that look directly at entry doors and windows;
- Compliance with the NSW Workplace Surveillance Act (2005) requires that Owners Corporation’s (O/C) and Residents provide advice of the surveillance to all contractors that they engage to work on the property. Our O/C covers that by placing a small CCTV symbol followed by a brief note on the bottom of all Work Orders that it issues.
You can read all about that HERE: http://www.flat-chat.com.au/fo…..rveillance
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