There are a lot of questions that arise when you learn your new listing has security cameras installed. First, understand the difference between potential buyers walking through the house and tenants who have moved into a house. When it comes to potential buyers, the New Jersey Real Estate Commission informally has taken the position that the listing agent does not have a duty to disclose there is a security camera system in the house. However if the listing agent is asked about a security system, the listing agent must, of course, provide an honest response.
Although the same rules would apply to potential tenants who are walking through a property, once a tenant moves into the property, there are vastly different privacy expectations that the tenant understandably would have. Use by the landlord of a security camera system inside the house, and possibly outside the house, after the tenant has moved in likely would violate the tenant’s privacy rights and subject the landlord to civil damages and possibly even criminal charges.
Although there typically does not appear to be a duty to disclose to buyer and buyer’s agents that there is a security camera system in the house, it probably would be in your best interest and the best interest of the seller to disclose its existence use it as a marketing tool. However, when the property is being rented, care should be taken to ensure the security camera system is not improperly used by the landlord during the term of the tenancy.
New Jersey Realtors® will be adding a provision to its lease to address this issue. The updated lease will be available in the coming weeks.