Backstory: I recently had a lot of valuable belongings stolen out of my shared garage (rental unit) while I was away for a week. There was no sign of forced entry, and there are a few possibilities to how the gear went missing. It's possible my neighbor was: negligent; guilty of the theft; or neither (lock may have been picked, or a duplicate key might exist - the padlock is from before I moved in). While I do not plan on storing anything of value (except my car) in the garage anymore, I do want some piece-of-mind. I am also a little inspired by the recent viral videos of a homeowner engineering a "thief catcher".

I am considering secretly placing a security camera in the garage in a way that it only views 'my' half of the garage so as not to invade my neighbors privacy; I may also possibly place an item that seems valuable (empty safe, etc) in plain sight in case whomever stole my gear tries to get lucky again. Is secretly placing a camera in a shared space - but only viewing my property or my half - legal?

Pro-active edit: I am not looking for advice on how to safeguard my items in the future, or whether I should file a claim; I have already made my decisions such as buying a new padlock in case of unwanted key-duplication, and started acting upon them. I am only concerned about the legality of placing a security-camera in a shared space that I do not own, and whether turning the camera to only view 'my half' is legal or not. No loose items are stored on my half that are not mine.


Audio recordings require consent, video recordings do not. It would be an invasion of privacy to sneak into a person's bathroom and set up a secret shower cam, which you aren't doing. It would be trespassing to break into a person's living room (you need not even install a camera). But you have a right to be in your half of a shared garage. You can legally install a video camera your half of the garage (ownership of the property is not required, just the right to use it).

  • While I was aware of the requirement for consent for audio recordings 'in the back of my head'; I hadn't thought about that. Thank you. – Paniom Sep 18 '19 at 19:16

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