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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.

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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 at 19:16

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