Q: We have a serious situation in our Midtown East condo building. Our board president has installed cameras above the doorman’s desk and in the passenger and commercial elevators. We suspect the cameras monitor conversations, as well as everyone’s comings and goings. But the doormen can’t see the video; only the board president and our superintendent can. The doormen go outside so they can talk to one another without fear that their conversations are being recorded. Can the board president spy on everyone like this?
A: Cameras that capture images in common areas of residential buildings for security purposes are lawful — though recording conversations, as you describe, is not.
You and your fellow owners should read the corporate documents to determine how to call a meeting and get some answers, said real estate lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey. “I recommend that the owner seek to call a special meeting using legal counsel, and if not an option, without counsel, and try to undo this arrangement on privacy and safety concerns,” he said.