01-12-2016 11:27 AM
I'm considering installing a "nanny cam" in a common area in my apt to monitor things since I'd like to be able to rent my space when I'm not there sometimes.
The camera would cover the living room, kitchen and apt exit, not the bedroom or bathroom. It appears to be legal in NYC.
My question is, should I inform guests that the apt is monitored? I was thinking that if they knew that, it would deter theft, parties, etc and I just wouldn't have to worry. Where as if they didn't know, they could still steal but I would have a record of it. But I'd prefer to just prevent it upfront.
01-12-2016 11:33 AM
You absolutely must disclose any hidden camera to guests. There is no way around it. You can be as clear in your description as you are here in your disclosure. You'll see that there are already some bad press mentions about hosts having hidden cameras, and guests finding them.
I personally think that it's a bad idea, but I do have cameras outside. I actually just installed a Ring doorbell ( can be mounted witout wires outside apartment door) so that you can track the comings/goings of your guests from outside the private space. So in theory you'd be abloe to see if someone walked away with your tv set, but you woudn't see if someone took something and put it in their luggage.
01-12-2016 11:40 AM - edited 01-12-2016 11:41 AM
I agree with everything @Maria has stated. I would also add that there is currently a lawsuit (http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/16/10318300/airbnb-hidden-camera-lawsuit-california) happening between a guest and host as the host did not let the guest know there was a camera. Just because it is not in the bathroom or bedroom, there are many issues I would have as a renter. Several people walk around naked or may have intimate relationships outside of the bedroom. There are also privacy issues as you could listen in on conversations which really are no business of a host.
I have several cameras outside my house which were installed before Airbnb but if I knew I was booking a listing with cameras inside, hidden or not, I would not choose to book that listing. I believe if you are going to install a camera inside your listing, you should make it VERY CLEAR in your listing.
This has been discussed before and I know there are verying positions on it. What do other hosts think?
01-12-2016 11:46 AM
01-12-2016 11:49 AM
01-13-2016 01:31 PM
@Megan I would not for a milli-second consider installing a camera inside the hosted space! I could not think of a more invasive way to intrude on a guests privacy (bar sitting in an armchair in the corner)!
Megan, there has to be a certain element of trust attached to hosting! Heavens above, I have a full on library, and some quite highly priced artwork in my studio plus a lot of personal things but, it adds enormously to the homely comfortable ambience of the space.
I even have hanging on one of the walls the one and only picture of my mother, taken in 1932...she was a beautiful woman but never thought it of herself and systematically destroyed every other photo she found! It's a beautiful personal touch, it makes guests feel they really are welcome...and, after all, who is going to steal a photo for goodness sake!!@!
Somebody once said to me on looking through the cottage..."Don't put anything in there that you aren't prepared to loose"! But, hell, you can't treat people like that.....and I have only ever lost one thing.... a couple of books a 'Christian' couple, here for some new church dedication in the area borrowed, and didn't return!
There are remedies with Airbnb if theft happens and, if you are concerned about theft set up a suitable stratergy with Airbnb. In a shared facility it's always a good idea to have a couple of locked cupboards that you put things into that are not for the guests use....It can be a cupboard in the kitchen, or the Linen press or similar. At least this sets the ground rules without making a big deal of it.
Megan...camera....definitely not!!!! Cheers....Rob
08-26-2017 11:18 PM
01-12-2016 01:01 PM
I have a camera in my main area and I disclose it to my guests. I have been told that it makes my guests feel safer. I have more than one room that I airbnb and I am also in NYC, meaning I actually live in my listing. Just having a camera outside of my apartment is not enough because I've seen guests try other guests doors including my own. They could easily put stolen items in their own room and leave unsuspected days later.
01-12-2016 01:22 PM
01-12-2016 06:14 PM
Airbnb and laws in most location require the disclosure of cameras. We have cameras to monitor entry ways and common areas. They are mentioned in our listing, and we let guests know when they check in. If you have secret cameras, you are just going to make Airbnb sites suspect for guests.