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How to implement an indoor camera

I’d like to install an indoor camera, but am worried about (a) weirding out and deterring guests from booking and (b) legalities. What is your experience with and advice on indoor cameras? Do you recommend I do it or not?

As an absentee host, I see plenty of benefits in having a camera. Unfortunately, installing exterior surveillance and a video doorbell outside of my apartment entrance is not an option for me.

As to an indoor camera, as I understand… any video and audio surveillance equipment in places where people may have a reasonable expectation of privacy may violate the law… so how should I do it in compliance?

I do not have a foyer or a separate room that guests walk into when they first enter. Guests come in directly into my living room. So how and where should I position an indoor camera? Should I install it in front of the front door, or maybe on the ceiling… with the camera pointing only towards the inside of my apartment front door (and not pointing to or capturing the couch and the rest of the living area which is in the same room too)?

Also, if you have an indoor camera, what language do you use to disclose it in your listing descriptions?

Would I need to get written consent from guests about indoor cameras?

And what feedback about it do you get from guests? Do you loose business because of guests not willing to book an apartment with an indoor camera? Any guests leaving bad reviews and complaining about an indoor camera?

I have cameras on both my properties - but outside. I am not sure I like the idea of having one inside. I indicate in the listing and the check in instructions that I have a security camera over the parking area. The cameras are also visible. I have not had any reviews or comments about the outside cameras.

I would have no problem with an indoor camera as long as it was disclosed and not in the bedrooms or bathrooms which is the law in the U.S. I believe that Airbnb permits indoor cameras as long as the host discloses that they are present and doesn’t install them in bedrooms or bathrooms.

A big fat NO!

The inside of my house & outside property are wired with surveillance cams better than a casino. However, in my locked-off space, I of course have nothing. That would be creepy for the guest and could open up a slew of accusations. Founded or not, who needs that nightmare?

Also, I read in another post that someone may have had their listing deactivated because of cameras.

What are you worried about exactly? Stealing perhaps? If that’s the case, put anything of real value, or that is irreplaceable in a locked off room. Put a wireless cam inside that room pointing at the door. Make sure the images/videos are instantly sent off-site and not stored locally.

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Hey @Colorado, unfortunately, I don’t have a separate room to lock valuables in. The issues an indoor camera could prevent are:

  • theft, vandalism or property damage
  • unauthorized guests and parties

Unfortunately, some of your concerns come with the territory.

Theft & vandalism are what proper insurance is for. Extra guests and parties are obviously harder to control if you’re not actually on-site. Pre-screen the best you can, cross your fingers and hope for the best :wink:

Air doesn’t allow indoor cameras. Read up on it in their Help center.

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I really doubt that there is any suitable language that would make a guest feel comfortable without it screaming between the lines ‘I DON’T TRUST YOU, GUEST!’

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"Can I install video or audio surveillance in my listing?

We expect hosts to respect their guests’ privacy. You must notify your guests about any security cameras or other surveillance devices at or around your listing, and get consent where required.

The use of surveillance equipment may also be against the law in some places, so make sure you understand your local regulations."

I would not book if there was a security camera in the house/room.

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Skylar, I would not stay in a place that had an indoor camera, it strikes me as weird.

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