Legal Hotline: Can I Put Surveillance Cameras In My Vacation Rental Properties?

Q. Can I put surveillance cameras in my property to make sure the tenants in my vacation rental are following the rules?

A. No, while it is certainly understandable that you would want to make sure the provisions of the lease agreement are being followed, placing surveillance cameras in your property may subject you to both criminal and civil liability. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 214, Section 1B protects a person’s “right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with his privacy.” Although you, as the landlord, own the property, the people who rent it – whether for a week or a year – are using it as their home and are entitled to their privacy while there.