Can you install security cameras in a rental property?

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

When it comes to wanting to install security cameras in rental properties, there are two sides of the coin. Landlords who want to protect their property, and tenants who want to protect themselves and their belongings. The legalities differ depending on which side of the equation you're on, so this piece will be broken down into two sections. We do suggest reading both sections so you're fully aware of your rights. However, if you're after a quick reference guide, feel free to skip to the most relevant section. 

We’re not lawyers, so treat this article as general advice based on our research of publicly accessible information. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with a legal professional.

Can tenants install security cameras in the property they're renting?

The short answer to this question is yes. Having said that, there are some complexities and extra rules that must be followed. 

Why would a tenant want to install security cameras?

There are many reasons why a tenant may wish to install a security system within the home that they're renting. The simplest reason is to improve the safety of the home that they're in, but there are other factors that could also contribute. These include deterring thieves from attempting to take your belongings, and knowing what's going on inside your home when you're not there. They could also be as simple as wanting to keep an eye on your pet while you're at work. In some cases, security cameras can also be an important personal safety measure, and in these instances, a landlord is not allowed to refuse installation. 

The legalities of installing security cameras in a property you're renting

Legal boundaries in terms of installing security cameras within your rental property vary from state to state. Because of this, it's a good idea to brush up on your local legislation before moving ahead with any plans.

In most cases, wired systems will be off the table as they require modifications that can cause damage to the property. Having said that, you may be able to install them in some instances with the permission of your landlord. This is due to the fact that they're generally not allowed to refuse reasonable modifications.

Please Note: We would only suggest going down this route if you require this type of system for your safety. In this scenario, you'll probably be required to pay for professional installation, and may also have to have the system professionally removed when you leave the property. 

The good news is that wireless systems are usually quite easy to get the green light for. In some states you won't even need to ask your landlord's permission. However, we still think it is a good idea to do so. When it comes to installing wireless security cameras within your rental property, the main rule is that they cannot be installed in a way that causes damage to the property. Your cameras must also point to your property only. It is important to remember that no matter what type of system you install, it is illegal to have them configured in a way where they can see your neighbours.

You are also free to install a wireless video doorbell. This is a highly recommended security upgrade no matter what kind of home you live in.

Can landlords install security cameras in their rental properties?

The answer to this question is both yes and no, depending on where the security cameras are located.

Why would a landlord want to install security cameras?

In most cases, a landlord wanting to install cameras at their rental property is simply a sign that they want to protect their investment. While some may have bad intentions, there are laws in place to protect tenants from this kind of behaviour.

A desire to install external security cameras protects both the landlord and the tenant. As such, it can generally be seen as a positive improvement for both safety and security.

The legalities of landlords installing security cameras in rental properties

The rules and regulations regarding security cameras are far more straightforward for landlords than they are for tenants.

Essentially, outdoor cameras are permitted as they make the property safer for both the owner and those inhabiting it. As the owner of the property you do not need to ask permission unless you are part of a body corporate. 

Indoor cameras, however, are illegal in all circumstances. This is due to the fact that they breach the privacy of your tenants and disrupt their quiet enjoyment of the premises.

In instances where you have external security cameras installed, it is best practice to show tenants where all units are located, and provide them with access to the feed.

What are the best security cameras for rental properties?

The best security camera for your rental property will depend both on whether you're a landlord or tenant as well as the intended usage of the system.

Regardless of which side of the coin you fall on, however, it is important to ensure that you are compliant with all local laws regarding the use of home security cameras.

Light Bulb
Finding the right security camera

Once you are sure that you've ticked all the legal boxes, we suggest reading through the below articles to discover the best option for your needs:

Compare the best wireless security cameras for rentals

Best for
Video resolution Icon Tooltip  Dark
Night vision
Learn more
Best overall
4.5 out of 5 stars
Indoor/outdoor, battery or solar-powered 1440p (2K) Colour/infrared
Best budget
4 out of 5 stars
Indoor, wired1080p Infrared
Best for outdoors
4.3 out of 5 stars
Indoor/outdoor, battery or solar powered2880p (3K) Colour/infrared
Best design
3.8 out of 5 stars
Indoor/outdoor, battery-powered1080p Infrared
Best viewing range
4.3 out of 5 stars
Indoor, wired 1080p Infrared
Best for Alexa
3.8 out of 5 stars
Indoor/outdoor, battery-powered 1080p Infrared

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Jessica Jones
Written by
Jessica Jones
Jess has been writing educational content for almost ten years with a focus on lifestyle content. She loves coffee, dogs and all things fitness, and can often be found with her nose buried in a book and her music blaring through her earphones.

Recent Articles