You can read all of our articles on our website. Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and white list 

Should you get the permits / Camera questions for HOA
May 24, 2021
Should you get the permits
          We are looking to add your Concierge service to replace our Legalshield membership. Would you say its a similar program with you just more specialized in our industry?
          Also one of my clients who we used your contract for and multi-location Rider, Rider etc is asking us to pull their alarm user permits. Can we legally do this? It’s a commercial client building hundreds of locations in many states. So we are talking about municipality permits for police to respond to their alarm. 
Name withheld
          The Concierge Program is for alarm companies, not people who can't afford a lawyer.  Get off the fence and join.
          Regarding your customer’s permits, I’m not sure what they are asking you to do - perhaps find out what permits they need and get the applications.  The customer would have to sign and pay for the permits.  If this was consumer, not commercial, you would probably be required to at least tell the consumer what permits were required and get them the application.  You do not have to pay for permits.  If you are installing locally you should know when permits are required.  Your central station may know about permit requirements and you should ask them.  
          The All in One agreements make it clear that permits are the responsibility of your subscriber, not your responsibility.
Camera questions for HOA
          Couple of simple questions for your forum on CCTV.
          A client approached us and said they had an interesting correspondence from their resort HOA reviewing possible security enhancements for common areas of that resort specifically CCTV.
          The 2 interesting statements that were made in that correspondence were as follows:
1)  The HOA has decided not to pursue CCTV security enhancements in the common areas due to the increased liability potential.
2)  The HOA has decided not to install dummy cameras in the common areas as they are illegal.
          I happen not to agree with either one of these statements but I’d like to get thoughts and input on this.
          Thank you again for all you do for us. Very much appreciated.
Dave S.
Security One
          I don’t think you can make a blanket statement that installing cameras in common areas increases the HOA’s liability.  In fact, it could be the opposite; cameras could reduce exposure to liability.  The real issue is whether the cameras actually serve any purpose and whether that purpose is clear to those who may see the cameras and rely on them for security.
          For example, if cameras are installed and remote monitoring is performed by internal security or outsourced to a professional monitoring center, and the monitoring is effective, that would decrease liability potential.  If cameras are installed solely to record activity that can be viewed well after the fact then those cameras could not be relied upon to provide immediate detection triggering some response to aid a person in need.  Maybe the cameras are to keep an eye on the trees or grounds or statuary to be maintained by the HOA.  Sometimes the cameras are not intended to provide immediate security and the community needs to understand that.
          That leads us to the dummy cameras.  I don’t know that they are illegal in any state, let alone wherever you are.  But dummy cameras do pose additional risk because they create a false sense of some level of security, even after the fact viewing.  Can they be considered a deterrent to crime?  I suppose so, but everyone potentially relying on those dummy cameras would need to understand their purpose and limitations.  For example, a property owner puts up cameras, some dummy, around the building along with signs that make it clear that the cameras are for the protection of the building, not monitored live but are recording activity.  Notice is sent to residents and tenants that cameras cannot be relied upon for personal security.  The risk of increased exposure for liability would be considerable reduced.
          As a general rule, dummy cameras should not be used, cameras should clearly be for building protection and not personal security, unless personal security is intended, in which event the cameras should be monitored.  Scope of liability will be measured by the reasonable expectation of those relying on the cameras.  Use common sense if there are no laws that govern.
          I almost concluded with actual legal advice rather than layman opinion advice; do not install any cameras without the Commercial All in One or Residential All in One.  If all you do is cameras you can use the Camera Agreements.  Do no security work without a proper contract.

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreementsclick here:
You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.
NOTICE:  You can always read our Articles on our website at
THE ALARM EXCHANGEalarm classifieds alarm security contracts

    This area is reserved for alarm classifieds, alarm company announcements, solicitations, offers, etc. 
    There is no charge to post a listing here.Include your contact information, phone, email and web site.  If you would like to submit a post, please send an email to  To create a reciprocal link to our website, click here.

Getting on our Email List / Email Articles archived: 
    Many of you are forwarding these emails to friends or asking that others be added to the list.  Sign up for our daily newsletter here: Sign Up.  You can read articles and order alarm contracts on our web site
Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301