If you own an investment property that you rent via Short-Term Rental there’s always the thought if the guests are respecting your property…
As a guest, privacy is a concern if security cameras are installed…
So, what’s the answer?
The simple answer is ‘yes’, so long as guests are informed via your House Rules / prior to booking + they do not infringe on privacy.
Booking platforms (Airbnb, Booking .com, HomeAway etc…) all have strict rules & policies surrounding security surveillance devices.
In Australia, surveillance cameras operated by individuals are not covered by the Privacy Act 1988, but they may be covered by State or Territory law, and the police may be able to help you with any questions regarding installation + privacy law.
What are the Pros & Cons?
Some Pros of installing a security device in your Short-Term Rental property, include:
- Peace of mind
- Ensuring the correct number of guests
- Prevention + deterrent of a party
- Prevention + deterrent of theft
- Evidence if an issue occurs
Some Cons of installing a security device in your Short-Term Rental property, include:
- The upfront cost of cameras
- Ongoing monitoring and maintenance costs
- Potentially fewer bookings
No matter which camera you decide to install, according to Airbnb’s rules, you must disclose their use. They also cannot be installed in private areas such as bathrooms or bedrooms.
What to consider;
There are number of factors to consider when purchasing a security / surveillance device;
- Ease of setup – Some cameras are easier to install than others, with a plug-and-play setup. Some cameras will require a trained technician to install.
- Wired vs Wireless – Generally speaking, wired systems provide better quality video, without the need to recharge or swap out batteries. Wireless are easy to install, but will require the need to recharge
- Alerts – Alerts can vary dependent on the system and if they have motion or sound detection. Some send text messages, emails, or short videos clips when an alert is triggered.
- Monitoring – Most systems use an App for monitoring and some have an alarm that can be set off, or two-way audio, if needed.
- Storage – Cloud-based storage is convenient for accessing but often comes with additional ongoing monthly fees. Hard drives can often hold more storage, but is not easily accessible remotely, and can be disabled if no power or guests can access it.
- Battery life – Depending on whether you choose a wired or wireless camera, you’ll want to consider if the batteries can be recharged or need replacing. Changing recording or alert settings can often extend the battery life of the camera, but at the cost of video quality.
- Night vision – Particularly important on outdoor cameras, especially if you have guests arriving after hours. Being able to clearly see visitors in low-light settings is an important safety consideration.
- Cost – Some security cameras simply require a one-time purchase for the camera itself, while others require the initial camera/s purchase plus monthly subscription fees for monitoring. Be sure to factor in any recurring monthly costs when choosing a security camera system.
Installing cameras will also depend on your property, location & nightly price (houses can attract guests who think it’s ok to hold a party…apartments are generally less likely to attract this type of guests).
A security camera can be a great way of protecting your investment from burglary, vandalism &/or misuse by guests.
At SleepOver Brisbane, we prefer to be overly cautious, so that guests are aware of our House Rules, while protecting our clients properties.
Contact Us to find out more.