Is it legal to install CCTV for HDB flats?– It depends on what the CCTV is able to see and record.
Installing CCTVs inside your home is legal– for surveillance that is within your home interiors– with consent from the homeowner and tenants, if applicable.
Installing CCTVs at your home that faces the main corridor, common areas or a neighbor’ unit are not allowed– as this infringe with others’ privacy.
There are exception when there are ongoing illegal acts outside your flat, such as harassment from loansharks, theft, destruction of property, or other acts of mischief. Under these circumstances, you may apply for a CCTV to be installed to help the police gather the necessary evidence.
You will need to follow these 4 steps:
- Make a police report with details of the harassment or illegal activities outside your flat.
- Contact your Town Council and apply for permission for a CCTV installation with a proof copy of the police report.
- Once application has been approved, contact a licensed vendor to install the CCTV. You are not allowed to install the CCTV alone, unless you hold a Security Service Provider license.
- CCTVs have to be taken down in the next six months
Why? CCTVs that face the common areas or your neighbor’s home can only be installed for a maximum of six months. Once this approval period is over, you’ll need to remove the camera.
Failure to do so is a breach of Town Council by-laws, this can result in a fine of up to S$5,000.
CCTV cannot be deemed intrusive to other people
Common spaces are shared with your neighbors, they have rights to their privacy.
If your CCTV is deemed intrusive and interferes with others’ property, your neighbors may lodge a complaint against you.
If this happens, you may be asked to take corrective measures, this includes altering the direction the camera is facing, or even removing it completely.
Doorbells or peepholes with recording functions may require approval
Most smart doorbells and peepholes that are capable of recording outside your home– they are considered CCTVs. Therefore, they may require approval before installation.
For smart doorbells with recording functions, the Town Council’s approval is required before installation, since these devices will be installed outside your unit.
For digital peepholes that are installed on your main door are considered to be inside your flat. Hence, no approval is required for installation.
However, if your neighbors feel intruded by your video peephole, they are allowed to lodge a complaint against you to have your the video peephole taken down.