It is definitely uncomfortable to find out that your neighbor has been audio recording you on your property. Surely there should be laws that protect you from such ill-mannered behaviour after all it’s your property and your privacy should be respected. Below we discuss if its acceptable for your neighbor to audio record you on your property.
NB: the laws regarding audio recording vary from state to state. In some states neighbors are allowed to record your voice only and not your face whilst, in other states they can record both audio and video. So make sure you check the laws in your state before doing something stupid.
Table of Contents
- 1 Wiretapping law
- 2 Can my neighbor record my backyard?
- 3 Can my neighbor video record me on my property?
- 4 How to tell when your neighbor is audio recording you on your property
- 5 Actions to take when your neighbor audio records you on your property
- 6 Conclusion
There is a law known as the wiretapping law which protects people from being recorded anonymously. This law indicates that it is illegal to record someone’s private conversations be it over the telephone, in person or in a public space. So if your neighbor records you in your private home without your knowledge you can actually sue them for that. However, it is important to know that the court can still override the decision based on the contents retrieved in the audio recording. If the audio recording proves a crime you committed or an argument with a neighbor then you might not exactly win the case. Therefore always make sure you are on the right side of the law before taking legal action.
Circumstances when audio recording is considered lawful
There a number of cases when the wiretapping law can be applied for example if your neighbor audio records you when you and your spouse are arguing even in the bedroom. Surely the bedroom is a private place, however if the argument is loud enough to wake up the neighbors then an audio recording of the argument will not be a violation of the law. The other circumstance were audio recording is considered lawful is when your neighbor records an argument between the 2 of you. This audio recording is treated as evidence for a problem in court. Therefore, it is not regarded as a violation of privacy.
Circumstances when video and audio recording is illegal
Firstly, video and audio recording becomes illegal when your neighbor posts the content on social media without your consent. This is a violation of your privacy rights and you can actually sue them for that. The other scenario when video and audio recording become illegal is when your neighbor records your children in their bedroom and then posts the content for vile purposes. Furthermore, if you feel like your neighbor is spying on you and you do not feel comfortable, seek professional help.
What to do if my neighbor audio records me on my property.
The first thing that you need to do if your neighbor audio records you your property is to talk to them. This should not sound like a confrontation, so you need to be as polite as possible. If they have cameras that are facing your house and they can see what’s happening inside your property then you should raise your concerns with them. Politely ask them change the angle of their cameras. If they refuse to reach a compromise you can block their view by either putting up curtains or a fence. If this fails and you strongly feel that they are violating your privacy then you can always opt to notify the police.
Can my neighbor record my backyard?
If your neighbor has surveillance cameras that are pointing in the direction of your backyard you might be really worried and concerned about your security. However, it is important to know that it is within your neighbors legal right to record your backyard as long as they do not record your private rooms for example your bedroom, bathroom and your living area etc. So if you feel like your neighbor’s surveillance camera can record your private rooms then that’s when you can take legal action against them. However, always try to talk to them first before involving the police. It’s always wise to maintain good relations with your neighbors.
Can my neighbor video record me on my property?
Although it might sound dodgy or illegal it is actually deemed lawful for a neighbor to do that especially if their surveillance cameras are pointing to your property. If you are in plain view, ether in your backyard or porch your neighbor can audio record and video record you on your property? However, when your neighbor records you inside your house where privacy is expected then they would have violated the law and you can sue them for that.
How to tell when your neighbor is audio recording you on your property
Technology has made it extremely difficult for people to tell when they are being recorded by their neighbors. This is because modern technology is small and silent but, you can look out for any of these signs. Firstly, listen for a buzzing sound, a number of microphones and other recording equipment produce a buzzing sound when they are recording. The second thing to look out for is for clicking sounds. If you hear any of these 2 sounds then there is a chance that your neighbor is audio recording you.
Actions to take when your neighbor audio records you on your property
The first thing you need to do when your neighbor unlawfully audio records you on your property is to gather enough evidence to support your claim. Once you have the evidence, approach your neighbor with the evidence and have a descent conversation with them. If this fails, take your evidence to court. Investigations will begin and if your neighbor is found guilty they will be fined or sent to jail.
Privacy is a very important thing and although you might feel like your neighbor is violating your rights, sometimes the law gives them authority to behave in certain ways. So if you are facing problems with your neighbors it’s always best to communicate with them before taking any legal action.