Do I Need Permission to Install CCTV at My House?Posted on Monday 7th March 2022
Installing CCTV at Private Domestic Properties
Private Domestic Properties -
If your CCTV system is within the boundaries of your privately owned property (including the garden), then you do not need permission to install it. Whilst you may not need permission to install CCTV, you do need to operate a surveillance system in a respectful and responsible manner, and design it to have as little impact on areas outside of your property as possible. You also need to consider that if you rent your home you will need to gain permission from your landlord, and if your property is listed then you should contact your local authority first.
The ICO (the Information Commissioners Office) is the UK’s independent regulatory body responsible for overseeing information rights in the public interest. They regulate and enforce the UK’s data laws. By installing a CCTV system, you will have to comply with their guidelines (businesses and organisations need to register with them). For private domestic properties, the ICO recommends that you set up the system to offer the most privacy to others’.
The easiest way to make sure that your surveillance system will adhere to the ICO’s recommendations is to answer the following questions:
1. Why Do I Need CCTV?
Ask yourself this question to make sure that you have a legitimate need to install a surveillance system at your property. The most common reason to install CCTV is for security – could installing lighting and upgrading locks be sufficient security?
2. Have I Optimised the Design?
CCTV systems are complex things to design. Each camera needs to be installed out of reach of people, be able to view the area fully whilst only viewing up to your property boundary, and to be able to do what you want – such as see colour images at night, have smart algorithms on it so that human activity only will alert to your phone, or be able to be moved around by you at the touch of a button. Most modern IP network systems have minimal cabling, which is great for reducing the cost and mess compared to digging cable trenches around the site – but does require the use of network links to send the camera images back to the recording box. This can get difficult to get right if you are not familiar with the way that networking equipment works.
Asking for an experienced CCTV installation company to design the system for you will mean that you get the most effective surveillance cover on your domestic property. This may reduce the number of cameras that you need to sufficiently cover your property, or utilise a combined CCTV and alarm system (which are more cost-effective than having two separate systems). After an initial site survey, the company should send you a design proposal that covers all of your needs. At O.R.P Surveillance, our surveys are completely free-of-charge and with no obligation to commit. The person who surveys your property is a CCTV installation engineer with the knowledge and experience to accurately design a bespoke system for you. They will design a surveillance layout of your property, tailored to your property layout, and send you a proposal and estimate usually via email. This proposal will have a breakdown of each piece of equipment. Bear in mind that this first estimate can then be altered as much as you like – removing equipment or adding extra until you are 100% happy with the design.
Whilst designing a CCTV system, we take into account the following:
What areas of the property do you want to capture?
Will any of the cameras capture images from outside the property boundary? If so, can they be moved, or could a privacy screening algorithm be used?
If you have cameras that capture images outside of your property, then the data protection laws will apply to you (DPA18 and GDPR). You will become a data controller and will need to register with the ICO. You will also need to put up signs to inform people that the recording is taking place, and include your details in case someone wants to contact you about it. For more about this, see https://www.orpcctv.com/19-do-i-need-permission-to-install-cctv-.html
Are the cameras sufficient for the purpose? For each camera position, we consider:
the Range of each camera;
Night-time images (colour night-time images or black and white)
Image quality – what megapixel image would be best (the answer is not always the highest MP)
Whether the camera is a turret, bullet or dome;
Does the chosen location have sufficient fixings;
Will the cameras be fixed high enough so that they are not damaged or tampered with;
What footage storage do you require (or is having a live feed only enough);
Capturing night-time images does not mean you will capture number plates – they give off too much glare and require specialist cameras to read them;
How will you view the cameras? Will this be via your mobile phone or device only, via a monitor in your house, or both? Will the way you view footage be secure? How long do the images need to be kept? Most modern recording boxes automatically delete footage after a certain time frame.
Once you have a design that you are happy with, the next step is getting it installed. Cameras should be installed at height, and working at height comes with risks, so make sure that work is carried out safely at all times. We suggest you ask a company experienced with working at height, and who are able to assess whether using ladders or a MEWP (Mobile Elevating Work Platform) would be more appropriate for each location. At O.R.P, we have an in-house cherry picker van (MEWP) which reduces the cost compared to hiring one.
Once you have an installed system, you should consider its maintenance. At O.R.P Surveillance, we include a free 3-year warranty on the equipment we install. We can also set up remote access to your system, which means that any issues you might have could be solved quickly and efficiently.
To maintain your surveillance system, we suggest that:
The system should be regularly viewed – looking at each camera once a month or so to check that there are no issues with the view.
Servicing the cameras – we suggest twice a year for most systems is sufficient. Spiders love to build webs over camera lenses, and cameras occasionally need to be refocused or repointed.
Plan ahead if you need to change your internet router – with modern wireless networks, changing the router will mean that you will not be able to remotely view the system until the CCTV system has been set up on the new router. If you have advanced notice of changing your router, it is best to arrange for the system to up changed over just after the router is installed, to avoid being without CCTV.
What If My Home Is Listed?
If any part of your property is listed, then you will need to check with the relevant historical building’s body (such as Cadw in Wales, NHLE in England, HERoNI in Northern Ireland, or HES in Scotland), and go through the appropriate planning applications for this.
What If I Rent My Property?
If you rent your property, then you should gain permission from your landlord.
For more information on using CCTV responsibly at your private domestic property, use this link to the ICO’s website: