Neighbour's CCTV Pointing to My House - What Else Can I do?

Dear OzBargainners,

Here is yet another neighbour from [insert your choice a terrible word here] situation.

Our neighbour from [insert your choice of a terrible word here] has installed fixed cameras that, I feel, points onto my property where they can see through my large windows and into my living areas.

The idea of having a chat with this neighbour is unlikely to reach any meaningful or workable result so,

A quick google of this situation suggests that there are very few legal remedies, other than walking around the house nude for the said neighbour to see and forcing the neighbour to point their cameras away from my property.

Rather than my active crusade to go nude, I am thinking of a 24/7 passive protest by plastering my wall with large offensive (yet lawful) posters etc so they can see it all the time. Nobody else in the neighbourhood is able to see my windows unless they climb into my property or if they are flying a drone overhead and zooming in - so the public is definitely safe from any visual pollution that I cause.

If the neighbour complains, it is only proof that this person is using the CCTV to surveillance my property.

Apart from the above. Any other things I could do to annoy the neighbour's video footage of my property and me? :D

Comments

    • +5

      my mate is also in the same situation as OP

      Went to police to file a complaint, they said nothing they can do… told to go see the council.

      Went to council and nothing can be done either…

            • +4

              @GG57: its what Zoidberg does

    • This could be a good way especially if you have kids….

    • +2

      thanks for the laugh. The owner of the camera is under no obligation to let police check the camera footage and they certainly wont be kicking in any doors especially when its installed on his own property for what are most likely perfectly legitimate reasons and only "may" have vision into the living room of neighbouring property.

      in any case they arent going to be spending hours trying to sort out a petty neighbour dispute when its doubtful any actual offences have been committed

      • -1

        Glad to see you wouldn't even bother protecting your own privacy.

        Whereas I would.

        • not sure how you got that from what i wrote, but sure. cool story.

    • +2

      Dunno about Sydney but in Queensland I actually went to the police before installing cameras and asked about how it works looking at neighbours houses. They said it's completely legal if the main focus is you're property and only illegal if you have one say set to just look at neighbours houses specifically so yeah it's a fine line, mine is outside my front door but of course it can see through the windows of across the street if they leave them open (not good quality at the distance though) but yeah that's fine.

      Depending on how close OPs neighbours cameras are they may barely even show next door, let alone into the windows, I feel OP may be being paranoid personally.

  • +3

    Most security cameras are very wide angle. 140 degrees is common. one of my cameras on my veranda is technically looking directly into my neighbours windows. but in reality they would be a tiny spec, because the target is people ringing the door bell/ at the door.

  • +1

    I use the privacy mask feature on my cheap cam thingy. If my neighbor asked I'd show them that or remove the camera itself.

  • +1

    I'm out.
    - The property is not even OP's principal place of residence, so most likely not there often
    - OP and neighbour already in dispute
    - OP won't talk to neighbour
    - Only one side of the 'dispute' presented; we don't even know who started the dispute, about what, and if the cameras are the result of OP's neighbour nastiness.

    • +6

      That is cool if you choose to be out, this is all voluntary.

      I would believe there are always three sides to the story - mine, theirs, the truth - and practically, in most - if not all - threads here, only one side of that scenario is presented.

      Let us assume, that I am the wrong-doer / bad neighbour / whatever / I don't mind what assumptions are made. My point is, a neighbour can have a camera pointed in your direction, and from a legal point of view, nothing can stop them from stopping/changing that - other than their goodwill, cooperation etc.

      So yes, given I am not there often, I am happy to decorate my property. This does not affect me other than swinging by one afternoon - a few minutes away from my PPOR - and doing some creativity to our windows or what may be visible to the camera.

      Look, if the cameras are not pointing towards my place and I'm just worrying for zero reasons, then no harm done to anyone because the neighbour won't see a thing - and our windows are not visible from the streets/public in any case.

      • +1

        Why not rent it out, or save paying the rent, and let some other mug deal with it. Win win.

        Also ad mentioned elsewhere CCTV/security cameras have such a wide field of view that any camera that's against a wall on your side will either have your place in view or the lens will need to be pointed back at its own brick wall. It's not unreasonable to think that the person who set it up just wanted to maximise the field of view, and not spy on you. Having said that if you were on better terms with the neighbour you might be able to benefit from the added security one day

        • -1

          Thanks; yes your suggestion of renting it out is one of a few ideas. Renting it out to ex-prisoners would be a cool way but I need to investigate how to make this happen ;)

  • +4

    Fence extenders.

  • +2

    As others have said, what exactly are they able to see? How far away from your property is the camera? I'd say most wouldn't be capturing much detail if it is over 10m from your property anyway. Is the main purpose of the camera's to look into your property or is it also looking at say an entry point into their property. I have a few security cameras that look like they are aimed at the neighbours, but are actually at our side gates etc.

  • hi neigbour!

  • +1

    Can you mirror tint the windows?

  • +2

    Print out lemonparty photoshopped with your neighbors faces and point that at the camera

    • Instructions unclear, time machine not included…

      +1 for the reference to the Wild West days of the 'net though.
      Ah, memories of inventing all kinds of ridiculous pretenses to get highschool friends to go to that URL…

  • How about printing the relevant privacy law large enough on paper and put up in view of cameras. Maybe they'll get the message next time they check the feed. Some brands, such as eufy, allow the owner to set privacy zones which are specifically designed to obscure areas the cameras should black out on feed and recordings, they have to set that up though…

  • Yes, the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW) might as well be from 1907 - it only seems to care about recording conversation, but if the neighbour's camera has a microphone then it may well run foul of the act.
    Also, the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) has sections 91J and up which would certainly be relevant in this case.
    https://techsafety.org.au/blog/legal_articles/legal-guide-to...
    (IANAL)

  • Leave some body bags, fake blood splatter, knives around. Maybe add some pre-recorded screaming.

    Imitate home alone (original). See if the cops come

  • +2

    some reflective tinted film on the windows will give you privacy during the day.

    Night time IR torch focused on the camera. He can't see it, but the cam can.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003139545050.html?_randl...

    The camera will be blinded.

  • -1

    Talk to your neighbour I recon, most people are actually quite reasonable if you approach it properly.

    Failing that and if it comes to 'war' then aim a tightly focused spot light directly at the camera, attach it directly above your large window.

  • So is there much of a gap between the camera and your house? Our neighbour installed something like a Ring camera about ten metres across the street from our boundary. Used to trigger the search light when I would go out at night. That camera is unlikely to see much detail. Maybe those cctv cameras look serious but can't really pickup detail, unless he's literally next to/along your house. Also just had a bad incident happen recently in our street and the camera may have picked it up.

  • im nude right now my landlord had to over grow the trees around my windows so they could hide my privates away from the other residences

  • In your words “ I feel, points onto my property where they can see through my large windows and into my living areas.”

    I was in similar situation except I was the neighbour with the CCTV camera.

    And although the camera did appear to “point” towards my neighbour’s window it wasn’t directly looking into their room.

  • +1

    What makes you think they even look at their cameras? I set mine up 2 years ago, after the first week of making sure its working i havent looked at them unless a neighbours car has been broken into and they wanted me to see if my cameras picked up something. Im not interested in seeing whats going on otherwise.

  • +1

    How much of his property is he covering with the camera?

    I've never had to put up with this but I know if I had a camera and it was capturing some of a neighbours property I'd be masking off said neighbours property on the camera.

    Is this a feasible option?

  • +3

    I am not sure what your concern is. From my understanding you don't live there and are not there often so your privacy isn't actually compromised. It appears you just want to be outraged by anything due to past experiences with the neighbour rather than any actual negative impact on your privacy.

    I would look at it from this perspective; you now have free survellaince of your unoccupied property. If something goes wrong with your property for whatever reason, you can get the footage (either voluntarily from the neighbour you are hesitant to talk to or by the police requesting it).

    On the flip side for your neighbour, they probably know that the property is usually unoccupied, they might want the camera pointed at your property for their genuine security becasue if they know the property is unoccupied then would be thiefs may know as well. It isn't like you are there to respond to intruders on the property so they may be trying to make up for that.

    • Your comments are fair and offer a balanced perspective (based on what has been posted/replied to).

      As I am far more invested, it is difficult for me to see how this neighbour would be cooperative at all.

      You're right it is not about my privacy since I am not there but I am finding ways to be a nuisance IF the camera does look at my property. If the cameras don't face our side, then there is no nuisance done to the neighbour, as nobody else would see it and I am not there anyway.

  • +1

    Google ariel view with camera location and angle/field of view is needed

  • +1

    I’m a big fan of naked warfare. I had a neighbour, Ron, who was a nosy coot of a thing.

    Once I started fetching the mail in the nude, he promptly stopped being nosy with our side. Added bonus was I got free crotch ventilation and extra vitamin d!

    • If only your neighbour was you (ie. Had your name instead of Ron)…

      • +1

        I feel my assets are quite appealing Thankyou very much. Not my fault Ron is a prude!

  • Have a chat to Mr Plod, its illegal for anyone to video your property and the police will be happy to have a discussion with the owner.

  • Is it pointing at your property, or is it pointing at the road, and you happen to be at the other side of the road?

    If not, is the camera pointing at anything of theirs, a shed, front door, car port, etc. Do they have any other cameras? Maybe they have camers covering around the home.

    MS Paint would help, so we can see your house, their house and the position of the camera considering the field of view (FOV) of the lens which is probably 110 degrees.

    • I always wonder why people respond to an OP they haven't read…

      • What information in the post has Hugo missed?

        • Seriously? 1/4 of the OP talks about it.

          • +1

            @McFly: The OP keeps on harping on about a camera being pointed at their direction, but this could be a result of camera pointed at a gate, door, pool, something the camera owner is concerned about. This hasn’t been clarified.

            Still also don't know if there are multiple cameras capturing all angles of their lot. Maybe the camera owner is concerned about security. Not clarified.

            OP is just upset and even if the community agree with him, there is f**k all that the OP can do legally. Just live with it.

            All this crap about a dispute makes me think there is more to this then whats being released. Maybe they put the camera there because of conerns they have with the OP.

            • @mrhugo:

              All this crap about a dispute makes me think there is more to this then whats being released. Maybe they put the camera there because of conerns they have with the OP.

              ABSOLUTELY!

            • @mrhugo: Hey there @mrhugo

              As I have replied previously in this thread, there is always at least three sides to a story - mine, the neighbours, the truth.

              Nobody comes to OzBargain to start a thread with all three sides, it just is not possible. So what you get, is one side to the story - mine. Sure, it is a simplified story but the reader, like you, can deduce whatever, fill in the missing gaps, create a scenario, or add a layer of opinion/judgment to that story, decide who is right or wrong or whatever etc.

              You are right that I can't do anything legally, which I mentioned in the original post, and rather than sucking it up and "live with it", I came here to see what other devious strategies people might have to annoy this neighbour.

              If I put up large pictures of ugly animals on my windows then only the neighbour would see assuming their cameras look towards my property. Now, if the cameras do not look at my property, then there is 'no harm, no foul' since nobody sees anything.

              Anyway, thanks for your input. Happy to hear the pros and cons, and views of the wrongs and rights.

              • -1

                @TheMindsetTraveller: A long replies but you still don't answer any of the questions relating to the position of the camera, and if the camera is pointing at something that owner is interested in and your window just happens to be in the cameras field of view.

                Also you don't answer if there are multiple cameras.

                I see facts are not important to you, just spiteful revenge. All you care about is ways to further damage relations.

                And BTW, I see wanted to hang an offensive poster.???? WTF??? Just to offend others and bring undue attention to yourself?

                You sound like a wonderful neighbour. Grow up!

  • Ignore it and move on. Even the highest definition cameras would most likely not see much through the windows clearly.

    When your house gets broken into. I'm sure he'll be the first person you get in touch with to ask for footage to give to the police.

  • You really should just chat with your neighbour, even if you don't get along, because what do you have to lose when you don't have a great relationship, to begin with?

    Or as others have said, ignore it, I doubt it would see much anyway through your windows unless it's a few metres away and pointing directly into your window, which doesn't sound the case from the above?

  • +4

    I’m not sure if this would work but, if you have something moving in it’s line of sight, such as a wind driven fan, wind chime or something battery or mains powered, would that cause a movement sensitive camera to constantly be recording, filling it’s storage with useless footage and hopefully causing the owner to point their camera elsewhere?

  • +1

    Or you could just have a friendly chat with your neighbour and see how it goes first instead of doing all those things that seem deliberately aimed at provoking them.

    • +3

      Try reading the OP and their comments.

      • Already read the OP, but admittedly didn't read all the followup comments.

        In any case I think if OP wants anything to change the first thing to do is try to be cordial and have a chat about it. If the neighbour doesn't want to be cordial then at least OP can jot it down as one potential resolution they've tried if they need to take things further.

        I doubt the neighbour could are less if OP struts around naked or has offensive posters on the windows, more likely that would just end up being shared online if the cameras are indeed capturing it.

        • Yes, being cordial has come and is long gone.

          And you do point out valid comments about a high chance the neighbour's do not care about my antics.

  • Is he actually looking at your property, or is the camera in a suitable location for security on his property?

    If he just has a good spot for his camera to see his property, I doubt he's going to move it.

  • You might be over thinking it, at a distances, through a window with glare and whatever, they might not even realise they could see anything with a standard 1080p or 720p camera, unless they zoomed in and really payed attention.

    Whats the distance from camera to window?

  • Ms paint diagram please

  • Whats the model of camera? My cameras point into my neighbours but being the wireless type only record when theres movement in my yard in 30-60 second burts

  • +1

    I think you'll find most cameras sold in the shops do not have the resolution to see much/anything meaningful after a few metres.
    Let's say the camera is more than 4mm focal length and it is directly aimed at your house/window. During the daytime glare/reflection from the window will render most of the footage unusable unless your window is in a shaded area. During the night time, the IR array will reflect off the glass as well. If you really want to be sure, just point a UV light towards the camera, it'll dazzle it rendering the footage useless.

  • I had some CCTV installed at my property which were pointed along a walkway which ran along the side of my house.

    The installer electronically 'blocked' out the parts of the video feed that showed the neighbours house or private space. Neighbour naturally eventually enquired about it and I let them know that their private area was blacked/blocked out from any video feed.

  • Unless the neighbour is a peeping tom (in which case a hidden camera with better optics would be better I would think?) most people only examine their surveillance footage when something actually happens. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise?: in the event someone tries to break into your property you have an independent recording of the incident and having a camera pointing in your direction might also help discourage nefarious individuals.

  • Report to police. IIRC you can't film peoples property without permission.

  • +1

    Slightly off topic but I bet many of us are interested to know - what is the nature of the property that the cameras are looking at?

    From your description it appears to be residential as it is next door to your neighbour's house where they have installed security cameras. Additionally, it is not far from your PPOR. So what exactly is it? And being on ozbargain, if you aren't already, why aren't you making money from it?

    Is it another house that is vacant, a rental property between tenants, an empty lot with a see through tent pitched on it?!?

    • +2

      Maybe it is OP's grow house?

      • Many years ago we noticed police were in our next-door neighbour's backyard .. It looked like they were taking out these pretty green plants from the garage.

        Few years ago we also had a tactical police team in our street which was cordoned off… The neighborhood used to be so nice and quiet…

    • Mentioned somewhere in my reply, that it is a residential terrace style house. So adjoining walls, neighbours on both sides. Position and distance of camera? sits on their side, since everything is adjoining and their side is elevated, I am guessing it could see my backyard, deck and windows into the living areas. Distance to the windows would be say 7 metres. The house is vacant right now with a decision to sell/rent in the very near future.

  • point some cameras back?

  • It’s already been said - but also my cameras look across my front lawn and cover the road, but don’t show anything beyond that. I deliberately set them up that way. If you were outside my house looking at them though, you may reasonably think they are all looking straight at the neighbours property over the road.
    If my neighbours came and asked, I’d happily pull up the live feed on my phone and show them what the cameras are viewing.. which is not their house, despite what they clearly appear to be doing.

  • Your question has been asked before. My favourite response from an Ozbargainer was to attach a paint brush to a long pole and paint the lens of the neighbour's camera with black paint. I'm still laughing about that one. 🤣🤣

  • +1

    Here just read this for best advice on what to do https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/your-privacy-rights/surveill...

    • More specifically for the OP:

      CJC mediation helps neighbours resolve disputes and improve their relationships.
      More than 80% of the disputes we mediate result in agreement and there are no waiting lists.
      Call CJC on 1800 990 777 to discuss your neighbour dispute with us.

  • feel, points onto my property

    They could be CCP or CIA spying on you.

  • Is it maybe that it can't be helped? I have mine set to cover the road in front of my place (one a bend so we have visibility down both street). Looking at the footage, I can see the front of 4 houses.. not by choice, it's just a by-product of where we are situated. Thanks to distance however that's as much as I can see, detail is lost beyond the edge of my property.. all 4 have come over previously and said nothing about it.

    This offers an advantage to the whole street though.. We have had an instance where a neighbour had their car broken into and had footage of the offender and where he went, another had their house lit up by a passing car with a torch in the early hours of the morning, again were able to provide footage of the event.

    Might not be as sinister as OP is putting it, but a MS Paint diagram is needed for clarity.. could be the camera pointed entirely at OP's house, or OP's house it just part of the image by chance.

      • Mate, my only query was whether or not it is intentionally aimed at OP's house, or unavoidable. With OP too scared to actually talk with his neighbour, there's really no need to read each and every comment on this thread. I doubt very much it has been, or ever will be confirmed.

  • chuck a brown eye every morning, they'll soon change direction

  • We need dialogue btw OP and his neighbor first, if that failed WAR /s

    Seriously, sometimes problem can be resolve just by talking with your neighbor. You'll amaze sometimes get to know your neighbor can be a great thing. Wish Russia and Ukraine can do this.

    • Wish Russia and Ukraine can do this.

      Yeah … but their bitching was about missile launchers not innocent video cameras.

  • is it a wireless CCTV system ? might be able to jam it.

  • I’ve heard of these things called sheer curtains, apparently they’re hard to see through.

  • You should have a chat, I also have CCTV that has some coverage of the neighbours bedrooms, but you can use software to block areas from view both in real time viewing and recorded. they should be able to show it to you quite easily if it is.

    that said, if it was done DIY they may not have set it up that way.

  • Nearly all cameras are motion activated these days. Stick something up that will keep triggering it.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Flying-Hawk-Scarecrow-Garden-Bir...

  • Apart from the above. Any other things I could do to annoy the neighbour's video footage of my property and me? :D

    How about ignore it and it will go away?

    Ignoring others is the most annoying reaction for some people.

    Realistically, why will anyone pointing a camera inside your house?
    Perhaps a nearby spot is far more important for the person buying, installing and maintaining (meaning spending quite a bit of money in those actions) the CCTV

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