Interesting issue sent to me by Steve Wolf from Palm Beach Fl.  Do additional surveillance cameras constitute a material alteration to the premises thus requiring approval of a vote of the unit membership, as opposed to just Board approval.  It's really a condo assoc problem but alarm companies don't want to be in the middle of the dispute.  Though the issue arose in Florida other states probably have similar law.  The law in question provides:
    Florida Statutes  Section 718.113(2)(a)
    Except as otherwise provided in this section, there shall be no material alteration or substantial additions to the common elements or to real property which is association property, except in a manner provided in the declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein. If the declaration as originally recorded or as amended under the procedures provided therein does not specify the procedure for approval of material alterations or substantial additions, 75 percent of the total voting interests of the association must approve the alterations or additions. This paragraph is intended to clarify existing law and applies to associations existing on October 1, 2008
    So material alteration and substantial additions to common elements requires membership approval.  One exception is necessary maintenance.  That may include danger to the common area or members.  In the case of Warner Trust v. Azure at Bonita Bay Condominium Asn., Inc the parking area had 3 cameras and the board had 2 more installed claiming that workers and others were gaining access in violation of the condo rules.  An Arbitrator did not believe this met the necessary maintenance exception and required the Condo Board to get approval of the membership, which in this case required 2/3 vote approval.
    The article I read focused on the exception rule.  I agree that the cameras were probably not necessary maintenance, but I don't see how two cameras could be considered a material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements.  
    Kaiser Permanente a hospital in California is installing Cameras in all patient rooms.  This doesn't seem legal, is it?
Steve Ghent
Ghent Electric
Answer by Jesse Kirschenbaum,Esq
            If the hospital is installing cameras in all patient rooms without consent, then yes it is illegal.  In California it is a crime to record others without the consent.  Anyone who violates this law can be fined $2,500 and imprisoned up to one year.  This situation arises in a number of situations and courts consistently find that recording others in places where one should reasonably expect privacy is illegal. A patient clearly expects privacy in their hospital room and unless they consent, any video recording of the patients while in the room is illegal.
    For example, there was a case in California where an employer installed cameras in his office after several employees complained that someone had been using their computers the night before to look at pornographic websites. After installing the cameras the employer caught one of his night shift employees using the computers to visit porn websites.  The case ended up in court and the court held that the installation of cameras in the office was illegal since the employees didn’t consent and the video recordings violated the employees reasonable expectation of privacy. In another California case, students brought a similar suit after they discovered the school installed cameras in the locker room. The school argued that the cameras were necessary for security reasons.  The court found this to be illegal and found the reasons for installing the camera irrelevant.
    However, there can be consent and that consent can be included in the admission papers the patient signs.  The hospital counsel should be smart enough to cover this, or smart enough to hire a security - alarm expert lawyer.  But the patient isn't the only one in the room.  Hospital employees will have to consent in their employment agreements.  Another category would be the visitors.  They too will have to sign a consent.  
    Thanks for your full-throated explanation on why you endorse SARRG, Bart, and the relative importance of your contracts during claims.  I'd like to say I am switching to SARRG only because you endorse them. But I suspect a lot of company owners are like me and have the "prove it to me" attitude ingrained.  
    Your daily musings are extremely informative to me.  I am a one man company [grossed 140K last year 75% of which was labor, service, and RMR... on pace for more in 2015] and I have very few sounding boards.  The people who I originally got advice from seem to be scratching their heads on the level of my success! It's funny how a little bit of money can change the dynamics. .. but of course there is more to it. 
    Once again, your posting is much appreciated.