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signs for video / which contract for rental property May 26, 2018

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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signs for video /  which contract for rental property
May 26, 2018
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signs for video
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Ken
    We have been asked by a farmer member if signs are required notifying visitors of video surveillance in a building that is intended for public access.  The question was asked by a horse boarding facility.  I have scoured the internet and reviewed NYS labor and Penal law and cannot find anything.  Your name surfaced a few times during my search, and I see that you are not aware of any such statutes.  Since those sources are a few years old, I thought I would contact you and see if that still stands.  Thank you for your time.  
Lisa
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Response
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    I don't usually respond to a question presented by a subscriber or member of the public, but this raised a common issue.  Video and signs.  Could have been audio and signs.  
    Generally, signs are not required.  What would really be the purpose of a sign?  Would it mean, hey, we have cameras on premises and if you enter we can use your image and the video footage for any reason we want, including our own commercial exploitation?  Would it mean that the video footage could be displayed on large screens throughout a mall, showing who is on the premises and with whom doing whatever?  
    The simple rationale is that not everyone is assured of seeing the sign, not everyone reads the language the sign is in, not everyone reads, period, and not everyone understands the implication of what the sign could mean.  So what's the point of the sign?  The sign will not confer any additional rights to use the footage.  So unless there is a specific law that you know requires a sign, you don't need one.  Only law I know of [there are probably others similar to this one] is in NYC for nightclubs - doorway cameras required.  Anyone know of any others?
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which contract for rental property
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Ken,
    I have a question for you.  If we are putting in an alarm for a rental property (residence), do I use a residential contract or a commercial business contract.  We are putting the alarm in for the owner of the rental property.  Normally I would use a residential contract, but now I'm thinking that might not be correct?
Thank you,
Christine
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Response
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    No wonder I haven't run out of material for articles for over 40 years now.  Things just keep coming up.  This question actually has me baffled.  If the building is a multi-family dwelling and the owner of the building doesn't live there, it's clearly an investment property, I think the 
Commercial All in One is the right contract.  If the end user is signing the contract and lives in the premises I think the Residential All in One is the right contract.  
    A single family residence could be challenging.  I suppose you could use the Commercial All in One and put in the contract that it's investment property.   But why bother when you can always use the Residential All in One for commercial customers [but you can't use the Commercial contract with residential customers].  I don't think you lose anything by using the 
Residential All in One agreement.
    But there is more to this issue. If you know that a residence [this may apply to commercial also] is going to be occupied by a tenant, and that tenant will have some interaction with the alarm system or services [in other words it's not a fire alarm which is installed by the owner and left on all the time] then the end user should sign an agreement.  Whoever is paying the bills and requesting the install should also sign a contract.  You can one or two contracts signed.  Why?  Think in terms of who might sue you if something goes wrong.  You want to be able to rely on a contract and you're only going to be able to do that if the party suing you signed the contract.  [OK for you lawyers out there - sure there are third party suits and we contend that there are no third party beneficiaries to the contract, so let's just agree that defense is a lot easier when the suing party has signed the contract].
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com