Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday)

Someone in Chicago…

… thinks their neighbor’s camera is invasive

- ISMAEL PÉREZ | @_ismaperez Write to Someone in Chicago at someoneinc­

Dear Ismael: My downstairs neighbor installed a camera on his porch that I’m pretty sure captures video of me going up and down the stairs. This feels invasive. Should I report this to the landlord? The management company? We don’t really talk.

Surveilled in Edgewater

Dear Surveilled: As much as it shocks my parents, I don’t really talk to my neighbors, either. The good thing is that you don’t really need to talk to your neighbor in order to express your discomfort and find a solution. Make those extra apartment fees worth the money and make management take care of it.

But you need to be very direct and clear with your management company or landlord about what the current problem is and what it is you’re trying to avoid in the future.

From what you’ve told me, I’d imagine starting somewhere like this: “I noticed a fellow tenant installed a camera on their porch that I feel captures me going up and down the stairs. Instead of making me feel secure, it feels invasive, and I don’t feel comfortabl­e with someone having video of me.”

At this point, you can flat out request the camera be taken down or — if you’re willing — compromise with changing the camera angle to a place that is less invasive of your privacy.

I throw in the option of a compromise because I’ve been the neighbor who lived in the back of the apartment complex and considered installing a camera at the front after a few of my packages went missing. When I consulted with a tech-savvy friend about which cameras would be best, he dismissed my question and asked if I thought other people in my building would feel comfortabl­e being on my camera.

So, if your neighbor pushes back on why he wants the camera, and it’s not exactly to keep an eye on who enters and leaves the building, maybe there can be an agreement that works for everyone. But if the camera flat out gives you a feeling of discomfort, go ahead and call for the camera to be removed.

I got over the idea, and your neighbor can, too. Now I just try to time out my deliveries for times I know I am available and get my packages as soon as they are delivered. I have also become a fan of in-store pickup. It lowers my anxiety on missing packages and gives me an excuse to leave the house.

I would hope the landlord or management company puts residents’ comfort above anything else. It if it’s not in your lease at all, it would be something you can request for your next apartment contract.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Scan this QR code to sign up for our Sunday newsletter
Scan this QR code to sign up for our Sunday newsletter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States