Once upon a time personal use CCTV cameras were only used by the rich and famous households to protect their privacy and security. However, as CCTV cameras have become more affordable, they have started to become the normal additional security system for the average joe. The additional security is a positive thing as we can feel more comfortable and secure at our home.

Unfortunately, there is a rise of CCTV cameras being used incorrectly or maliciously between neighbours and some believe their neighbours are breaching their privacy. A breach of privacy is significant as it can make you feel uncomfortable or insecure in your own home.

This article is to help you understand your options when dealing with your neighbour and their residential CCTV cameras.

The first step is to determine what type of property title you have and the subject neighbour? This is because your privacy rights and the breach of your privacy rights will stem from different sources.

So, do you and your neighbour live in leasehold properties? Or do you and your neighbour live in freehold properties?

Leasehold

If you and your neighbour live in leasehold properties then you will be bound, compelled, and obligated to follow a lease. A lease is essentially a contract between the leaseholders and with the freeholder. Usually, the lease for both properties will be the same but it’s prudent to double check rather than assume.

In a standard lease there are obligations on the leaseholder as to how to live alongside with other leaseholders. These obligations in layman terms can be considered as leaseholder rights. One common leaseholder right is the right to the use and enjoyment of your leasehold property. If you believe your neighbour’s CCTV cameras are affecting your use and enjoyment of your leasehold property, then your claim against your neighbour will be a breach of lease, or in layman terms a breach of contract.

Freehold

Unlike leasehold properties, freehold properties have no lease between neighbours so you will not be able to bring a breach of lease claim against your neighbour. Instead, your claim against your neighbour will be a breach of your individual rights, specifically under tort law, and could result in a claim for harassment and/or nuisance.  

Once you understand where your claim of breach of privacy stems from you will then be in a better position to enforce your privacy rights against your neighbour. The remedies you will be seeking against your neighbour may include the removal/repositioning of the CCTV by way of injunction, and possibly even damages for distress.

In conclusion a breach of privacy whether by a leasehold or freehold neighbour is a significant imposition. If you have a privacy issue, and if you think we may be able to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us the Dispute Resolution team who would be best placed to assist you throughout the process. Please call our offices today (01702) 338338 to speak with a member of our specialist Dispute Resolution team. We can accommodate appointments in our Westcliff, Billericay, Benfleet, Liverpool Street and Stratford offices.