Managing Your Vacation Rental Technology and Internet of Things

Security Cameras: What you need to know

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
5/5 - (4 votes)

Updated September 2023

Cameras and other smart technology devices are becoming increasingly popular among short-term rental owners. Of the 500+ homeowners who responded to our recent survey, more than 20% have installed security cameras in their vacation rental homes.

There are some important factors to consider if you do install a security camera. 


The most obvious benefit of security cameras and smart technology devices, such as motion or sound detectors, is their ability to keep an eye on your home, especially if your home is far from where you live.

These devices can deter vandals and thieves. Or, if a pipe bursts, humidity sensors can detect extraordinary moisture and alert you, potentially saving your home from major and expensive damage.

Many homeowners turn off their security cameras during the rental season and inform their guests that their purpose is just for off-season security. 

During the Rental Season

By law, security cameras are not allowed inside the home or in any location where there is a presumption of privacy (like an outdoor shower). The most common location of a camera is near the front door. 

You must disclose the presence of the cameras to your guests if it includes an audio recording device. Ideally, this should be done before they sign the lease. In fact, the presence of the cameras, regardless of audio recording, should be included in your lease. This will eliminate any dispute over whether or not they were informed.

A security camera is meant to be a deterrent. Anyone planning to host an unauthorized, large group or to party excessively will think twice about booking a home after being told about the device.  

The camera can also monitor the use of your home, identifying excessive noise, occupancy, parked cars, etc. Also, if you do not allow pets, the cameras can detect if your guests have brought one. (Side note: Please consult an attorney on local MA law regarding service animals)

Another advantage of a security cameras is its ability to let you know when your cleaners and contractors arrive and leave, allowing you to verify the hours they charge you for. If your cleaners have finished early, you may be able to coordinate an earlier check-in time for your incoming guests. 

Learn more about smart tech devices for your home. 

About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family for nearly a century. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV Homeowner Support Team, I endeavor to keep my finger on the pulse of the Cape and Islands vacation rental industry so that I can provide homeowners advice about how to ensure their booking success with us. With owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the text on our website, our monthly newsletters, and Homeowner Blog posts.

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