Increasingly homes have video and audio surveillance equipment. In the context of real estate buying and selling, is it legal for the seller to record the showing and what buyers and agents are saying about his property? In a more general setting, is it legal for one to videotape a meeting or record a conversation?
Ohio law addresses both audio and video recordings. Under Ohio law a seller is permitted to use surveillance equipment to video record on his property. However, there are some limitations on that. For example, a seller should not record in locations where there is an expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom.
Audio recordings have stricter requirements. Under Ohio law, in order to legally make an audio recording, at least one person being recorded must consent to the recording. So in a real estate context, in order to audio record conversations during a showing of a property, one of the individuals at the showing should consent to the recording. Since seller normally will not present during the showing, consent must be secured from buyer’s agent or the buyer.
In a general setting, if one is a party of a conversation, then audio recording is ok. If he/she is not a party, then consent must be secured from a party in the conversation.
Violations of the above law are a 4th degree felony under Ohio law.
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