How to Install Smart Video Doorbell Cameras as a Renter

Are you a renter seeking to enhance security in your living space?

As a renter, both wired and wireless smart doorbell cameras can be installed in a non-invasive way that leaves the property undamaged.

Investing in a smart doorbell camera could be the perfect solution.

Over 52% of Americans have considered the idea, attracted by the appeal of deterring criminals with recorded footage.

However, installation nuances can be daunting, especially when you don’t own the property.

This guide walks you through installing both wired and wireless video doorbell cameras in rental properties.

With my tips, you’ll navigate landlord restrictions without incurring property damage, ensuring a secure and peaceful living environment.

Can You Use a Doorbell Camera in An Apartment?

Yes. You can indeed use a doorbell camera to monitor your apartment, including your front and back doors, and even windows.

The freedom to view live footage from your device and receive alerts makes this a beneficial investment for your peace of mind.

Furthermore, several brands, like Ring, August, Nest, and others, offer smart doorbells specifically tailored to apartment living.

However, using a ring camera as a tenant can be legally complex.

Much depends on your lease agreement and your landlord’s regulations.

Some buildings may not permit modifications for the sake of preserving your neighbors’ privacy.

In essence, though doorbell cameras bring about the benefit of increased security, as a renter, you would need to tread carefully, ensuring compliance with the rules established by your landlord or building association.

How to Install Smart Video Doorbells as a Renter (Both Wired and Wireless Doorbell Cameras)

Installing a Battery-Powered Smart Video Doorbell As a Renter

Purchase a Battery-Powered Smart Video Doorbell:

Ensure you have the necessary equipment before you start the installation process, which includes the smart doorbell, its necessary accessories, and a smartphone or tablet to control and monitor the doorbell.

Check the Rental Agreement:

Before installing any device, check your rental agreement or discuss with your landlord about the installation. Some rentals may have rules against drilling into the walls or making changes to the exterior of the property.

Charge the Battery:

Charge the battery of your smart doorbell fully before installation. This step is crucial to ensure that your doorbell is ready for use as soon as the installation process is completed.

Download the App:

Every smart doorbell comes with a dedicated app. Download this app on your smartphone or tablet. This app will guide you through the installation process and will be used to control and monitor your smart doorbell.

Set up the Device:

Open the app and follow the instructions to set up your device. This would typically involve creating an account, setting up a password, and connecting the doorbell to your home’s Wi-Fi network.

Install the Mounting Bracket:

The smart doorbell will come with a mounting bracket. Install this on your door frame using the adhesive strip or screws provided. If your rental agreement doesn’t allow drilling, use the adhesive strip.

Install the Doorbell:

Once the bracket is securely in place, you can attach your smart doorbell. Ensure it’s firmly in place and that the camera has a clear view of the area you wish to monitor.

Test the Doorbell:

After securing the doorbell in the bracket, test it by pressing the button on the doorbell and checking for the notification on your phone.

Adjust the Settings:

Customize the settings of your doorbell as per your needs using the app. This can include setting up motion detection and choosing when you want to receive alerts.

Set up Notifications:

Lastly, set up your notifications. You can choose to get notified every time the doorbell rings or when motion is detected.

Remember, as a renter, you should always restore the property to its original condition when you move out.

This means you’ll have to uninstall the smart doorbell and patch any holes you’ve made during the installation process.

Installing a Hard-Wired Smart Video Doorbell As a Renter

Installing a hard-wired smart video doorbell as a renter can be more challenging than installing a battery-powered one, but it’s still possible with landlord approval.

Also, you should have some basic knowledge about electrical work and always remember to be safe.

If you are not comfortable with the installation process, consider hiring a professional.

Here are step-by-step instructions:

Before starting any installation, get written permission from your landlord or property manager to install the hard-wired smart video doorbell.

Ensure that they are aware of your plans and any potential modifications to the property.

Research and select a hard-wired smart video doorbell that is compatible with your doorbell wiring and meets your security needs.

  • Hard-wired smart video doorbell
  • Screwdriver
  • Voltage tester
  • Wire stripper/cutter
  • Drill and appropriate drill bits
  • Chime kit (if required)
  • Smartphone or tablet with the manufacturer’s app installed
  • Wi-Fi network and password

Carefully read the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. Familiarize yourself with the device and the installation process.

  • Go to your home’s electrical panel and turn off the power to the doorbell circuit to ensure safety.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding your existing doorbell cover in place.
  • Carefully disconnect the wires from the old doorbell and remove it from the wall.
  • Use a voltage tester to ensure that there is no electricity running through the wires. This is crucial for your safety.
  • Some smart doorbells may require a chime kit for compatibility. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the chime kit.
  • Connect the wires from your home to the smart doorbell according to the manufacturer’s wiring diagram.
  • Usually, there will be a pair of wires labeled “transformer” or “power” and a pair labeled “chime” or “bell.” Follow the instructions for the specific wiring setup.
  • Carefully attach the smart doorbell to the wall or mounting bracket using the provided screws.
  • Ensure that it is level and securely fastened.
  • Go back to the electrical panel and turn the power back on to the doorbell circuit.
  • Open the manufacturer’s app on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Follow the app’s instructions to create an account and set up the device.
  • Most apps will guide you through the pairing process by scanning a QR code on the device or using Bluetooth.
  • In the app, connect the smart doorbell to your Wi-Fi network by entering your network name and password.
  • Customize the doorbell settings, such as motion detection sensitivity and notification preferences, according to your preferences.
  • Test the doorbell by pressing the button or triggering the motion sensor.
  • Verify that you receive notifications on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Use tamper-resistant screws or other security measures, if provided, to prevent unauthorized removal of the doorbell.
  • Your hard-wired smart video doorbell is now installed and ready to use. Monitor and control it through the manufacturer’s app on your device.
  • Regularly check the device for updates and ensure that it is functioning correctly.
  • Keep an eye on notifications and recorded footage for security and convenience.

Remember to follow safety precautions, and if you’re not comfortable with electrical work, it’s best to hire a professional electrician to assist with the installation.

Here’s a simple comparison table of wired and wireless doorbell installations as a renter:


Wired Doorbell Installation

Wireless Doorbell Installation

Landlord Approval


Usually Required

Difficulty of Installation

Moderate to Difficult


Permanent Modification

Yes, requires wiring changes

No, no permanent changes

Tools Required

Screwdriver, voltage tester, drill, wire stripper/cutter, chime kit (if needed)

Screwdriver, smartphone or tablet

Power Source

Electrical wiring


Wiring Complexity

More complex, involves connecting to existing wiring

No wiring, battery replacement


Typically more reliable, as it’s connected to the electrical system

Reliable if batteries are regularly maintained

Mobility and Portability

Not easily movable between locations

Easily movable to different locations

Installation Cost

Potentially higher due to wiring and materials

Generally lower with just the cost of the device

Damage to Property

May cause wall damage when installing wiring

No damage to property

Removal at Lease End

May require restoration and patching of wall

Easy removal without damage

No-Drill Video Doorbell Camera Mounts for Renters

As a renter, having a doorbell camera can be both tricky and damaging to your rental property.

So, what’s the solution? No-drill video doorbell camera mounts!

Here are a few key reasons why they’re the perfect alternative for renters:

  • They are damage-free. You don’t have to drill holes or make alterations to the existing wiring or structure. The mounts simply attach to the door itself, preventing any potential harm to your rental’s facade.
  • They’re versatile. These mounts come in various shapes and sizes to fit different styles of video doorbells. The basic design, typically a squared-off U-shaped metal structure, remains the same.
  • They’re secure. One side of the U features a metal box to house the doorbell unit, while the other side has a tension screw to secure the assembly to the door. Renters can rest easy knowing their video doorbell won’t slide off.

No-Drill Video Doorbell Camera Mounts for Renters

Check out this No-drill mount for Ring Doorbells: These are popular options for tenants who wish to install a Ring Video Doorbell 3, Video Doorbell 3 Plus, or Video Doorbell 4, which supports features like dual-band Wi-Fi support and video Pre-roll recording, without drilling holes.

These mounts use a screw clamp design to securely hold the doorbell in place.

Please note that while these mounts accommodate most of Ring’s battery-powered models due to similar sizes and shapes, it’s best to confirm the compatibility of your specific doorbell model before purchase.

Even if you own a home but are reluctant to make modifications to its exterior, particularly in historical homes where old wiring or beautiful woodwork might be concerned, these no-drill mounts are a fantastic solution.

In a nutshell, these no-drill doorbell mounts are easy to install, damage-free, secure, and quite versatile in design – a perfect alternative for renters who wish to invest in video doorbell cameras.

What is the best video doorbell for a rental home?

Ring Video Doorbell 3 with Ring Chime (2nd Gen)

When it comes to the best video doorbell for rental homes, the Ring Video Doorbell with Chime sits at the top of my list. It stands out in this emerging field thanks to its pioneering technology and consistent excellence.

The device is best known for its superior video quality with 1080p HD video, alerting you with real-time notifications each time your guests arrive.

Its compatibility with Alexa-enabled devices even allows you to control your doorbell with your voice.

Plus, the rechargeable battery adds the convenience of not having to fuss over untidy wires or troublesome hardwiring.

For peace of mind, investing in the subscription-based Ring Protect Plan is a wise move. This allows you to keep your video records safe for up to 6 months and to share those files effortlessly.

This doorbell tends to be the preferred choice among Airbnb hosts who need a reliable doorbell that meets both the quality and convenience requirements of their business.

So if you’re an Airbnb owner or a renter looking for a high-quality wireless video doorbell, the Ring Video Doorbell is definitely worth considering.

Remember, while newer versions with extra features may be tempting, they are often unnecessary for short-term rental owners. Keeping your process streamlined and efficient is key in the rental market!

Benefits of Installing a Smart Video Doorbell Camera as a Renter

1. Reduced Crime Rates and Home Burglaries in Neighborhoods

Home burglaries and crime rates have long been an issue in several neighborhoods.

This continues to be a concern, but the advent of smart video doorbell cameras is making a significant difference.

Studies reveal that burglars avoid homes with these devices.

The University of North Carolina discovered that 60% of burglars would seek out security cameras before committing a crime, and 40% were discouraged by the presence of such devices.

  • Smart doorbell cameras effectively deter criminals, reducing the rate of successful burglaries because they broadcast a clear message of heightened security.
  • They record high-quality footage, discouraging offenders who fear having their activities documented and identified.
  • Furthermore, these devices are instrumental in fostering an active neighborhood watch, as they aid in the immediate detection and reporting of suspicious activities.

So, it’s heartening to learn that the simple yet sophisticated technology of smart video doorbell cameras is bringing about significant reductions in home burglaries and crime rates.

Benefits of Installing a Smart Video Doorbell Camera as a Renter

2. Increased Security for Homes

As an expert on home security measures, I’ve noticed a significant trend in renters gravitating towards smart video doorbell cameras for increased safety.

With around 60% of burglars scouting for security cameras before a break-in attempt, doorbell cameras become a crucial feature.

Not only are these devices a visible deterrent, but they also can capture important visuals in case of any unexpected situation.

Moreover, the additional home monitoring benefits of timely alerts, professional 24/7 surveillance, and motion-triggered lighting features are bound to bring peace of mind.

This has even increased the property’s appeal to potential buyers. Ultimately, a smart video doorbell camera answers a renter’s need for safety and peace of mind.

Considering all these points, I strongly believe that smart video doorbell cameras have become an essential component of renters’ home security framework.

3. Easier to Identify Strangers

As a renter, it’s crucial to know who is at your doorstep. Using a Smart Video Doorbell Camera has made this stress-free and straightforward.

The embedded stranger detection feature removes the guesswork, quickly alerting me whether my visitor is familiar or a stranger.

Data from Xailient’s Data Acquisition Project reflects just how paramount this feature is. Additional AI technology further enhances security by detecting all human faces in the video clip, regardless of differing appearances or environmental factors.

Adding to the security, Face Recognition completes the process by cross-checking the visitor’s facial features with pre-recorded images, helping me identify friends, or alerting me to strangers.

With a Smart Video Doorbell Camera in place, I no longer worry about unexpected visitors, always in control of my environment.

 How to Install Smart Video Doorbell Cameras as a Renter

4. Ability to Track Footage of Visitors

Using a smart video doorbell camera as a renter provides multiple invaluable benefits. The ability to track and record video footage of visitors greatly enhances security.

If a break-in occurs, the recorded footage becomes a crucial piece of evidence for law enforcement. It also lets you manage guests, ensuring they respect check-ins and check-outs.

If they lose access due to a misplaced code, a convenient resolution exists at the ring of a bell. Importantly, it enforces house rules regarding a maximum number of visitors and pet policies.

It also assures your guests. The presence of a visible security measure like a video doorbell makes them feel safe. Night vision features provide 24/7 security.

Be sure to follow laws and respect other tenants’ privacy when installing your video doorbell for a smooth and secure rental experience.

5. Alert System for Home Security

A smart video doorbell camera is more than just a doorbell—it’s an essential part of your home’s security.

The alert system feature, acting as your personal watch guard, can detect movement and trigger an alarm, instantly keeping you informed if someone approaches your home.

Did you know, 25 percent of burglars will walk away from homes with visible security measures? Being a renter shouldn’t exclude you from taking security measures!

Connecting the doorbell to your Wi-Fi network means you can view who’s outside from your smartphone, a major convenience.

You may not always be able to hear an alarm or check your phone but with professional home monitoring, tell those worries goodbye.

Remember, it’s not just about keeping intruders out, it’s about peace of mind, knowing your home is safe.

6. Improved Safety and Security for Children

Installing a Smart Video Doorbell Camera is significantly beneficial for ensuring the safety and security of children in a rental property.

It quenches the deep-rooted evolutionary need for feeling safe. With its function of stranger detection, it alleviates concerns about unknown people as you can identify who’s at the front door.

This relieves the fear of the unknown and puts you in control of the situation.

Research reveals that it has helped prevent package thefts and robberies, offering genuine protection, indeed.

Additionally, it’s a great tool for not just providing security but also welcoming guests whether or not we’re home.

Overall, this smart device elevates the safety of your rental property, providing that much-needed peace of mind.

Tips for Renters When Installing a Smart Video Doorbell Camera.

1. Check Your Property Ownership Agreement and Speak with your Landlord first

It’s essential to thoroughly review your property agreement and have a dialogue with your landlord before installing a smart video doorbell camera in your rented apartment.

Many landlords or property managers have set guidelines in place pertaining to installations in the apartment.

Also, personalizing the apartment by drilling holes, or installing exterior security cameras might need explicit permission.

Remember, the landlord has the legal right to dictate certain changes. It’s suggested you assure them about any potential damages as well.

Here is an example of what a property agreement looks like:

review your property agreement and have a dialogue with your landlord before installing a smart video doorbell camera in your rented apartment.

Expert tip:

It’s always beneficial to speak openly about your safety concerns, and the advantages of installing a video doorbell, not just for your property but also for your landlord’s.

All in all, diligence and communication are key to ensuring your actions are within your rental agreement’s bounds.

2. Determine the Need for a Video Doorbell

As a renter, I understand the importance of security in an apartment. We often hear about petty thefts, unsolicited visitors, or even alarming incidents around us.

I also deal with a fair share of package deliveries, with the constant fear of them being lost or stolen.

Sometimes, I simply want to know who’s at my door without physically being there, which is where a video doorbell comes in handy.

Imagine being able to respond to the delivery person or dealing with an uninvited guest from anywhere. A video doorbell provides a sense of safety and convenience.

Moreover, it also adds a layer of evidence for dealing with troublesome scenarios like break-ins or vandalism.

The need becomes particularly pronounced when I am away, and the property is on its own. In a nutshell, a video doorbell is no longer a luxury but a necessity for renters.

3. Consider the Types of Video Doorbells Available and Installation Instructions

Video doorbells are a convenient and secure addition to any home.

For installation, some may simply require mounting on doors or walls, while others might need a hardwiring setup, which could be challenging for a DIYer.

Wireless and peephole-mounted options cause no property damage- an excellent choice for renters.

Moreover, certain models offer hardwired or battery-powered options, each having its pros and cons.

Image resolution, two-way communication, motion sensor capabilities, and recorded/live footage options are all key considerations too, making choices dependent on individual needs.

Research, therefore, is key before purchasing your video doorbell.

4. Invest in the Proper Tools for the Installation

Installing a smart video doorbell as a renter isn’t just about getting the go-ahead from your landlord.

It’s equally about having the right tools for a seamless, and ideally, a one-time installation.

  • A cordless drill and wire strippers & cutters are foundational.
  • In case you’re mounting on brick or concrete, masonry drill bits become imperative.
  • Interestingly, Ring Doorbell kits usually provide a screwdriver, screws, and a charging cable. The kits may even offer a special masonry drill bit.
  • Having a box cutter or flathead screwdriver is practical for removing the old doorbell.

These tools help ensure a neat installation, minimizing potential damages.

As moving is common for renters, the correct tools also help make the task of reinstalling at your new place less daunting.

Preparation is key, and part of that is being equipped with the proper tools. Remember, every efficient installation begins with the right set of tools!



Can tenants install a doorbell camera?

Yes, tenants can generally install doorbell cameras, but they must first obtain permission from their landlord or property management. For instance, if I’m a tenant, I’d need to share details about the camera’s position and installation process with my landlord.

It’s crucial to remember, I can’t leave visible marks or alter the rented property significantly. Laws concerning these cameras may also vary by location.

Lastly, it’s my responsibility to properly dispose of the camera when my lease ends. Always consult your landlord or local law enforcement for specific regulations.

Can you install a Ring doorbell at a rental apartment or property?

Yes, you can install a Ring doorbell at a rental apartment or property. However, it’s crucial to remember this can often be subject to specific lease agreements and property management rules.

Always check with your landlord or association before installing to avoid any privacy issues or conflicts. If installing seems difficult or potentially invasive, consider opting for no-damage options such as those that fit over the peephole.

Why You Should Consider Installing A Ring Video Doorbell In Your Rentals?

As a property owner, installing a Ring Video Doorbell in your rentals profoundly enhances its appeal, especially to the large millennial and student renters base, who value tech-savvy amenities. This trendy gadget not only establishes your rental as a secure space, boosting your chances of demanding higher rent, but also serves as a serenity-bringing tool for tenants.