Drone Invasion

Drone Invasion

Picture this: you’re settling in on a warm morning with a cup of coffee in your favorite chair and your most comfortable summer pajamas. Through the open window, you hear a whirring, and then your neighbor’s new drone hovers in the air outside your screen. Its camera lens refocuses – and bam! Your neighbor has some nice footage of your unicorn shorts. Isn’t there some law against this?

Turns out, drone laws are strict – and there are legal implications for both associations and for residents.

An association may utilize a drone with a video camera to inspect difficult to access portions of a building like a roof areas or tuck-pointing. However, the board needs to ensure that the drone does not present an “invasion of privacy.” That is, the drone must not transmit or record video or photograph into an area where an owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy such as within a unit.

Association residents may use drones for hobby or recreational purposes. This creates the potential for “invasion of privacy” claims by other residents. Associations should consider the adoption of appropriate rules/amendments to their recorded covenants that address, but are not limited to:

  • Time restrictions on use of drones.
  • Identifying where drones can and cannot be flown.
  • Liability concerns (ex. require residents who use a drone to indemnify the association).
  • Registering resident drones like motor vehicles.

Your LMS property manager can help you form these resolutions, if needed.