How to Avoid Legal Issues with Drone Property Photography

Drones have opened up exciting possibilities for real estate photography and videography. Getting beautiful aerial shots of properties can really make listings stand out. However, operating drones for commercial purposes comes with legal requirements that you need to follow in order to avoid fines or other penalties. Here are some tips to keep your drone property photography business on the right side of UK law and avoid legal issues with drone property photography.

Register as an Operator

The first step to legally using drones for commercial flights in the UK is to register as an operator with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This involves taking and passing an online education course as well as paying a registration fee. Once registered, you will receive an Operator ID to openly display on your drones. Failing to register could lead to prosecution.

Don’t Fly Drones Above 120 Meters

The legal height limit for drones in the UK is 120 meters (400ft). Going any higher risks collisions with manned aircraft and violates regulations set forth by the CAA. Staying under this altitude threshold helps ensure you comply with the rules. Some drones have built-in safety settings to prevent you from exceeding the height ceiling.

Maintain Clear Line of Sight

Rules in the UK mandate that drone operators keep their unmanned aerial vehicles within their visual line of sight at all times. So, you can’t fly your drone behind buildings or out of view. Keeping continuous line of sight helps you avoid collisions and fly responsibly. You should also have a spotter standing alongside you to assist with maintaining situational awareness.

Get Permission from Property Owners

Before launching your drone to photograph someone else’s property, be sure to get their consent. As a courtesy, let your clients know ahead of time that you’ll be using a drone and assure them about your adherence to CAA rules. Showing neighbours that you have the property owner’s permission might also prevent nosy onlookers from reporting you. Keep documentation that demonstrates the property owner agreed to the drone photography.

Consider Privacy Implications

Be mindful of privacy when photographing residential properties with aerial drones. Shots peering over fences or capturing the inside of windows where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy could infringe legal protections and land you in hot water. Intentionally capturing identifiable photos of individuals without their permission could also raise privacy issues. Stick to photographing the building’s exterior to play it safe.

Consider Getting Insurance

Operating drones commercially comes with risks, including crashes, flyaways, and potential injuries or property damage. Carrying insurance can protect you from expensive legal claims in such events. There are drone insurance policies available to cover liability, hull damage, payload issues, and more.

Having coverage gives you peace of mind in case the worst happens while working. Check policies carefully as drone insurance can vary widely on aspects like qualifying pilot requirements, excluded drone activities, and territorial limitations. Finding the right policy for your UK-based drone photography business is prudent.

Understand Privacy Injunction Zones

Certain locations in the UK have been granted ‘privacy injunctions’ which prohibit taking identifiable photographs without permission. These zones legally protect public figures, government officials, or other prominent people’s private property from photography, even shots taken from public areas. Violating privacy injunction airspace with drones’ risks facing contempt of court claims or injunction breaches.

Avoid No Fly Zones

There are many zones in the UK that are illegal to fly in. These include- near airports, stadiums, prisons and military sites. You can check whether the location you are flying from is in these areas by visiting this website.

Final Words

Following these steps will help ensure your commercial drone operations for property photography stay within lawful bounds in the UK. As the rules and technologies evolve, be sure to keep up to date on the latest regulations and best practices from the CAA. Responsible drone use has incredible power to take property marketing to new heights while keeping your business on the right side of the law. Take a look at some of our drone images of property here. Thats how to avoid legal issues with drone property photography!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop