Rules on Drones All Community Associations Should Consider

Roberto C. Blanch
March 21, 2019


Drones have become extremely popular for those who yearn for the latest gadgets and gizmos.  Many associations have already adopted rules to address the use of drones in their communities, and those that have not done so should give it serious thought and consideration.

When equipped with cameras, drones can be used to violate the privacy of association residents, not to mention their ability to cause major property damage, so associations should take a proactive approach toward developing and implementing rules and restrictions to protect the interests of those residing within their community.  Specifically, some examples of the rules and policies that associations are implementing include:

Restricting the space within which drones may be flown, such as over their operator’s personal lot, or those lots of adjoining neighbors (with their prior permission).

Limiting drone use to association common areas that are away from roads, buildings, playgrounds and other amenities.

Assigning all risks and liabilities involving the use of drones to their operators, and requiring such operators to also indemnify the association, as well as its directors and representatives, against all claims involving drones.

Specifying that drones must be operated in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. (Adding this to an association’s drone regulations provide it with the ability to implement remedies, such as fines for violators).

Banning video and photography of others in the community taken from drones without such individuals’ prior written consent.

Banning the use of drones in such a manner as to cause a nuisance or disturbance to others in the community.

These and other rules and policies enable associations to maintain control and implement common-sense restraints over the use of drones in their communities. Association boards of directors should work with their property management and highly experienced legal counsel to develop and implement the drone rules and policies that are the best fit for their community.