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Can a property owner tell me not to fly over his or her property?

When it comes to federal FAA regulations, there’s nothing official as far as the prescribed altitude you have to fly above a private property when flying your drone.

But let’s not forget state and even more local drone regulations. As an example, back in 2015, Florida passed SB 766, which prohibits the use of a drone to capture an image of privately owned property or the owner, tenant, or occupant of such property without consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.

And in 2013, Oregon passed HB 2710, which allows that, under certain conditions, a landowner can bring an action against someone flying a drone lower than 400 feet over their property.

This is often a ‘use good judgement and be a good person’ kind of situation.

If doing some low-flying in a residential area, as an example, it’s a nice best practice to notify the neighbors on all sides of the property before you start flying. Explain how you’re going to take the pictures and what they are going to be used for.

Most people fear the unknown, so hopefully this conversation would eliminate concerns and put the person at ease and put them at ease.

But if you’re taking off and landing on someone else’s property, and you have permission to operate from that property, then there’s nothing the other property owner can say that would prevent you from flying legally over their property.

Education and communication go a long way to prevent tension. 

Know your rights, and act calmly, with grace and professionalism.

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