RealManage Insight

Drone Technology Can Help Manage Maintenance of Your Association

by Sandra Vela Mora on Jan 21, 2020 8:45:00 AM

The days of dangerously balancing yourself on a ladder to capture a picture of a roof are long gone. Drone technology is changing the way we detect future building needs, from chipped paint to roof damage. As drones become more affordable, people enjoy using them as a hobby. Balancing the usefulness of a drone for the good of your association and regulating those used by members for recreational use is possible. By implementing rules in your association's CC&Rs, you can lay the groundwork for any future problems involving drones and association members. 

What Exactly is a Drone?

We hear about drones in the news but what exactly are they? A drone is an unmanned aircraft. It is a remote-controlled flying robot often used for military, recreational, or commercial use. Drones operate using batteries or fuel, rotors, propellers, and a frame. 

Drones are primarily used to take pictures from the air. The ability to capture images of things not visible from the ground is valuable on many levels, one of which is building maintenance. 

Drones as a Useful Maintenance Tool

Using drones to inspect your property is a smart idea, especially if you have an aging property or high-rise condominiums. Drones can provide the information you need to budget for future repairs, avoiding costly maintenance later. 

Boards should use caution before launching a drone into the air. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a strict policy regarding the use of drones for business purposes. Depending upon your intended use, you may need to apply for an exemption. 

Using a drone for commercial use requires a license from the FAA. Whether you decide to apply for an exemption or you secure the services of a commercial drone company, the ability to learn about—and to prevent—maintenance issues are worth the time and effort. 

Community Association Drone Regulation

Those who use drones for recreational purposes must only register their drones with the FAA.  Drones are increasing in popularity among minors who may, intentionally or not, use their drones to spy on others. An aircraft hovering uninvited over their neighbor's house can result in friction between association members. 

Developing some form of community association drone regulation is a proactive approach to drone management. Learn about any local laws that apply to drones first. There may be state laws regarding using drones to photograph or record someone without their permission. 

Topics you may want to address in the regulation a waiver of liability and the allowed hours for flying a drone. Be sure to include any possible penalties for violating the drone regulations. 

Information about drone use continues to emerge as they increase in popularity. Drones are fascinating, useful, and fun. With strong regulations in place for your association, members can continue to explore this technology without disturbing others. 

Need Help Managing HOA Vendors?

About RealManage

As a professional property management company, we take great pride in knowing how to implement the latest technologies. We use our knowledge to help boards save time and reduce costs. To learn more about us, submit a proposal request online

RealManage provides HOA management services to associations of all varieties, including single-family, condominiums, luxury high-rise buildings, and more. Our goal is to provide the guidance your board needs to make your community association successful. 

If your HOA board is seeking assistance with such issues as budget management, community engagement, or other challenges, we can help. At RealManage, we take great pride in our professional team and the services we offer. Let our professional team assist you by reaching out to us today. 

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