Drones, Drones, Drones
There has been a great deal of media attention over the past few years on the use of drones for a variety of purposes. As the cost of small machines that can take flight plummets, they become more and more common for both commercial and personal use.
One of the more inventive uses for drones is by Realtors, who utilize them to take otherwise impossible to get photos of properties they have listed. This is less likely to cause issues at single-family domiciles, but could rile up neighbours in a Strata Corporation who would worry about having their personal images captured (whether inadvertently or not).
Strata Corporations who are concerned about the use of drones should consider whether or not it would be appropriate to place bylaw limitations on their usage around the property. Options include an outright prohibition, limiting their use for specific purposes, requiring supervision, and more.
A word of caution, though. By their very nature, drones are difficult to trace back to their Owner. You may never know whose drone was hovering outside of your suite- whether it belonged to your neighbour or a complete stranger. Currently, there are no federal regulations on the use of drones for personal purposes (commercial applications are regulated by Transport Canada). This can make it next to impossible to positively identify who a drone belongs to, limiting the utility of a bylaw prohibition to not much more than a discouragement to Realtors and others who would use them without permission.
It is likely that in the future, drones will be utilized by Strata Corporations for routine maintenance such as inspections of mechanical equipment and exterior surfaces. It’s conceivable that eventually drones will eventually do the painting, window cleaning and other chores in difficult to access areas. We are entering a new era which 30 years ago would have been considered science fiction.