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UK question - Regs & Insurance - what will I need to help an estate agent?


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2020
Quick one, all -
I have a friend who is an estate agent and he would like me to take some areal shots of some houses.
Please does anyone have a list (I imagine there's a list?) of regs and appropriate insurance needed in order to do this?

Privacy - I assume that if you crop other houses out, this will help, but aren't other houses included in 'normal' estate agent land-based photos?
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you can take a picture of whatever you like, there is no restrictions with the Mini range of quads, however if its the heavier quad then you need to do an A2CoC test.
As for insurace, only if you are being paid for the work is insurance needed.

Of course you need to obtain and display your operator ID

As for privacy, there is no expected right to privacy in a public space (to a degee) its almost impossible to not get a neighbors house in most shots but as long as you arent close enough to see inside a house then you should be ok, that said i would probably knock on doors and explain what you are doing as a courtesy, you may get people saying that they dont want you flying over their land and this is to be expected, however you are allowed by CAA rules to do so, so dont let them put you off doing it.

Take a look at the many auditing UK videos on youtube they regularly fly over private land and get many people saying they cant do it, however they are wrong to say this.
Companies providing annual commercial insurance policies will demand to see proof of relevant certification (A2CofC/GVC/additional modules) before they insure. Recreational insurance also requires proof of competence (CAA issued A1/A3).

According to the CAA: currently there is no differentiation between commercial or recreational drone use and there won't be a change there until they re-write the old PfCO to fully incorporate all types of drone (commercial & recreational) so from that standpoint, doing a friend a one-off favour and getting yourself some valuable experience 😉 means the flight is not commercial and a recreational policy should be okay.

But horse-sense would suggest that third party cover is still a very, very good idea... even a rec. policy - especially when you'll be flying around/over/near someone else's property.

Join the Grey Arrows drone forum and have a look at the resident insurer there. Good recreational policy, realistic cover and a very reasonable annual premium.

Regarding photographs of people or buildings: Anything that appears in a photograph you take that wasn't planned to be included as a specific subject is defined in British law as "incidental inclusion".

Buildings that happen to be next door to a house you shoot are incidental to the main focus of the shot.

If people are standing in the area or walking through the frame as you take a shot: their presence is not planned beforehand (incidental) and you didn't say "...can I take your picture...", so you don't have to secure permission to publish the image. The rules of street photography apply.
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