Drones for virtual viewings of commercial properties? - Boodle Hatfield

Your lawyers since 1722

02 Oct 2020

Drones for virtual viewings of commercial properties?

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Amazon has unveiled an indoor drone which is capable of surveilling homes. How long will it be until the same technology is adopted for virtual viewings of commercial properties? Not long, one would have thought, given that drone technology is currently being used for building surveys and roof inspections.   

For those thinking of utilising this technology, you might like to consider:

1. Whether you have the sufficient consents and permission to operate the drone.

2. If the building is tenanted, whether the lease granted to the relevant tenant reserves sufficient rights of access to enable the landlord to carry out a viewing by drone. It may be that this lease reserves rights for the landlord to enter the property to view it, but the rights may not be sufficiently broad to allow an unaccompanied drone to carry out the viewing.  

3. How you can elevate any security concerns any tenants of the building might have (particularly in relation to any sensitive paperwork that may be on view to the drone).

4. Ensuring that you have sufficient insurance in place, in the event that the drone causes any damage to property or injures any person at the property.

 5. Whether you are in full compliance with the applicable health and safety legislation.

Security (and privacy) alert! Ring unveiled a new camera combined with an indoor drone at Amazon’s Thursday product event. The Ring Always Home Cam “flies your chosen, personalised paths so that you can easily check in on your home for peace of mind — like whether someone left a window open or forgot to turn the stove off”. Also, if someone breaks in, triggering a separate Ring alarm, the drone will automatically fly a set path to see what’s happening, streaming video to you in-flight. It is expected to cost $249.99 when it starts shipping next year.

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