Can You Fly a Drone over Private Property?

Both professionals and hobbyists are becoming more and more accustomed to using drones. It’s crucial to comprehend the regulations for flying drones over private property whether you’re using them for business or to capture breath-taking aerial footage.

Many drone enthusiasts wonder if they can legally fly their drones over someone else’s property without facing legal consequences.

In this comprehensive guide, I will explore whether can you fly a drone over private property and also laws and regulations governing drone flights over private property in the United States.

Can You Fly a Drone over Private Property?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the governing body responsible for regulating airspace in the United States. When it comes to flying drones over private property, the FAA does not explicitly address privacy concerns. However, they do enforce rules and regulations to ensure the safe operation of drones.

FAA drone laws over private property

According to the FAA, you can legally fly a drone over private property as long as you do not invade others’ privacy, damage property, capture their images and videos or put people’s lives at risk.

The FAA controls the airspace above 400 feet and allows drone operations in that space. It is important to note that the FAA regulations apply to uncontrolled airspace, which is space beyond 400 feet.

To ensure compliance with FAA regulations, here are some key rules that drone operators should follow when flying over private property:

  • Keep the drone in your line of sight every time.
  • If your drone doesn’t have enough lighting, avoid flying it at night.
  • Fly the drone no higher than 400 feet unless you have a special permit.
  • Give way to and keep clear of manned aircraft.
  • Drones shouldn’t be flown over people or moving automobiles.
  • Avoid operating the drone carelessly or recklessly.
  • Avoid interfering with rescue or emergency procedures.

It is important to note that while the FAA regulations are federal laws, state and local laws may also regulate drone operations in certain areas. In some cases, state and local laws may impose additional restrictions on flying drones over private property.

Therefore, it is crucial to research and understand the specific laws and regulations in your locality before flying a drone over someone else’s property.

Learn more: How Low Can You Fly a Drone Over Private Property?

State Laws on Flying Drones over Private Property

Each state in the United States may have its own set of laws and regulations regarding drone operations over private property. It is important to be aware of these laws to avoid any legal issues or violations. Here is a brief overview of the regulations in a few states:


In California, flying a drone over private property without the owner’s consent is considered trespassing. The state has specific laws in place that prohibit drone flights over private property without permission. Violating these laws can result in privacy infringement charges.


While Texas does not have specific laws against flying drones over private property, it is illegal to use drones for surveillance of personal property without consent.

However, certain exceptions exist for law enforcement officers, research professors, and employees of power or gas companies who may fly drones over private properties for legitimate purposes such as academic research, emergency or rescue missions, and surveying.


In Alaska, it is not legal to fly a drone over private property without the owner’s consent. Trespassing laws and privacy laws might be broken if you do this.

The FAA states that it is legal to fly a drone over private property in Alaska without taking pictures or videos. Before flying your drone over someone else’s property, always get permission from the owner first.


Without the owner’s consent, it is illegal to fly a drone over private property in Georgia. Unauthorized drone use over private property could be considered trespassing and result in legal repercussions. When flying a drone in Georgia, it is crucial to respect the rights and privacy of the property owner.


No, in California you cannot fly a drone over private property without the owner’s express permission. This would probably be regarded as trespassing, which is prohibited. 

Private fields, homes, buildings, and commercial properties will all fall under this, without being restricted.

This law was passed primarily as a result of the widespread use of drones by the public and reporters to trespass on the privacy of famous people.


Who wouldn’t want to fly a drone in the beautiful state of Hawaii and capture breathtaking scenery?

In Hawaii, you can fly a drone over private property as long as you don’t record or photograph anything. Otherwise, you’ll be charged with trespassing.

Do not fly or photograph with your drone at a resort or hotel unless the owner or property manager has given you permission.


Drones may not be flown carelessly over private Oregon. A drone operator may be held accountable if they carelessly fly a drone over someone else’s property and it results in harm or destruction.

It’s important to remember that these are only a few examples and that state-by-state drone regulations may differ. Therefore, before flying a drone over private property, it is essential to learn and understand the specific laws in your state.

Can a Neighbor Legally Fly a Drone Over Your House?

neighbor flying a drone

Whether neighbors can legally fly drones over their homes is a common worry among homeowners. The laws and rules in your particular locality will determine whether using drones without permission over someone else’s property is legal.

Although the FAA regulations do not specifically address flying drones over private residences, it is generally recommended to ask the property owner for permission before doing so. By doing this, you can make sure that you are protecting their privacy and preventing any possible legal problems.

It is advised to speak with your neighbor about your concerns if you see them using a drone over your property without your permission. If the problem continues, you might think about informing the appropriate law enforcement agency about the incident.

Local laws may occasionally forbid drone flights over private properties without permission, and law enforcement authorities may be able to enforce these laws.

Learn more: Why Are Drones Flying Over My House?

Can Police Fly Drones over Private Property?

Yes, the police can use drones to fly over private property under certain conditions, but there are restrictions to protect privacy and follow the law. Drones can be used by law enforcement for a variety of tasks, including search and rescue missions, examining crime scenes, and keeping tabs on serious incidents.

However, they are required to adhere to strict regulations and obtain the proper authorization, which in some circumstances may entail getting warrants. Drone operations must be carried out in a way that minimizes any intrusion on people’s private lives because privacy concerns are taken seriously.

The use of drones by the police is subject to federal, state, and local regulations. The goal is to balance the need for public safety with the protection of individual rights and privacy.

How to Stop Drones flying over your house?

If someone flies a drone over your property without permission, there are steps you can take to address the situation. Here are some actions you can consider:

If you are disturbed by spying drones flying over your house then the first thing you can do is to talk to the drone operator and ask him to stop flying drones over your house.

If this does not work then you can simply capture the images of the drone from your phone and call law enforcement to take legal action. These are the simple and legal ways to stop drones flying over private property.

Learn more:  How to stop drones from flying over your house?

It is important to note that the actions you take may depend on the specific laws and regulations in your area. Therefore, it is crucial to research and understand the local laws before taking any action.

Conclusion (Can You Fly a Drone over Private Property)

Flying drones over private property can be a source of enjoyment and creativity for many drone enthusiasts. However, it is important to understand and comply with the laws and regulations governing drone operations in your area.

While the FAA allows drone flights over private property, it is crucial to respect the privacy of others, obtain permission when necessary, and avoid causing any harm or disturbance.

By being aware of the laws and regulations and maintaining respectful drone operations, you can enjoy flying your drone while ensuring the safety and privacy of others.


Is it legal to fly a drone over my neighbor’s backyard?

In general, flying a drone over your neighbor’s backyard without their express permission is a violation of privacy and trespassing laws. Drone flights over private property are legal depending on local regulations.

To ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues, it is critical to research and understand the specific laws in your area and obtain consent from the property owner before flying your drone over their property.

What should I do if a neighbor flies a drone over my property without permission?

It’s crucial to react responsibly and calmly if a neighbor illegally uses a drone to fly over your property. To start, try talking to your neighbor about the situation to express your concerns and request that they stop.

Learn about local privacy and drone regulations if the problem continues. If necessary, think about contacting local authorities or law enforcement to help you settle the conflict amicably and make sure your privacy rights are upheld.

Can I use my drone to spy on people?

It is both unethical and illegal to use a drone to spy on people. It violates individuals’ right to privacy and can result in severe legal consequences such as fines and criminal charges.

Respecting others’ privacy is critical in responsible drone use. Always fly your drone within the law and avoid capturing images or videos of people in private spaces without their permission. Consider the effect your actions may have on others.