Having drones whirl around your house can be extremely annoying. The lack of privacy and consistent noise probably gets under your skin. If you’re wondering how to legally stop your neighbor from flying their drone over your house – keep reading.
In most states, drones are legally allowed to fly over neighboring houses. However, you can attempt to stop the flying by speaking to the drone owner directly and expressing your concerns about the situation before pursuing other legal actions.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not have many restrictions for drone owners to follow. So, let’s look at some alternative legal routes you could take to get your neighbor to stop flying their drone over your house.
This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and other stores. This means Yard Blogger may earn a commission if you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.
Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
You can file a lawsuit for private nuisance or harassment if you believe the drone is flown with malicious intent. However, you would need substantial proof to file a lawsuit, so here are some products you might need.
Here are our favorite products from Amazon to gather evidence against your neighbor flying their drone over your house:
1. Security Camera – Used to collect evidence of drones over your property.
2. Tape Recorder – Used to record any conversations you have with your neighbor for evidence purposes.
3. No Trespassing Sign – Could be used to deter neighbors from flying their drones over your property.
Drones are increasing in popularity at a staggering rate as many people buy them for recreational use.
However, along with the rapid increase in numbers, laws regarding the use of drones have also developed.
How to Stop Neighbors’ Drones From Flying Over Your House?
The easiest and often the most effective way is to simply ask your neighbor to refrain from flying over your house or property. In most cases, they aren’t aware that you’re uncomfortable until you bring it up to them.
Federal law does not protect private property owners from drones. However, many states have specific laws prohibiting flying drones over private property without the owner’s permission.
You can call your local police station and enquire about the laws in your state.
Can I Complain About the Neighbor’s Drone?
If your neighbor does not respect your wishes, you can take them to court for private nuisance. You could argue the drone’s noise infringes on your peace, and simply filing a lawsuit could prompt your neighbor to keep their drone away.
So who owns the space right above your house? It depends. Every state has different laws or regulations about the airspace directly above your house.
You could also take your neighbor to court for trespassing if they fly above your home, although this might be a little tricky due to the unclear air space regulations.
You should contact a local civil attorney to enquire about the specifics in your state.
Can My Neighbor Fly a Drone Over My Backyard?
Most states have laws prohibiting flying drones over private properties. They’re not always controlled as much as you would like, though. You can take your neighbor to court for private nuisance if you have sufficient evidence.
Evidence could be photos or videos showing your neighbor’s drone above your property.
You probably don’t want to sit outside the whole day and wait to take a video, so getting a security camera could be the best solution to gather evidence.
What to Do About a Drone Flying Over My House at Night?
Have a straightforward conversation with your neighbor and explain why you would like them to keep away from your property. If that doesn’t work, you can write an email, asking them again and warning them that you will take further steps.
If they still seem to ignore your wishes, you can file a lawsuit for nuisance and take them to court with sufficient evidence.
The email, text messages, and security camera video should be enough to prove a case of nuisance in a court of law.
Drone Laws by State
|Alabama||No statewide drone laws|
|Alaska||Currently, no statutes or bills for private or hobby use of drones.|
|Arizona||Laws against flying drones over certain “critical infrastructures”|
|Arkansas||Laws against flying drones over certain “critical infrastructures,” as well as spying on others and getting in the way of first responders of any type.|
|California||Laws against flying over correctional facilities and getting in the way of first responders.|
|Colorado||Laws against using drones to hunt.|
|Connecticut||No major laws|
|Delaware||Can’t fly over nature preserves or over sporting events, concerts, or any event with more than 1500 people in attendance, or over critical infrastructure or where first responders are actively engaged.|
|Florida||Laws against flying over critical infrastructure. Also, has freedom from unwarranted surveillance act.|
|Georgia||No current laws|
|Hawaii||No current laws|
|Idaho||Laws against using drones for hunting as well as taking surveillance or evidence targeting specific persons without a warrant.|
|Illinois||Laws against using drones to prevent others from hunting or fishing. Also covers Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act.|
|Indiana||Laws against using drones for hunting.|
|Iowa||Can’t use drones for traffic enforcement, can’t fly over certain critical infrastructures.|
|Kansas||Can’t use drones to stalk/harass people.|
|Kentucky||Can’t fly at airports.|
|Louisiana||Laws against flying drones over certain “critical infrastructures”|
|Maine||Only laws are for regulating law enforcement.|
|Maryland||Only law is that only the state can enact laws on unmanned aircraft systems.|
|Massachusetts||No state drone laws|
|Michigan||Allows for all drone use, as long as the operator is following FAA regulations. Also has laws that you can’t hunt using drones, and you cannot interfere with a hunter using a drone.|
|Minnesota||No state drone laws (except for the state using them to monitor Moose Calves…)|
|Mississippi||Laws against voyeurism.|
|Missouri||No state drone laws.|
|Montana||Only laws surround fighting wildfires.|
|Nebraska||No state drone laws.|
|Nevada||Laws against flying drones over certain “critical infrastructures” (Nevada also includes the term “unmanned aerial vehicle” in its general definition of aircraft. “Aircraft” includes a balloon, airplane, hydroplane, unmanned aerial vehicle, and any other vehicle used for navigation through the air. Because of this, there are a lot of laws that are technically covering drones. Seriously, the list is like four pages long.)|
|New Hampshire||Laws against harassing hunters, trappers, and anyone fishing.|
|New Jersey||Laws pertaining to flying over prisons and other correctional facilities.|
|New Mexico||Laws against using drones for hunting.|
|New York||No state drone laws.|
|North Carolina||Can’t use drones for surveillance. Can’t fly over protected airspace or around correctional facilities.|
|North Dakota||Only laws are against government surveillance.|
|Ohio||No state drone laws|
|Oklahoma||Laws against flying over critical infrastructures.|
|Oregon||Laws against flying over critical infrastructures and using drones with weapons. Also has laws against using drones for hunting.|
|Pennsylvania||Laws against surveillance.|
|Rhode Island||No drone laws|
|South Carolina||No drone laws|
|South Dakota||Laws against eavesdropping/surveillance.|
|Tennessee||Laws against surveilling critical infrastructure, as well as taking and selling images of the same.|
|Texas||Laws against surveilling critical infrastructure, as well as taking and selling images of the same.|
|Utah||Laws against drones having weapons. Also covers drone laws concerning criminal trespass, privacy violations, voyeurism, and harassment.|
|Vermont||Laws against drones having weapons. Also cannot use drones to hunt.|
|Virginia||Laws against using drones for trespassing and surveillance.|
|Washington||Laws against using drones within the boundaries of the state capital campus.|
|West Virginia||Laws against using drones for hunting and fishing.|
|Wisconsin||Laws against flying over correctional facilities. Also, laws against using a drone to photograph, record, or observe where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.|
|Wyoming||No state laws on drones.|
|Washington, D.C.||A no drone zone.|
How Low Can My Neighbor Fly a Drone Over Private Property?
There are no federal laws that dictate how low a drone can fly. However, the FAA does not allow drones to fly higher than 400 feet. Some states have restricted flying drones over private property without the explicit consent of the property owner.
If you see a drone flying relatively low over your property, you can contact a local civil attorney or the police station to enquire about your state laws regarding drones.
If it’s against the law, you can file a lawsuit against your neighbor for trespassing.
Laws About Drones
Although the federal law is still quite gray, most states have set some important drone laws. Let’s look at some specific laws regarding using drones on private properties and flying over neighboring properties.
Is It Legal to Fly a Drone Over Private Property?
There are no set-in-stone laws regarding flying a drone in your neighborhood, except that you may not fly above 400 feet. However, some states have laws against flying a drone over private property.
If you do not want your neighbor to fly their drone over your house, you can file a lawsuit for private nuisance or trespassing (in certain states).
You would need to gather sufficient evidence before starting the legal process.
Is It Illegal to Fly Drones Around Houses?
With some exceptions, federal law does not restrict drones from flying around houses. However, drones have become more popular, and many states have enacted specific drone usage laws.
In some states, it could be argued as trespassing or even a safety risk – since the drone can fall out of the sky and potentially injure someone on another property.
You can contact a civil attorney if you feel that your neighbor’s drone is a safety concern or nuisance.
How Do I Report Illegal Drone Activity by a Neighbor?
If you believe your neighbor is flying a drone in illegal airspace, you can report it at your local police station. It’s always best to have some evidence, although you should not be discouraged if you have none.
Furthermore, if you suspect your neighbor is flying their drone higher than 400 feet, they are breaking federal law. You can report this at your local Federal Aviation Administration district’s office.
You might also enjoy our post on How To Deal With Trespassing Neighbors
What Constitutes Drone Harassment?
Harassment is a verbal or physical action intended to offend or humiliate you. If your neighbor continuously flies their drone over your property after asking them not to, it could constitute a harassment charge.
Even more so, if your neighbor’s drone has a camera, you can file a lawsuit for spying/surveillance or harassment. Drones are still relatively new, and there aren’t any effective set laws regarding drones in neighborhoods yet.
How to Report a Neighbor Flying a Drone Over My House?
It depends on the laws within your state. If your state doesn’t find flying a drone over other houses unlawful, you would need to file a lawsuit for harassment, nuisance, or safety risk.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to file a lawsuit as it is to fly a drone.
We would recommend first having a straightforward discussion with your neighbor and voicing your concerns – you can also record this conversation with a tape recorder (for future evidence).
Shooting Drones Down
We get it, sometimes, the frustration can boil over, and you feel like grabbing a gun and shooting the drone out of the sky.
That’s not a good idea, though. You could end up with some pretty hefty fines or other legal troubles.
Can I Shoot Down My Neighbor’s Spy Drone?
It is illegal to shoot down your neighbor’s drone. Even if you suspect they might be spying on or surveilling you. You can get charged with damage to personal property and be held liable for the costs.
So, technically, you could get into serious trouble for shooting down your neighbor’s drone.
What Is the Penalty for Shooting Down My Neighbor’s Drone?
You can be sentenced to up to twenty years imprisonment and a hefty fine if you are charged with shooting down an aircraft – including drones. You would also be held liable for the cost of a new drone.
The severe penalty will probably discourage most people from shooting down their neighbor’s drone. There are other alternative legal routes you could follow to ground your neighbors’ drones.
You might also enjoy our post on What to do if Your Neighbor’s Generator is Too Loud
Can You Shoot Down a Neighbor’s Drone if It’s Spying on You?
It’s unlawful to shoot down your neighbor’s drone, even if you suspect they are spying on you. You can file a lawsuit at your local civil court and sue your neighbor for harassment.
Besides the legalities, the logistics of shooting down a drone are also quite complicated. It would be extremely difficult for you to shoot down a moving drone, no matter how good of a shot you are.
The chances are much higher of the bullet injuring someone else nearby.
Can You Destroy a Drone Flying Over Your Property?
According to Title 18 of the United States Code, shooting down or destroying an aircraft is illegal. A drone is classified as an unmanned aircraft. Therefore, it is illegal to destroy a drone flying over your property.
There aren’t federal laws that prohibit a drone from flying over personal properties. Your neighbor is (usually) lawfully allowed to fly their drone around in your neighborhood.
If the drone is a nuisance to you, consult a local civil attorney about the legal steps you could take.
Spying With drones
You might feel a little paranoid, but it feels like your neighbor’s drone is watching you. What can you do? In this section, we’ll dive into the legal steps you can take to keep your neighbors drone away from you.
What Can I Do if My Neighbor’s Drone Is Spying on Me?
The easiest step is to approach your neighbor calmly and kindly. Have an open conversation with them and voice your concerns – in most cases, this will do the trick. If not, though, here’s what you can do.
Read up on your state’s local drone laws; each state is different, but most allow drones to fly freely in the neighborhood.
Carry a small notebook around and write down everything (time, date, place) while taking videos on your smartphone.
Once you have enough evidence, go to the police. The more evidence you have, the easier it will be for the police to reprimand your neighbor. You can also report your neighbor to the FAA for drone misuse.
How Do You Tell if a Drone Is Watching You?
If a drone seems to be following you while you walk outside or flies too close to your window, it’s safe to assume it’s probably watching you. Drones have two red nights and two green lights on their legs.
You’re probably being watched when the two red lights consistently face your direction for a prolonged period of time and seemingly follow your movements.
Read up on your local drone laws in your state, gather enough evidence, and lodge a complaint with the police.
Can a Drone Record Sound?
Typically drones cannot record sound. They are built for taking landscape photos or videos – these types of content do not necessarily need sound. If a drone were to have a microphone, it would probably only pick up the loud sound of the propeller.
If your neighbor is flying their drone over your yard, the chances are very slim that they will be able to eavesdrop on your conversations.
If the drone becomes a nuisance, you should talk with your neighbor and ask them to keep it away from your property.
How Do You Stop a Drone That’s Spying on You?
If you suspect a drone is spying on you, you should call the police and report it to the FAA. Even though state laws regarding drones might not be inclusive, a drone spying on you could be classified as harassment.
The owner of the drone would be held liable for harassment charges. When you see a drone following you, take a video on your smartphone as evidence when contacting the police.
In most cases, the police would require some kind of evidence.
You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Put a No-Trespassing Sign in Your Yard
What to Do if You Find a Drone on Your Property?
If you find a crashed drone on your property, the odds are that someone is looking for it. Ask around in your neighborhood if someone lost a drone, asking them to prove that they own a drone similar to the one you found.
You can also contact the FAA to check if this drone is registered with them. If it is, they will have the contact information of the rightful owner.
If all else fails, you can simply hand it over to local law enforcement, and it will be out of your hands.
Can I Fly My Drone in a Public Park?
Generally, you are allowed to fly your drone at a public park. There aren’t any federal laws prohibiting the use of drones in public spaces, so if you abide by the FAA regulations, you should be fine.
That being said, you should check the rules of your local park. Some parks have specific rules that prohibit the use of drones, which means you will not be able to use your drone there.
Always double-check before launching your drone.
Can You Spy on Your Neighbor With a Drone?
According to the FAA, it is illegal to fly a drone irresponsibly. Using a drone to spy on your neighbor is irresponsible and could get you in a heap of legal trouble for harassment.
It’s never a good idea to spy on someone, with or without a drone, because you are violating their privacy rights, and they can take you to civil court.
Instead, use your drone for recreation in your yard or public park.
Technically, neighbors are allowed to fly over your house, and no federal laws prohibit this.
You could file a lawsuit against your neighbor for harassment or private nuisance – although you would need sufficient evidence to back up your lawsuit.