It’s (somewhat) common knowledge that operating a drone for commercial purposes without a license can result in civil penalties (read: fines) of up to $1,100 (per occurrence) from the FAA. However, it is a lesser-known fact that you can be fined for hiring someone without an FAA license. Ignorance is not a defense for this either; as the FAA puts the burden of verification squarely on the shoulders of the client. To make this even worse, the client can actually face penalties that are 10X that of the unlicensed ‘pilot.’ So if you have Little Timmy Downthestreet fly over 4 houses for you, he could face fines of up to $4,400, while you’re stuck taking out a second mortgage to cover your fines of $44,000! If you buy your own drone and fly for work without a license, it is possible that you could be hit with both sets of penalties.
If your property is next to a flowing creek or nearby a city landmark, aerial photography can give viewers a lot of information about your location with just one picture.