Drones could be put to work to make housing surveys faster, cheaper and all-round easier on the eye.

Curo, the not-for-profit housing support organisation based in Bath, is becoming one of the first in the country to look at using drones for their condition surveys.

Communications and Media Manager for Curo, Sam Platt, said that they ‘like to be on top of current technology. They had seen other companies using it and getting good results, so it seemed like the logical next step.’

12,000 properties could benefit

Curo currently owns and maintains 12,000 properties, including Berkley House, Bath’s tallest building. The standard procedure for checking the condition of roofs and guttering is for scaffolding to be put up to allow surveyors to inspect and take pictures. Last year, this Curo spent £50,000 on inspections requiring scaffolding.

“This new technology affords the opportunity to make significant savings for Curo – savings we can pass on to our customers”


Sam Pratt was very impressed with the first set of stills: ‘In terms of quality, it did everything that it needed to. You could see every crack and every detail you needed to see.’ The new technology was first tested on their offices before being used to explore the rooftops of Bath:

Louise Swain, Curo’s Executive Director for Customer Service, says: “At Curo we are always looking for ways to improve our customer service. This new technology affords us the opportunity to make significant savings for Curo – savings we can pass on to our customers.”

No more scaffolding

“No one likes having scaffolding outside their window,” Louise adds, “so if we can find other ways to carry out essential inspections and save money, then we think everyone wins.

Curo-drone-test-Henrietta-street“Right now we’re just exploring this idea, but if we decide to start using drones for surveys we would always let residents know in advance, just as we do today when we put up scaffolding to carry out inspections. Residents’ privacy and safety would be paramount.”

Though there are many regulations drones will have to adhere to in order to start working (such as remaining in a visual line of sight, not being flown within 50 metres of an individual and always being piloted by a qualified operator), Curo seem to be positive of the potential. Sam Platt explained how this would allow Curo to ‘keep their options open’ but if the results work; it should ‘make a lot of sense to pursue this’.

 You can see more news from Curo at the Curo Group website or by following them on Twitter on @curo_group.