Q: My homeowners association rejected my request to mount a satellite antenna on the roof of my condo. Unfortunately, I cannot get a line of sight from my patio, hence my request to mount a dish on the wall (not on the flat roof). My only recourse is to seek legal action, IAW FCC — CFR 1.4000.
A: I have copied part of the FCC Satellite and Antenna Regulations that were adopted in October 1966, specifically, the OTARD Rule (Over-the-Air-Reception Devices).
As for condominium associations, owners can install an antenna on balcony or patio if the patio or balcony is a limited common element, restricted for the owner’s exclusive use. Again, installation rules would be permissible and may require that the owner cover the antenna as long as such a requirement does not impair an owner’s ability to receive a signal or unreasonably delay or increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use.
When a conflict arises concerning the validity of a restriction, the local government, community association, property owner or management entity that is trying to enforce the restriction has the burden of proving the restriction is valid. This means that no matter who questions the validity of the restriction, the burden will always be on the entity seeking to enforce the restriction to prove it is permitted under the rule or that it qualifies for a waiver.
Condominium boards have the right to prohibit residents from attaching the dish or any appurtenant equipment to the limited common element, such as walls or fence boards.
Further, the limited common element is defined as the airspace contained within the plan bounded by the top of the fence or railing, meaning that boards may prohibit condo owners from installing a dish above the fence line or through the pickets.
In your case, the association does have the right to deny the installation of the satellite antenna on the condominium roof.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.