Condo HOA not required to allow satellite dishes in common areas

Q: I would like to know whether it’s legal to impose a fine on condominium owners because they have their satellite dishes positioned in an area that is more secure.

It seems that every time we get a new management company the rules change. In the past all we needed was verbal approval from the management and the board of directors.

The dish weighs 38 pounds, and if it’s placed at the bottom of the chimney on brackets, it doesn’t damage the roof tiles and it’s safer.

Our current management company and board of directors want it placed at the edge of the roof.

They also require paper work that includes signatures of neighbors’ approval.

In this economy we have more renters than owners. Renters are reluctant to sign.

A: Technically, in a condominium community, the association does not have to allow satellite dishes on common areas, such as roofs or chimneys or even on the landscape.

Apparently, your board and management company have made exceptions by allowing these dishes to be installed on the common areas.

That is the board’s prerogative.

For whatever reason, the community association’s guidelines have changed, which again is within their prerogative.

However, it is not the best policy of your HOA to keep changing its policies.

It is becoming more and more difficult for Southern Nevada homeowners to have their neighbors sign off on architectural requests when so many of their neighbors are tenants and not owners.

Most of the architectural forms will specifically state the association requests the neighbors’ comments, even though the decision to allow or to disallow an architectural request is not accepted or rejected by the neighbors’ comments. This decision belongs to the architectural committee and the board of directors. It is more of a courtesy requirement.

In cases in which the homeowners do not live within the community, associations should modify their regulations to require homeowners who are requesting the architectural work to send the form to their neighbors, for example, by certificate of mail.

The requesting homeowners would have documentation to show that the form was sent by certificate of mail to their neighbors, and this documentation would be given to the architectural committee or to the HOA board, depending upon how the association is organized.

If the neighboring homeowners don’t respond, the association would at least have a record that notice of the architectural project was sent to them.

Note: The state Office of the Ombudsman has scheduled several free HOA classes in October. Some that are being held in the area are: HOA Financial Statements, noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 16, 150 N. Yucca St., Suite 1, Mesquite; Reserve Studies, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 16, 150 N. Yucca St., Suite 1, Mesquite; How to File a Complaint, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 18, Bradley Building, 2501 E. Sahara Ave.

Barbara Holland, certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. Questions may be sent to Association Q&A, P.O. Box 7440, Las Vegas, NV 89125. Fax is 385-3759, email is support@hlrealty.com. Holland is also available to speak at your organization or company.

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