Owning and living in a condominium is a much different experience than doing so in a townhome or single-family home. You’re closer to your neighbors, which means you have much less room outside of your unit – if any at all.
Condo associations are keenly aware of how important space is to their members. So much so that you can pretty much guarantee that your association’s covenants cover the exterior appearance of your unit with as much depth as any other kind of property. They’re intended to keep protect property values by keeping disrepair and eyesores at bay – but can there be an extent to these rules?
When it comes to satellite dishes, the answer is yes!
You Have a Right to Install a Satellite Dish
Most of us could agree that we’ve never quite found a satellite dish visually appealing. While some consideration for aesthetics probably went into their design, they are certainly more about function than form.
That’s a good thing because they help people get fast and reliable access to television and the Internet, especially in places where cable is unreliable or not even available. But, they have bigger implications. Broadly speaking, satellite dishes are “over the air reception devices” (OTARD for short), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers them to be a big deal because of that.
Back in 1996, the Telecommunications Act made it illegal for HOAs, condo associations, landlords, and the like to ban satellite dishes less than 39 inches in length. As long as a property owner or tenant has a correctly sized satellite dish and places it on their own property, they can’t even be required to ask for permission before installing it. Something to keep in mind: This applies to everyone who owns or rents any kind of property.
So, even if your neighbors complain to the association about your “unsightly” satellite dish, there’s almost nothing it can legally do.
Where You Install a Satellite Dish Matters
The right to install a satellite dish unimpeded is limited to the space that someone owns. Because condominiums are usually parts of a larger complex, it’s important to understand the difference between your property and the community’s property.
For example, community property can be a stairway, walkway, hallway, courtyard, and even a roof. As a consequence, your association actually can prohibit you from installing a dish in these locations. Why? Because you don’t own them – but you probably own your balcony or front entry space, which may be suitable locations for this device.
Are You Involved in a Dispute?
If you are involved in a legal dispute concerning your satellite dish or another type of architectural dispute, our attorney at Bundren Law Firm can help. With many years of experience, we’ve helped property owners successfully fight for their rights against HOAs, condo associations, and other such entities.
Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting Bundren Law Firm online.