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Old 8-Oct-2014, 7:03 AM   #1
nleahcim
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HOA upset about antenna - is their complaint valid?

I recently installed an RCA ANT751R antenna on the side of my patio. The patio is part of a condo that is part of an HOA. It is mostly obscured by trees, but if you're walking around the perimeter of the building and look up at the right time, you can spot it.

I got a notice today saying "it was noted that you have a antenna attached to the building. Please note that nothing can be attached to the building as the antenna must be on a tripod. This must be removed and the hole filled and painted."

Are they within their rights to request this? I thought HOAs had little to no power to restrict antenna usage.

I should note that various people of satellite dishes in similar locations and have had them up for a long time... so it is not clear why I am being targeted here.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 11:36 AM   #2
Stereocraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nleahcim View Post
I recently installed an RCA ANT751R antenna on the side of my patio. The patio is part of a condo that is part of an HOA. It is mostly obscured by trees, but if you're walking around the perimeter of the building and look up at the right time, you can spot it.

I got a notice today saying "it was noted that you have a antenna attached to the building. Please note that nothing can be attached to the building as the antenna must be on a tripod. This must be removed and the hole filled and painted."

Are they within their rights to request this? I thought HOAs had little to no power to restrict antenna usage.

I should note that various people of satellite dishes in similar locations and have had them up for a long time... so it is not clear why I am being targeted here.
There should be no difference, between one of those ugly grey dishes and an OTA antenna, as they are both reception devices.
There are though, distinctions between "Shared" and "Exclusive" areas.

Personally, I would ignore anything short of a court summons.
They may even back down, if they see you taking pictures of your antenna and other peoples' dishes. Taking notes on a clipboard, is also a great visual

Do not hesitate to call and speak w/ somebody at the FCC, if they persist.

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 1:30 PM   #3
ADTech
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This is a condo association, not an HOA with single family homes. The situation may be much more complex and requires an evaluation of information that has not been provided.

Quote:
There are though, distinctions between "Shared" and "Exclusive" areas.
This is what will mostly determine the permissibility (or lack thereof) of the antenna installation.

Quote:
I would ignore anything short of a court summons.
That would be ill-advised until the complete situation is known.


Read the FCC OTARD rules, read your associations rules, know your ownership and usage rights, and apply the rules and guidelines appropriately. The small satellite dishes (< 1m) and local OTA antennas (no size limitation) fall under exactly the same provisions of the OTARD rules, so the association cannot make an exception for one device while excluding the other. This is all spelled out in the FCC link above.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 4:47 PM   #4
Stereocraig
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OK, perhaps my statement regarding ignoring the notice, is too broad, but I'd wonder how enforceable something besides some sort of subpoena would be.

I would certainly deem anything just scribbled on a piece of paper, as file 13.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 5:52 PM   #5
ADTech
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I doubt the notice was scribbled on a piece of paper. Association governing boards, depending on their association by-laws and covenants, may have been given substantial authority by the members to enforce the same without escalating to court summons. I've served on such a body and it isn't easy.

In any event, the OP needs to do some homework to see where he/she actually stands in the matter. Until that is done, any discussion is based on unknowns.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 6:15 PM   #6
nleahcim
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OK - to answer a couple of questions:

The complaint was sent me on a very formal template through the mail. It came from a company that apparently runs the HOA.

I was able to acquire a copy of the HOA rules today (I had previously been unable to do so). I found this rule regarding satellite dishes:
Quote:
Satellite Dish Antennas Policy
A satellite dish antenna of one meter or less in diameter may be installed entirely within exclusive use common area (i.e., rear patios and front porches). The antenna may not be affixed to the exterior of the exclusive use common area and cannot penetrate any part of the building structure. The antenna must remain inside the vertical and lateral boundaries of the exclusive use common area. When the Association has given notice of scheduled painting of common area property, the antenna must be
removed to allow for painting.
I also found this rule:
Quote:
Exterior Building Surfaces
Exterior building surfaces may not be repainted or altered in any way. No
owner may affix anything to the exterior surface of any building without
the written approval of the Architectural Committee.
So if that is valid - I see that I am violating their rules... but it is not clear if the FCC allows that limitation? Certainly the FCC overrules the HOA.

I'm attaching two photos. One shows where my antenna is attached. That is my patio behind it. The second shows a satellite dish. I found a huge number of satellite dishes installed at my building - but all installed in similar ways to this with this strange stand. I suspect I should just find a similar stand and be done with it. Thoughts?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SMALL_IMG_20141008_074040701_HDR.jpg (94.4 KB, 225 views)
File Type: jpg SMALL_IMG_20141008_074630548_HDR.jpg (172.4 KB, 207 views)
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 6:45 PM   #7
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I think this boils down to a question re. 'Exclusive Use' and/or 'Exclusive Control'. If you have either or both of those over the wall surface in question, you likely have the full support of the FCC. If you lack both of those, you will likely want to make nice promptly.

I would be a bit surprised if you or another individual condo owner 'own' the exterior surface of the building. In most condominiums I would expect the exterior roof and walls to be owned by the entire group of owners, because they all depend on the roof and walls to protect their individual units. If the condo association owns the exterior of the building, a rule that prevents an individual owner from making holes in it seem reasonable.



http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule

Q:* Whose antenna restrictions are prohibited?
A:* The rule applies to restrictions imposed by local governments, including zoning, land-use or building regulations; by homeowner, townhome, condominium or cooperative association rules, including deed restrictions, covenants, by-laws and similar restrictions; and by manufactured housing (mobile home) park owners and landlords, including lease restrictions.* The rule only applies to restrictions on property where the viewer has an ownership or leasehold interest and exclusive use or control.
Q:* If I live in a condominium or an apartment building, does this rule apply to me?
A:* The rule applies to antenna users who live in a multiple dwelling unit building, such as a condominium or apartment building, if the antenna user has an exclusive use area in which to install the antenna.* "Exclusive use" means an area of the property that only you, and persons you permit, may enter and use to the exclusion of other residents.* For example, your condominium or apartment may include a balcony, terrace, deck or patio that only you can use, and the rule applies to these areas.* The rule does not apply to common areas, such as the roof, the hallways, the walkways or the exterior walls of a condominium or apartment building.* Restrictions on antennas installed in these common areas are not covered by the Commission's rule.* For example, the rule would not apply to restrictions that prevent drilling through the exterior wall of a condominium or rental unit and thus restrictions may prohibit installation that requires such drilling.
Q:* Does the rule apply to condominiums or apartment buildings if the antenna is installed so that it hangs over or protrudes beyond the balcony railing or patio wall?
A:* No.* The rule does not prohibit restrictions on antennas installed beyond the balcony or patio of a condominium or apartment unit if such installation is in, on, or over a common area.* An antenna that extends out beyond the balcony or patio is usually considered to be in a common area that is not within the scope of the rule.* Therefore, the rule does not apply to a condominium or rental apartment unit unless the antenna is installed wholly within the exclusive use area, such as the balcony or patio.
Q:* Does the fact that management or the association has the right to enter these areas mean that the resident does not have exclusive use?
A:* No.* The fact that the building management or the association may enter an area for the purpose of inspection and/or repair does not mean that the resident does not have exclusive use of that area.* Likewise, if the landlord or association regulates other uses of the exclusive use area (e.g., banning grills on balconies), that does not affect the viewer's rights under the Commission's rule.* This rule permits persons to install antennas on property over which the person has either exclusive use or exclusive control.* Note, too, that nothing in this rule changes the landlord's or association's right to regulate use of exclusive use areas for other purposes.* For example, if the lease prohibits antennas and flags on balconies, only the prohibition of antennas is eliminated by this rule; flags would still be prohibited.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 7:06 PM   #8
tomfoolery
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From an article on the subject, seemingly aimed at condo boards and community associations and such.

http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/arti...na_Regulations

"Condominium Restrictions

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 that 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 that the restriction is permitted under the rule or that it qualifies for a waiver.

In light of the rapidly changing technology in telecommunications, it is important for you to stay informed on these types of issues faced both by homeowners and community associations. You can find more information about the FCC rules governing satellites and antennas at www.fcc.gov.

Note: 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."

What they're demanding doesn't seem out of line with the OTARD rule, and it doesn't seem (to me) that they're applying it to you differently than to others in the condo building. Keep it within the balcony, don't put any holes in the building, and they'll have nothing to say. It would seem to me, at least. And ballasted flat roof mounts are common.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 8:15 PM   #9
nleahcim
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tomfoolery - am I right in reading this as the antenna cannot stick past the railing? I did notice that everybody's satellite dishes were sticking past the railing (as pictured).

Any suggestions for a mount that might make sense here? I think the sort of flattened tripod style might not be terrible.
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Old 8-Oct-2014, 8:36 PM   #10
tomfoolery
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I'm not a lawyer, so this is my opinion, and nothing more. There are non-penetrating roof mounts for antennas and sat. dishes, available in lots of places, like this one: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...-%28frm-166%29 Some are centered, and some are offset, and they come in different sizes. If it were me, I'd use one of them, and stick the antenna over the rail a bit (or not), like the dishes are, but since it's just sitting there, you can always pull it back. With the offset style, and the already asymmetric ANT751r, you can mount it on an offset mount and hang it over the rail, or spin it the other way so the mount is under the antenna and it doesn't go past the rail. Decorate with some big patio pavers (16" square maybe?), and some potted plants, and it doesn't have to look terrible.
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