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Hi,

I remember seeing a post here on AVS that had a link to a Federal Law stating tenants had the right to use outdoor antennas on their decks. I can't find the link anymore...can someone repost it please?


My landlord is giving me grief about my "ugly" antenna on the deck.


Thanks for the help...
 

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If you're within the size requirements set forth by the FCC, you're landlord has no legal ground to force you to remove that antenna.
 

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If I remember the FCC rules (I had to review them in November when I upgraded my old round dish for a new 3 LNB oval dish because I live in a condo), I believe you also have to be careful how you install an antenna or dish. It can be installed on your patio or deck (or any other private outdoor space that no other residence has access to) without the approval of a landlord or condo association, but I don't think you can physically mount it to any structural part of the building, and you may no be able to drill a hole through the exterior wall of the building to run the cable for the antenna or dish. You may have to get a special piece of flat coaxial cable and run the cable indoors through a patio door or window. Double check the guidelines. If you follow them, your landlord can't make you take down your dish or antenna.
 

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A friend recently moved into an apartment in Atlanta. After finding out the local cable provides sucked, he inquired about satellite service. The apartment management company told him he would have to place a $300 deposit with them, and provide evidence of a $100K insurance policy against potential damage resulting from the installation of said satellite dish even if it were free-standing and not mounted.


I thought this was surprising in that they had no problems with a HAM radio or CB antenna. My advice to him was to take the freestanding antenna place it inside the apartment by an available window and put an inline amplifier on it. The management can't say anything about that as its no more wirelessly-threatening that a cordless radio of cell phone.


Of course, i could be wrong, hehe.
 

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Hi,


One other option is instead of fighting the landlord or HOA

--you can suggest that the entire complex get DirecTV. I

just went through this process with our HOA and we are

getting 1 big dish on the roof which will feed all units who

wish to get it. We also tried to get every single unit to

sign up, but that did not pass--if we had gotten it, then

the programming in "bulk" would have been half price.

If you are interested in pursuing this sort of thing, call

an installer that deals with MDU situations, e.g. Digitalix:
http://www.digitalix.tv/pressrelease4.htm

In some cases the HOA can even make money itself

by charging a "service fee" for providing Directv/Dish

access (but they can't mark up the programming costs).

Good Luck either way!
 

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I live in an apartment building which allows satellite reception.


However, they said it must be professionally installed and must have a $100 deposit for possible damages.


I ended up installing it myself over 8 months ago, securely mounting the satellite dish to my deck. I was probably the 4th tenant in this complex to have a satellite dish installed.


Not a single peep from management.


Course...


They didn't say a peep about the 12,000 BTU air-conditioner installed onto one of my windows either. (Installed over my concrete deck so just in case it falls, it doesn't KILL anyone below me.)


I'm in the same boat where I can't wait to own my own home.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by XFactor
Where did your friend originally propose to mount this antenna?
On his deck, which faces the southern horizon. We could have installed it without mounting it to the railing, etc., but they were Nazi's about this kind of thing. Of course, they are working off of people's laziness to fight for their rights, too.


Kermee:


Exactly! My friend could have installed 'lightning rods' 20' tall and they wouldn't have said a thing. Of course, being a cynic sometimes I suggested he do so.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
The apartment management company told him he would have to place a $300 deposit with them, and provide evidence of a $100K insurance policy against potential damage resulting from the installation of said satellite dish even if it were free-standing and not mounted.
From the FCC website:

A restriction impairs if it: unreasonably delays or prevents use of; (2) unreasonably increases the cost of; or (3) precludes a person from receiving or transmitting an acceptable quality signal from an antenna covered under the rule.


It would seem that the deposit and insurance policy would violated condition #2 above. This isn't to say that having good liability insurance as a renter is a bad idea. However, the onus would be on the apartment manager to demonstrate that requiring a large deposit (I remember pet deposits being around $100) and $100,000 insurance policy didn't unreasonably increase the cost.
 

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Let me play devil's advocate, here.


Please produce the FCC definition of unreasonably increases the cost. I ask this, because what you or I, or my friend, may find unreasonable may not be unreasonable to others. The ambiguity in the rule clearly is a wash for the FCC guildelines.


Thus, without a defined value by the governing entity this could mean almost anything.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
Let me play devil's advocate, here.


Please produce the FCC definition of unreasonably increases the cost. I ask this, because what you or I, or my friend, may find unreasonable may not be unreasonable to others. The ambiguity in the rule clearly is a wash for the FCC guildelines.


Thus, without a defined value by the governing entity this could mean almost anything.
Well, one might suggest you read some of the decisions that are linked in the FCC document I provided a link to earlier, such as:

Quote:
22.We agree with Petitioners and others that the requirement in Ordinance No. 745 that an installer or antenna user obtain a permit upon written application and the requirement to pay a permit fee of $5.00 before installing an antenna is prohibited under the Rule. Ordinance No. 745(1) provides:


Prior to installing, using, or maintaining a satellite receiving antenna and associated equipment in any district classification or zone outside an enclosed building the installer or primary benefactor of the proposed installation shall make written application for a permit from the City of Meade. So as to not unreasonably delay the ability to make or enjoy such installation and the reception of a signal, the Building Official of the City of Meade shall immediately review the application and if the same complies with the following requirements a permit shall be issued forthwith by the Building Official in consideration for the payment of a Five Dollar and no/100 ($5.00) permit fee to the City of Meade, Kansas.


23.As noted above, one of the purposes of the Rule is to prohibit restrictions that unreasonably delay or prevent antenna installation, maintenance, or use. The Rule is intended to promote one of the primary objectives of the Act, which is to make communication services readily available to the public at a reasonable expense. In our Report and Order, we stated that procedural requirements might act as a barrier between the new technology and the potential consumer because of the administrative delay and the myriad regulatory obstacles that the potential antenna user must hurdle before being able to utilize the new technology. We specifically concluded that requirements for permits or fees might prove to be a disincentive for potential antenna users, effectively "preventing" access to the video programming signals that Congress sought to protect under Section 207 of the Act. The Commission noted that permits may be permissible when there is a local condition involving safety or historic preservation, but such requirements should be no more burdensome than necessary to achieve the stated purpose. We note that, under the Rule, the party seeking to impose these requirements is required to carry the burden of demonstrating that its restrictions comport with the Rule.


So, at least in this case, $5.00 is unreasonable.


Yeah, it's a lot of reading to go through them all, but you'll gain some insight into the reasoning behind the decisions, too, and you start to see a pattern: Any money being spent to anyone except to someone actually doing the work installing something is unreasonable; any requirement to use a licensed/insured contractor is unreasonable because dishes are designed to be installed by the user; any requirement to ask anyone in advance for any permission to install anything is unreasonable; the burden of proof of anything is placed upon the entity trying to stop something from being installed.
 

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To me it would seem that what you have posted in excerpt is not one of the monetary costs I was calling into question in my original reply, but the cost in time it would take to make application for permit, and the time for review of said application.


The apartment community management where my friend is currently residing is not being asked or required to make application for permit, but a deposit. The aspect of insurance should not be considered any differently than the typical liability insurance requirement for pets, firearms, etc., and would make for a wonderfuly opportunity for the DBS service providers to divest into insuarance.


I do not see how this would obsolve my friend's burden of the deposit.
 

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Do they require a $100 deposit for putting other stuff out on the balcony? A plant, a chair, a table, a bicycle, a bucket... anything else? If not, then it's unreasonable. I think that's quite clear in the FCC rulings. It increases the cost of installing it. You lose use of that money for a period of time; that's an increased cost. Having to have the money at all in order to fund the deposit is a burden.


Renters insurance covers the renters personal property only, and provides a minimal amount of general liability coverage for things happening on their premises. The landlord or building owner will still have to have insurance on their property, and liability insurance for the property, and it will apply first for anything happening outside the residents premises. Do they require the tenant obtain renters insurance under any other circumstances related to placing something on the balcony, or only when a satellite dish is installed? If they only require it with a satellite dish, then it becomes an unreasonable extra cost. If they require it in general when occupying the premises, then it wouldn't be an unreasonable cost, nor would it really be related to installing a satellite dish. I think that's also quite clear.


Do you have to fill out a form, request advance permission, or in any way defer to a decision by another party before installing your satellite dish? That's also quite clearly against the rules.


Read the rulings... not the rule about allowing the dishes and striking down any laws or clauses preventing that, but the decisions the FCC has published where they've been given specific circumstances and asked to make an advance ruling on a matter. You'll see the jist of every decision made.


Does making the deposit give your friend rights to install the satellite dish and run the wire through the wall? Hence the deposit becomes a wall-mutilation issue, ensuring it's either repaired upon departure or that money is available for the landlord to do so? Then that's probably a reasonable requirement if and only if you run a wire through the wall. If it were a completely unobtrusive installation with wires all being run through existing openings then the deposit requirement serves no purpose other than being an additional burden and would, hence, be against the rules. That's also pretty clear.
 

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i faced this same situation in my last apartment complex, I was threatened by legal action, increased deposits, the works...I submitted a copy of the fcc regulations, with highlited sections stating my rights...that same day I installed the dish on the railing of my balcony (which is legal as long as you don't damage it directly), and never heard back from the apartment complex...the beautiful thing was that within the months after that, dishes sprung up all over the complex...i like to think i had a hand in that...


my suggestion to those who are worried about doing this because of all the threats that come from their landlords...DON'T BE...just read the regulations, have a copy on hand, and install without fear...(be smart about it of course)...every complex knows they have no right to deny it, and just try to intimidate...but once those dishes are up, they know their lawyers cannot do anything about it...and if there are threats of eviction, or financial fees/deposits, read up on your states rental laws...it seems like a pain in the ass, but someone has to fight the fight for your complex...once you do it,...you pave the way for everyone else...and this only makes cable companies' lives worse, bringing about better competition
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dswallow
Do they require a $100 deposit for putting other stuff out on the balcony? A plant, a chair, a table, a bicycle, a bucket... anything else? If not, then it's unreasonable. I think that's quite clear in the FCC rulings. It increases the cost of installing it. You lose use of that money for a period of time; that's an increased cost. Having to have the money at all in order to fund the deposit is a burden.
Last time I checked, the objects you offer do not have the potential to lead a lightning bolt from the deck into the interior of the apartment, which is what I suspect most rental property owners are concerned with. BTW, the deposit my friend would have to front made no discernment if the dish was placed on the deck, or in the apartment. The same deposit was required in both instances. This is why I chimed in and ask him to offer reason why a satellite dish was considered a hazard, but not a cordless telephone, or other potential objects that could draw a lightning bolt into the premises.


BTW, I am not disagreeing with you, or the ruling. In fact, I am in complete agreement. But my concern is any ambiguity that could result in a local court decision to be in favor of the property owner/management and not in favor of the potential subscriber.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
Last time I checked, the objects you offer do not have the potential to lead a lightning bolt from the deck into the interior of the apartment, which is what I suspect most rental property owners are concerned with. BTW, the deposit my friend would have to front made no discernment if the dish was placed on the deck, or in the apartment. The same deposit was required in both instances. This is why I chimed in and ask him to offer reason why a satellite dish was considered a hazard, but not a cordless telephone, or other potential objects that could draw a lightning bolt into the premises.


BTW, I am not disagreeing with you, or the ruling. In fact, I am in complete agreement. But my concern is any ambiguity that could result in a local court decision to be in favor of the property owner/management and not in favor of the potential subscriber.
Directly from the FCC rule, it's stated that if there's a safety reason for something, that safety reason must explictly (not vaguely) be identified in specific areas of whatever rule or law is requiring something, and there must be specific requirements of how to satisfy the safety requirement. Paying for insurance in no way makes the dish safer. Paying a deposit in no way makes it safer. So if it doesn't specifically detail how it gets installed to be "safe" then that rule would be unenforceable. I'd suggest that your friend get the rules that must be adhered to in writing from the landlord/management company. If it's just "you have to pay this, and have that" and a safety reason is not specifically identified in detail (including info on how it can be done safely) as being the basis for it, then the FCC rule will make it unenforceable. That is a clear precedent in many of the decisions you can read that are linked off that page in the FCC web site. It doesn't matter one iota if what's said verbally... only what is part of the rules that are written and accepted and provided to the tenants.


A satellite antenna inside an apartment is not a lightning hazard. If it were, then so would be a toaster oven. It's silly they think they could control use of a satellite dish within the apartment itself. Are there satellite dish police that inspect the apartment interior unannounced? :) Beyond that, a DBS satellite dish really isn't a lightning hazard unless it's above the roofline (yes, I'm simplifying... stick it alone in the yard on a pole much higher than anything nearby and ground it, and it is, too, and other such things). The grounding requirement for a dish installed like your friend likely will off a balcony is going to protect the dish and equipment connected to it more from static buildup due to wind than anything else. And to date, no one here has ever identified any damage due to ingress of lightning due to an ungrounded dish. And I'd venture to say the majority of DIY dish installations in apartments are ungrounded.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by belsokar
that same day I installed the dish on the railing of my balcony (which is legal as long as you don't damage it directly)
I read the FCC rules, and I don't see any place, where they specifically address clamping it to the railing. Is there a part, you can cite, that supports this?


Since I would have to have the dish 'look' over the roof, a railing install wouldn't work. But there is a sconce on the wall, that is up close to the eave and roof line, that looks like it would hold the dish, but I don't know if it is okay to use.


I guess all that matters is, if it is an exclusive use area or not. I will have to look at my condo declaration.


I bet the railing is mentioned, but not the sconces. I would think it would be treated like the railing (or better, since it is in my airspace)?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dswallow
A satellite antenna inside an apartment is not a lightning hazard. If it were, then so would be a toaster oven. It's silly they think they could control use of a satellite dish within the apartment itself. Are there satellite dish police that inspect the apartment interior unannounced? :)
Actually, the last three apartment communities I have lived in all gave fair warning that the management, or a vendor accompanied by someone in the management company can enter the premises during daylight hours without prior warning. They simply have to make an attempt to get someone to answer the door, and if no answer they have the means to enter the premises. I do believe the FCC has no jurisdiction in this area of law, and the fear of benig caught with your pants down keeps most people in line.
Quote:
Beyond that, a DBS satellite dish really isn't a lightning hazard unless it's above the roofline (yes, I'm simplifying... stick it alone in the yard on a pole much higher than anything nearby and ground it, and it is, too, and other such things). The grounding requirement for a dish installed like your friend likely will off a balcony is going to protect the dish and equipment connected to it more from static buildup due to wind than anything else. And to date, no one here has ever identified any damage due to ingress of lightning due to an ungrounded dish. And I'd venture to say the majority of DIY dish installations in apartments are ungrounded.
You are preaching to the choir, here.
 
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