Can HOAs Prohibit Satellite Dishes?

Question:

Can the HOA legally no allow me to use a satellite dish for my tv watching access?

– Cheryl

 

Answer:

Hi Cheryl,

The Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule (OTARD Rule) prohibits homeowners associations from banning the installation or use of satellite dishes. The rule also prohibits “restrictions that impair a person’s ability to install, maintain, or use an antenna covered by the rule.”

According to the rule, “a restriction impairs if it:

(1) 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. The rule does not prohibit legitimate safety restrictions or restrictions designed to preserve designated or eligible historic or prehistoric properties, provided the restriction is no more burdensome than necessary to accomplish the safety or preservation purpose.”

However, the association may adopt reasonable restrictions concerning the installation and use of satellite dishes and antennas. According to the FCC,

“Clearly-defined, legitimate safety restrictions are permitted even if they impair installation, maintenance or use provided they are necessary to protect public safety and are no more burdensome than necessary to ensure safety. The safety reason for the restriction must be written in the text, preamble or legislative history of the restriction, or in a document that is readily available to antenna users, so that a person who wishes to install an antenna knows what restrictions apply. Safety restrictions cannot discriminate between objects that are comparable in size and weight and pose the same or a similar safety risk as the antenna that is being restricted. Examples of valid safety restrictions include fire codes preventing people from installing antennas on fire escapes; restrictions requiring that a person not place an antenna within a certain distance from a power line; and installation requirements that describe the proper method to secure an antenna.”

It further goes on to say the following:

“Restrictions necessary for historic preservation also may be permitted even if they impair installation, maintenance or use of the antenna. To qualify for this exemption, the property may be any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure or object included in, or eligible for inclusion on, the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, restrictions necessary for historic preservation must be no more burdensome than necessary to accomplish the historic preservation goal. They also must be imposed and enforced in a non-discriminatory manner, as compared to other modern structures that are comparable in size and weight and to which local regulation would normally apply.”

 


Disclaimer:
We are not lawyers. The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice.

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