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Declaratory ruling clears way for condo resident to use outdoor antenna

The FCC Media Bureau told a Nashville, TN, resident Nov. 5 that his condominium’s homeowner association rules prohibiting him from installing an antenna violated protections under the commission’s Over-the-Air Reception Rule clearing the way for him to use an outdoor antenna.

The resident, Craig Wirth, filed a petition in January with the FCC seeking the ruling after his condominium homeowners association objected to his installation of an outdoor antenna. In issuing the declaratory ruling, the Media Bureau found the antenna restrictions of Westchester LLC Condominium Homeowners Association in Nashville “were impermissible.”

According to the association’s bylaws: “No exterior radio, television, microwave, or other antennae or antennae dish or signal capture of distribution device shall be permitted outside any Unit.” In its ruling, the Media Bureau said because the association rule is “an outright ban on individual antennas,” it impairs the installation and use of an antenna “and thus is invalid and unenforceable.”

A point of contention was where Wirth installed the antenna, specifically on his porch. The FCC rule barring such prohibitions on antenna installation exempts areas outside exclusive use or control of a homeowner or renter. In responding to Wirth’s petition, the homeowners association contended the porch was under his exclusive use and control.

After examining the wording of the master deed, the bureau found the homeowners association did not show that the porch is not an area within the exclusive use and control of Wirth.