FCC Overrules Condo TV Antenna Rules

WASHINGTON: Craig Wirth can put a satellite dish on his porch. That’s the verdict of the Federal Communications Commission on Wirth’s petition against Westchester LLC Condominium Homeowners Association in Nashville, Tenn.

FCC rules prohibit restricting TV antenna installations for multi-dwelling units, within certain parameters. Antennas can be installed “on property within the exclusive use or control of the antenna user.” The rules apply to renters and owners alike. Direct broadcast satellite dishes one meter across and less qualify. Wirth installed a dish on his porch, over which he claimed exclusive use based on the condo association’s Master Deed. That deed, adopted in 2007, states that a porch is for the exclusive use of the resident.

The association countered that the exclusivity applies to the four units that share the porches, therefore excluding the areas from FCC antenna rules. Nice try, the commission said. Wirth gets to park his antenna on the porch. The ruling consequently negated the association’s bylaw stating that no radio, TV or microwave antennas could be installed outside any unit.

“Because the association’s restriction is an outright ban on individual antennas, even those installed in an area covered by our rule, it certainly impairs installation and use and this is invalid and unenforceable,” the ruling states.
-- Deborah D. McAdams