FCC Says you CAN put up that antenna - HoA can't stop you (FCC OTARD reference)

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by jayn_j, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Congress passed the OTARD (Over-the-Air Reception Devices) rules back in 1996 which give citizens the right to erect antennas and satellite dishes. For the most part, the rules prevent municipalities and HoAs from enforcing rules that forbid antennas, require permits or approvals, or anything else that would cause a hardship. The rule also applies to renters if they have a balcony or patio.

    See the following for details: FCC Fact Sheet on Placement of Antennas

    Then go tell that HoA to stuff it.
  3. I worked as an installer for DirecTV for six months, and we spent the better part of a day during the training period discussing OTARD. The law does protect you from your own HOA in the legal sense, but you still have to live with the uptight morons you call neighbors. You have the right to buy that house, and you have the right to put up an antenna, but they're going to make your life hell if you exercise that right in a tactless or inconsiderate way.
  4. I would not tell the HOA to stuff it as if you read further down the law it states

    "This definition does not include, among other things, AM/FM radio, amateur ("HAM") radio (but see 47 C.F.R. §97.15), Citizens Band ("CB") radio, and Digital Audio Radio Services ("DARS") signals."

    It only affects tv reception.
  5. correct...but this is the OTA section which it does protect you ;)
  6. Today I got a letter from my landlord stating I have to take down my antenna as it's against the lease. Can they do that, or do OTARD rules supercede the text of the lease?
  7. 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.
  8. You can put it on a tripod, for instance, on your balcony, etc. And yes they may not stop you, but as an old saying goes, they can make you wish you hadn't!!! If you're willing to fight for your rights, go for it. E_V
  9. I must wonder why so many people will cave in with the threat that some petty Napolean MAY make your life miserable for defending your rights?

    FWIW, this post was originally made a sticky because we received comments that some HOA forbids a dish or antenna. It is provided as a public service.
    classic cartoon fan likes this.
  10. Any increase in scrutiny or undue harassment that begins after the installation of an antenna is a real problem for an HOA. The HOA would have to be able to show and prove that the same pattern they are "enforcing" upon you was occurring and on going before the installation of any antenna. If there have been no problems prior to the antenna, then what they are doing is called "retaliation", which, is a criminal act exposing them to lawsuits to which they have no defense. I just got through with a lawsuit against my HOA for "retaliation" and harassment. I am really enjoying the 75,000 dollar check they had to write to me. They could not prove a pattern of HOA rules violations prior to my installation of a Sat TV antenna. The morons did this even after they where shown the law and their own lawyer told them I was within my rights. Two of the members of the HOA also were fined and ordered removed from the Board for willful and wanton violations of Federal Law after they had knowledge of said law. (their own Lawyer's letter hung them)
  11. :welcome to Satelliteguys Rich12345!
    glen4cindy likes this.
  12. That is one awesome story! Did local media pick up on this?
  13. Does this cover a single dish antenna, or can I locate my 30" dish from where it is now out in front of my fence, next to my DirecTv Slimline? I would have to make sure the tree in the yard would not cause a LOS issue, but, if I do need to relocate it, I'd like to have options.
  14. as long as it is under a meter you are covered for all your dishes
  15. From the Fact Sheet(Link above):

    Q: Can a restriction limit the number of antennas that may be installed at a particular location?

    The Commission’s rule covers the antennas necessary to receive service. Therefore, a local rule may not, for example, allow only one antenna if more than one antenna is necessary to receive the desired service.
  16. Not specifically related to HOA's, but years ago had a landlord,(refer to kittyhas1000legs' dilemma) nice guy, asked him if I could put a vertical on the apartment roof. His concern was possible leaks or wear and tear from foot traffic. All valid concerns. For an extra monthly fee tacked onto the rent, those concerns of his could be assuaged. Bribery? Who knows, but it was what I had to do if I wanted to enjoy the hobby. Of course HOAs are a different animal, dealing with more people, documentation, and community association members.

    This landlord was somethin' else hi hi. No dogs were allowed in apartment house, but a few extra $ tacked on the rent pays for poop-scooping duties by the super and now fido can stay.
    Wanna' break your lease? Okay, $35 fee for super to find another tenant but no guarantees.
    A real businessman this landlord was.
  17. The annoyances followed me 2,100 miles. First the lady in the office went guano crazy when I DARED suggest that she was wrong. (She only worked there for a month or so.) Now, five months and two property managers later, I had a note on my door this morning, most likely left by the woman downstairs. Not on property letterhead, but handwritten on the back of a sheet from a notepad. She says that the lease doesn't allow dishes (irrelevant) and it is "interfering with everyone's lower channels that we have to pay cable for."

    I don't even know how to respond to that.
  18. In Storrs Ct a landlord prevailed when a tenant wanted to put up an antenna to receive Boston stations. (Which is possible with a good antenna and amp, and on a hill but not easy as it was when analog) The landlord had no TV provisions but offered to put an antenna up on the opposite of the house to get the Hartford locals. The tenant's attorney said that OTARD says you can still put up an antenna even if one exists for use if it does not provide the signals you want. But the landlord's attorney won with the FCC by saying but he had no right to receive stations out of Market when renting under OTARD.
  19. I know this is kinda an old thread, but as my post will show still a relevant topic. Recently my local city government took over the planning and zoning within the city limits from the county. To say that there have been growing pains, especially in my line of work, for the last 6 months is putting it lightly. I just had a run in with the zoning administrator over the placement of a 90 cm geosat pro dish in a B-2 zoned district.(far less restricted then residential) She claimed that antennas and dishes were deemed "outside storage" and conditional use permits were required. I provided the proper documentation from the FCC for the telecommunications act of 1996, and she actually got angrier.

    But I remained calm and we called the zoning board chair and went over the document and she then reluctantly agreed that anything 1 meter or less and all tv antennas were not outside storage and no permits would be required unless the pole was over 12' or could cause a saftey hazard. The on to the particular case of the placement of the dish came up.Since the property in question had conditional use restrictions they said where I wanted to put the dish wasnt allowed. So i choose not get upset and we agreed to meet later in the week on the issue and i went home and called the FCC to inquire about the conditional use restrictions. Turns out I was correct and i can place the antenna anyplace on the property within the setback to obtain the best signal. Here is where the story takes an interesting turn though. I also turned in a permit for several improvements to the property and to install a 10' prime focus dish. Now the nice gentleman i spoke with at the FCC said even though you are right on the 90 cm dish, going to battle over that could prevent the approval of the 10' BUD. He advised I try to find an alternate installation site for the 90 cm dish. So I installed the 90 cm on the roof of the building and let it go.

    This morning i received approval of the installation of the 10' bud and other improvements in the permit and can start work. So I guess the moral of the story is depending on your personal situation choosing your battles is the best coarse of action.
    danristheman, KE4EST and FTA4PA like this.
  20. At least your smart about it. I have yet to find a customer stand up to their landlord or city. They all think they can get kicked out of their home over a satellite dish.
  21. That's what I have to put here in this apartment complex banning satellites dishes. Long story.
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