HELP! Condo Association Problem...not the usual though

jynxsee

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
70
0
I have had a Dish Network dish up in our condominium for approximately 3 years. It's on my 'exclusive use' balcony. With drill throughs to the 2 rooms I have it in, these holes are on my 'exclusive use' balcony as well.

Recently we got a new management company. They revised the rule to the letter of the law as far as the Telecom Act is concerned. Not a bad thing. The previous rules for dishes didn't conform to the Telecom Act of 1996 and were just ignored due to this.

But, in order to discourage dishes, they have put a new 'clause' in prohibiting drill throughs. :rolleyes: Now, I got a letter in the mail demanding that I find a way to make the dish conform to the act.

Here's where I need help. If I tried flatwire, to pass through, my balcony doors would cut the wire. I know there used to be things that passed the signal through glass, but I can't seem to locate these nowadays and need the ones that work on multipaned glass.

Therefore, does anyone have any suggestions or products that would help me out?

I do *not* want to go back to Communist Cast. Their service for the exact same Dish package I have is almost $30 more in my area then what I am paying.
 

video62

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
385
0
opiwan said:
But, in order to discourage dishes, they have put a new 'clause' in prohibiting drill throughs. :rolleyes: Now, I got a letter in the mail demanding that I find a way to make the dish conform to the act.

Check out http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

By my reckoning, any rule that prohibits drilling through property that you own and have exclusive use of is a "prohibited restriction":

Q: What types of restrictions are prohibited?

A: The rule prohibits restrictions that impair a person's ability to install, maintain, or use an antenna covered by the rule. The rule applies to state or local laws or regulations, including zoning, land-use or building regulations, private covenants, homeowners' association rules, condominium or cooperative association restrictions, lease restrictions, or similar restrictions on property within the exclusive use or control of the antenna user where the user has an ownership or leasehold interest in the property. 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. 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.
 

martincva

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 31, 2003
31
0
Do NOT let them bully you!

Sorry for shouting. I get so tired of all the HOAs and the Architectural Review Boards and the Condo Management Companies trying to bully us. They are not trying to follow the letter of the law, they are trying to make you do something that is way over the line.

I really don't understand what they think they are getting out of it, unless it is some sort of sick power trip. Your condo is much more valuable at resale if it has access to satellite TV. That helps EVERYONE in your condo.

Here is the real skinny -- the actual FCC Telecommunications Act of 1996 (http://www.msen.com/~duemling/telecom/act.html#sec207) says:

<snip>
SEC. 207. RESTRICTIONS ON OVER-THE-AIR RECEPTION DEVICES.

Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall, pursuant to section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, promulgate regulations to prohibit restrictions that impair a viewer's ability to receive video programming services through devices designed for over-the-air reception of television broadcast signals, multichannel multipoint distribution service, or direct broadcast satellite services.
<end snip>

As directed by that law, the FCC established the following regulations regarding the placement of antennas (http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html)

<snip>
As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), multichannel multipoint distribution (wireless cable) providers ("MMDS"), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS").

The rule is cited as 47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000 and has been in effect since October 14, 1996. It prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to- home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

Effective January 22, 1999, the Commission amended the rule so that it also applies to rental property where the renter has an exclusive use area, such as a balcony or patio.
<end snip>

As I read this, they can do nothing to stop you from installing the antenna on your patio, nor anything that will "impair a viewer's ability to receive video programming". You must have cabling to receive video programming. They cannot unreasonablly increase the cost of installation or maintenance, or require anything that will decrease the signal quality below an acceptable level.

If I were you, I would send them a letter with both of the above web addresses, tell them that you know of no alternative to your current setup that would not increase the cost and/or decrease the signal quality. If they wish to pay for a solution that would eliminate the drill-through, they are welcome to discuss it with you, but you feel no obligation to change anything. If they have any other questions they can call your attorney, and give them your attorney's name and number.

You have done nothing against the law. And, in fact, the Telecommunications Act was implemented with situations just like yours in mind. There is no way I would change my setup if I were getting an acceptable signal. Good luck.

- martincva

p.s. -- Ten bucks says this new management group is being paid off by ComCast to scare current satellite customers back to cable. When the actions of a some group or other defy all logic, follow the money.
 

BarryO

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 11, 2003
188
0
On the FCC web site, there's a complete history of the case law on FCC declaratory rulings in the OTARD (i.e., rulings on interpretations of the OTARD that the FCC has made in respnse to Petitions for Declaratory Rulings by various parties).

I remember reading one case where the FCC ruled that a tenant could mount a dish on an exterior wall that was directly over their balcony; in other words, this prtion of the exterior wall was also deemed to be within their exterior use, and they could drill into it to mount the dish.

By extension of this case, I owuld think this also means that you can drill-through in this area.

You could search the site for this ruling, and use it to argue with your landlord that what you're doing is permitted. There are als0 instructions on the FCC site on how to file your own petition, if necessary.
 

jynxsee

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
70
0
Here's my concern, right from the FCC fact sheet...

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 prohibit restrictions that prevent drilling through the exterior wall of a condominium or rental unit.

Notice the very last line... :(

Hence why I wasn't even going to bother trying to fight it, but find a way to comply.
 

BrianB

SatelliteGuys Guru
Jan 3, 2004
149
0
I am in a similar situation but they let me do the drill through.

What people who responded don't realize is that when you live in a condo, you do NOT own the inside of the walls. The HOA owns the exterior of the building, all crawl space between walls, all wiring, etc. Essentially, anything between the walls is not the property of the owner and you cannot do anything to it (including running a wire through). Luckily, my HOA checked out the professional install and approved it.
 

rtt2

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
903
0
Check out this link:

http://www.dishnetwork.com/downloads/pdf/getdish/what_is/cust107customersart.pdf
 

Sparkman

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
1,308
36
Charlotte,NC
If your unit has already been wired for cable you may want to try to "piggyback" that wiring thru. They may have drilled a hole large enough to fit another cable thru it.
 

James Long

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 24, 2003
1,580
0
Michiana: South of the Border
The silly thing is that in this case the damage is already done. The hole is already there with a working cable running through it and the new owners want it pulled out.

I suppose that is to prevent the future neighbors from using the excuse "opiwan is doing it, why can't I!"

In my old apartment I could have run the cable in through the AC unit. :)

JL
 

BarryO

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 11, 2003
188
0
opiwan said:
Here's my concern, right from the FCC fact sheet...

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 prohibit restrictions that prevent drilling through the exterior wall of a condominium or rental unit.

Notice the very last line... :(

Hence why I wasn't even going to bother trying to fight it, but find a way to comply.

Yea, but that applies to exterior walls that are "common area". In the case I remember, the exterior wall immediately above a balcony was not considered "common area".

The Fact Sheet does not have force of law, but are just generic examples. If you really want to pursue this you should look into the established legal precedents.
 

jynxsee

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
70
0
I'll do some research through the cases outlined in the fact sheet today. My wife also keeps saying that she feels the walls on our balcony are exclusive use.

I don't know how many of you have or are looking at getting into condo's, but *DON'T DO IT*. The associations are just these petty little popularity clubs. Things do not get properly handled. They are more concerned about little things like dishes, then the fact that people are flying through the residential streets at 50mph instead of 20.

I'm going to write a response letter to the board, including the case that I need to look for. If the association keeps giving me problems, I will petition the FCC.

In the mean time, this is just what I needed to get off my butt and look for a real house.
 

jynxsee

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
70
0
Ok, I found the information about the ruling concerning outer walls.

Here's the letter I will be sending to the Association.
I am writing you in response to the letter dated December 31, 2003 to Stephen Opiparitini (please check your owner spelling in the future, this is grossly incorrect) about the installed satellite dish in unit #57.

I have had the satellite dish installed within exclusive use property, the balcony, since approximately March of 2000. At that time the condominium rules were not within the Over the Air Reception Device Ruling (OTARD). Therefore I installed my antenna, conforming to the OTARD and have had no issues. I do not understand why the installed dish is now an issue, 3 years later.

Also, per to your letter, I must notify the association before putting a satellite dish on premises. This is illegal per the OTARD, which is even alluded to in the attached documentation accompanying the letter. The illegality of this request is demonstrated below from the OTARD Facts document that was used to put together the current association rules.

Q: What types of restrictions unreasonably delay or prevent viewers from using an antenna?

A: A local restriction that prohibits all antennas would prevent viewers from receiving signals, and is prohibited by the Commission's rule. Procedural requirements can also unreasonably delay installation, maintenance or use of an antenna covered by this rule. For example, local regulations that require a person to obtain a permit or approval prior to installation create unreasonable delay and are generally prohibited. Permits or prior approval necessary to serve a legitimate safety or historic preservation purpose may be permissible.

Also, it is indicated on the document that the association can prohibit piercing the external walls for installation of a satellite antenna. This would seem to maintain that the external wall of the balcony is a common element.

I would like to show that the FCC does not necessarily agree with that view by attaching the FCC Declaratory Ruling, James Sadler, DA 98-1284, released July 1, 1998. Please see the enclosed document or visit http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/Orders/1998/da981284.txt.

Within this ruling (Section B. Exclusive Use or Control, Section 24) the FCC determined that the external walls for exclusive use elements such as a balcony are able to be utilized for installation of a satellite antenna. It would also cause me an unreasonable cost (approx $300) and would cause signal degradation to bring the satellite signal into my unit per other methods. This is also illegal under the OTARD as demonstrated in this paragraph from the OTARD Facts.

Q: What types of restrictions are prohibited?

A: The rule prohibits restrictions that impair a person's ability to install, maintain, or use an antenna covered by the rule. The rule applies to state or local laws or regulations, including zoning, land-use or building regulations, private covenants, homeowners' association rules, condominium or cooperative association restrictions, lease restrictions, or similar restrictions on property within the exclusive use or control of the antenna user where the user has an ownership or leasehold interest in the property. 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. 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.

If you wish, you may call me to discuss this further either at work (586) 753-1549 or home (586) 739-1732. If necessary, I will put in a petition to the FCC for a declaratory ruling on this matter.

Thank you,
 

jinjimbob

New Member
Jan 4, 2004
2
0
opiwan said:
I'll do some research through the cases outlined in the fact sheet today. My wife also keeps saying that she feels the walls on our balcony are exclusive use.

I don't know how many of you have or are looking at getting into condo's, but *DON'T DO IT*. The associations are just these petty little popularity clubs. Things do not get properly handled. They are more concerned about little things like dishes, then the fact that people are flying through the residential streets at 50mph instead of 20.

The walls are owned by everyone in your condo associations, you own a percentage of it.

I'm afraid that you can do do anything about the FCC law, the law is on the condo associations side.

I agree that the associations go after petty things, mine does the same a lot of the time.

My HOA put speed bumps in, those low riding Honda Civic owners now scrape them . . hehe :D

If I were you, I would put in an outside GFCI power socket, make it look like it has always been there. Then sneak the wires through this opening.
 

jynxsee

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
70
0
Well, It looks like I am probably screwed on this.

I read over the ruling that I had put in my letter. In that ruling, the condo covenant outlined that the patio walls were included in the limited common elements. Therefore, the FCC was on his side.

So, I pulled our covenant rules, which were just updated on 12/4 (and I didn't vote in approval of, I have some issues with them) and approved by the community. Within, it says that I only own the decking of the balcony and not the walls, ceiling, et al.

Going back to this line in the OTARD...

Restrictions on antennas installed in these common areas are not covered by the Commission's rule. For example, the rule would not apply to prohibit restrictions that prevent drilling through the exterior wall of a condominium or rental unit.

I don't see where I have any wiggling room at all except to say that the dish has been up for 3 years and why am I now being hassled. :|

Thanks for the input jinjimbob. Nice to hear from someone else in a similar situation. I can't put anything in the wall and say it was always there because the units are almost brand new. We're original owners of 3 years. Funny you guys got speed bumps. The community keeps asking for them and the association won't put them in because they say they cause too many problems with fire engines and ambulances... Petty.
 

Mark_AR

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
1,448
0
North Arkansas
justalurker said:
The silly thing is that in this case the damage is already done. The hole is already there with a working cable running through it and the new owners want it pulled out.

I suppose that is to prevent the future neighbors from using the excuse "opiwan is doing it, why can't I!"

JL

Well, here is the thing. Technically, the new management cannot do anything about it since it was already installed when the previous management was overseeing the property. So IMHO, it is really grandfathered in and new management is SOL. Now they WOULD have a case on a NEW install and drillthroughs.

If it were me, I would tell new management that they cannot restrict your satellite access and if they don't approve your pre-existing drillthrough, then it would be up to them to re-route your feed at their expence in such a way that it conforms with the new rules.

But thats just me. :twisted:
 

martincva

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 31, 2003
31
0
Wow, opiwan, they are really being picky

That is one nasty management group. I have to wonder though how the condo association can make decisions on ownership of property. You said that in a new set of covenants dated 12/4, the community set a new rule that says the exterior walls in the patio area is community owned. What did the rules say when you bought the condo? Surely they cannot just take away property that belonged to you? If the original covenants said that you owned it, or did not address the issue at all, you paid an amount of money based on the belief that you owned the wall in your patio area. They cannot just steal your property because the community votes to. Or has that particular phrase been in all the versions of the covenants?

If the original covenants say that the wall is community property, or if you think this is an argument you cannot win, I think I am in agreement with Mark_AR that your best hope is to say that your installation was within the guidelines imposed by the management in place at the time of your installation. They cannot ex post facto your install into oblivion. There may be some eminent domain issues as well. Even though you did not own the exterior wall in the patio area, you "squatted" a portion of that wall when you drilled through it. By not complaining or requiring you to remove the drilling when it was done, the previous management company in effect performed a quit-claim on that portion of the wall.

It's kind of like someone putting up a fence 6 inches past the property line. If the other owner does not make you take the fence down in a reasonable amount of time, they cannot come back 20 years later and make you do it, they have in effect given you an easement to that 6 inches of their property.

The question would be how long is long enough for you to claim "squatter's rights" on that section of wall that you drilled through. And in this case, it was not even against the rules that were in place at the time you drilled.

I would definitely just inform them that what you did was legal and in conformance at the time of install, and that they are liable for any costs of removal and/or re-installation. Point out that you have had the cabling in place for 3 years, and that it is too late to now declare it noncompliant.

Good luck, and I think I agree with you that looking to get out of that place as quickly as possible should be a high priority!

Can you tell that I am a frustrated lawyer wanna-be? :D

- martincva
 

jynxsee

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
70
0
Thanks for the advice. I need to check on the old bylaws, I believe that the wall was a limited common element beforehand, but there wasn't any mentioning of drill throughs with the external wall.

I really don't know what the catalyst was to get this letter suddenly. I have a feeling it's because I had a Dish installer out to get my 811, and someone saw the van in the drive and reported me.

Oh well, as I said, time to find a house...

I have serious doubts about this management company in general. There's 2 other communities that I know people in that this same managment company is in. The people I know in both communities say that the management company bankrupted their assoc...
 

Sparkman

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
1,308
36
Charlotte,NC
Here is a link to a really good article that explains it better than anywhere I've seen.

http://www.nmhc.org/Content/ServeFile.cfm?FileID=2824

It specifically mentions that drilling a hole for the cable & filling it in with putty is specifically forbidden, as is using a signal combiner to bring the signal in over the existing cable co wire. But, my belief is that if you are able to get thru where the cable has gotten thru without any additional drilling, that is your best bet. May be a bit of work to do it, but it then follows the letter of the law.

Also interesting is the "Saran Wrap" explanation.
 

dswallow

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 28, 2003
21
0
Does your balcony area have an electrical outlet? You could utilize that hole to gain entry into the interior walls of your unit. Hence, no "drilling."

The flat cable could also work if you permanently mounted it under or to the side of the fixed portion of the sliding door; the panel is just sitting there on a track; easy enough to temporarily remove then replace it over the flat cable.
 

dswallow

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 28, 2003
21
0
ChannelPlus makes the GlassLink, for single-pane windows:
http://www.multiplextechnology.com/channelplus/products/wire/1111.html

1111.jpg



Manual: http://www.multiplextechnology.com/channelplus/downloads/support/Manuals/glslink1.pdf
How it works: http://www.multiplextechnology.com/channelplus/downloads/support/apnotes/glinkhow.pdf

I found one place selling it:
http://www.markertek.com/MTStore/store.cfm?framed=/MTStore/product.CFM?BaseItem=CP-1111

It's not apparent if it can transfer the 22Hz tone for switching between two signals, but it does handle the 13v/18v polarity change signal, so you might have to use 4 of these in those situations, connected to a multiswitch on the inside. From the app note, it looks like it is about 60% efficient, so it's probably something I'd consider only as a last resort.

The app note mentions a double-pane version, but couldn't find it anywhere. And sliding door glass panes are apparently lead-laden, which causes problems so they don't suggest trying it on those.

Radio Shack used to have one for single pane and one for double pane back in 1997/1998. Toshiba also used to have something the called "Glass Link" but it looks like ChannelPlus either was making it for them or bought the product from them. And I couldn't find any places still selling it anyway.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top