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So what can you do about it?
A policy governing these dishes would fall afoul of federal rules if it had any of these effects:
Prevents use of satellite dishes and access to satellite video feed content
Unreasonably delays installation
Unreasonably increases cost of installation
You can’t require the resident to pay a fee to install the dish.
You can’t require a resident to pay to get a special permit.
You cannot generally require a resident to get special permission from architectural review boards (except where safety or historical preservation is an issue).
Precludes any person from getting a quality audio signal.
The rule applies to any community or unit in which the resident has an ownership or leasehold interest, and where this individual enjoys “exclusive use and control.”
The best thing to do is to draft the rules as narrowly as possible to accomplish your objectives as a homeowners association.
Prohibiting installation within X number of feet of a power line.
Prohibiting dishes on fire escapes, stairwells or any other common area.
Restrictions dictating proper methods for installation – (provided the approved methods do not unreasonably add cost or delay installation.
Prohibitions on installation on rooftops or exterior walls. These are generally not considered exclusive use areas, nor are balconies or patios shared with other residents.
You can also generally enforce a reasonable restriction for the purpose of preserving a historic appearance.
Writing about personal finance and investments since 1999, Jason Van Steenwyk started as a reporter with Mutual Funds Magazine and served as editor of Investors’ Digest. He now publishes feature articles in many publications including Annuity Selling Guide, Bankrate.com, and more.