Condominiums. Residents do not have a federally protected right to attach satellite dishes to exterior common area walls, so the installation can be reasonably restricted by the association. However, if the wall is under the owner's exclusive use and control (such as a patio or balcony wall), then the owner has a right to attach a dish to the wall. In re James Sadler (1998) 13 FCC Rcd 12559; In re Jordan E. Lourie (1998) 13 FCC Rcd 16760. In exclusive use areas or separate interests, the association has limited authority to regulate satellite dishes.
However, associations can and should implement rules to require owners to repair (or pay for repairs to) any common area building components damaged by the installation, and to indemnify against any loss or damage that results from the dish. If the dish is negligently attached to the wall, or if leaks develop into mold claims, the owner may be liable for any resulting damage to the wall, the owner's unit, or any other common areas or neighboring units.
Planned Developments. Members in planned developments who own their homes, may install dishes on their walls and roofs, subject to reasonable architectural guidelines from their association.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.