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Can an HOA legally have provider-specific restrictions on satellite TV?


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45 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Pink Jazz

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

I read somewhere there was one homeowner's association that did not allow DirecTV, only Dish Network or cable.

I was wondering, is this legal? It seems very oppresive that there would be provider-specific restrictions on satellite TV service by the HOA. In our neighborhood, it seems most people use DirecTV, but I don't think there are any restrictions on a specific provider.

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#2 ONLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:02 PM

It's oppressive and depressing that some landlords and home owners associations don't know the rules.

Search the forum for OTARD and FCC and you should find some hits related to this.

#3 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:55 PM

Google "FCC otard" and you'll see the link to the FCC page. There are a couple of Q&As discussing this.

#4 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:54 PM

There could be a legitimate answer...

A HOA should not be able to restrict... But a landlord might, especially if your only location for line of sight for Dish would require installation in a non-exclusive use area...

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#5 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:47 PM

A HoA cannot stop an installation of a dish. However a HoA could require you to have a specific service no matter if you subscribe to another service.

#6 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:34 PM

However a HoA could require you to have a specific service no matter if you subscribe to another service.

they can???

#7 OFFLINE   dualsub2006

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:24 PM

they can???


Yes, they can. Some HOA's include TV service in your monthly fees. Could be cable or satellite. If you want something else you can get it, but you'll still pay the same fee everyone else does.

#8 OFFLINE   kenglish

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:17 AM

I've been paying a fee for Comcast Cable for many years, even though I never even have it connected. It started out at about $15 a month, even though the apartment manager told me that they only paid $9.00, bulk-rate. Now, it's gone up to $30.00 a month for basic service.

Sucks, don't it?

#9 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:20 AM

Sucks, don't it?


Yep, and the reason I would NEVER live in a HOA. The whole point in owning a house is doing what you want with it.

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#10 OFFLINE   kenglish

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

As for the original question, I think the FCC ruled on this a few years back.
You have always had the right to use TV antennas and satellite dishes, on your "controlled" part of the property, using whatever service provided you with whatever channels you want.
The FCC also ruled that wiring could not be "exclusive" to any one provider, and your preferred service provider could use the wiring to your unit for their feeds.

One of our apartments actually has a D* dish in the flower bed (not OTARD), and has a wire run to the Comcast demarc, where it runs in to their unit. I'm not even sure which apartment it belongs to....maybe someone on the other side of the building. (I think I'll take another look).

#11 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:27 AM

I've been paying a fee for Comcast Cable for many years, even though I never even have it connected. It started out at about $15 a month, even though the apartment manager told me that they only paid $9.00, bulk-rate. Now, it's gone up to $30.00 a month for basic service.

Sucks, don't it?


Get on your HoA board and get rid of it or negotiate for better terms.

#12 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

Get on your HoA board and get rid of it or negotiate for better terms.


Not a chance of that succeeding, since the policy benefits the majority.

#13 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 01:08 PM

A HoA cannot stop an installation of a dish.

Yes, they can.

If the dish is not in an exclusive use area it can easily be prevented. If the installation requires putting a hole through the outside of the building (where the outside walls are common property) it can be prevented. If there are historic or safety reasons an installation can be prevented.

OTARD is not carte blanche allowing any install.

The FCC also ruled that wiring could not be "exclusive" to any one provider, and your preferred service provider could use the wiring to your unit for their feeds.

The question would be where is the dish and how does the wiring get to the demark.

Imagine a large condominium with cable service provided from a basement cable connection. A cable is fed up to each floor to a distribution closet on each floor, then run out to each unit. The units may not even have an exclusive feed from their floor's distribution closet. This topology would be possible in a building where access is not controlled per unit (everybody pays, everybody receives) or where access is controlled by disconnecting cables at the unit. Regardless of where the disconnect point is there is no OTARD protected path to that disconnect point. If there is no exclusive use area to put the dish, being able to tap into the wiring at a common point is moot.

What we are seeing in some places are common dishes aimed at one satellite providers satellites with that common feed being distributed to units. The presence of such a distribution allows residents to subscribe to that provider's service. The existence of the common feed does not prevent the installation of individual dishes if needed but could be used to prevent the installation of unneeded individual dishes. For example, an apartment complex that installed dishes aimed at DISH satellites and distributed that signal could ban the installation of individual DISH dishes but could not ban the installation of individual DirecTV dishes (within the normal OTARD permitted use areas). If a DISH subscriber needed a feed that was not part of the distribution (for HD or international service, for example) that dish could not be banned within the normal OTARD permitted use areas.

Providing a common DISH feed does not require the provision of a common DirecTV feed. Providing one company's feed does not expand OTARD protection to any installation outside the exclusive use area for that customer.

Exact enforcement of the protection of OTARD would require looking at the exact situation in each proposed install. Generally speaking, if there is an exclusive use area available where an antenna can be installed entirely within that exclusive use area and the antenna is needed for reception that antenna would be protected. But don't read OTARD as carte blanche. There are too many limits to OTARD to assume that "anything goes".


For more information:
http://www.fcc.gov/g...on-devices-rule

#14 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:01 PM

Yes, they can.

If the dish is not in an exclusive use area it can easily be prevented. If the installation requires putting a hole through the outside of the building (where the outside walls are common property) it can be prevented. If there are historic or safety reasons an installation can be prevented.


Your speaking of either apartment/condo or town homes which usually have a board of directors and not a HoA specifically. So if it was a HoA that was in charge of a condominium association then yes your response would be correct.

Given the manner of the OP's post where he designated neighborhood this implies single family homes.

Historic issues are not due to HoA but they are due to civil statutes placed by the township that the people live in which would superceed any HoA or Board of Director rules regardless.

#15 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:45 PM

I read somewhere there was one homeowner's association that did not allow DirecTV, only Dish Network or cable.

I was wondering, is this legal? It seems very oppresive that there would be provider-specific restrictions on satellite TV service by the HOA. In our neighborhood, it seems most people use DirecTV, but I don't think there are any restrictions on a specific provider.


An answer to the precisely formulated question: no. If they do, that would be illegal.

All other circumstances should be presented to further discussion.

#16 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:17 AM

Your speaking of either apartment/condo or town homes which usually have a board of directors and not a HoA specifically. So if it was a HoA that was in charge of a condominium association then yes your response would be correct.

The point remains correct ... OTARD is not carte blanche. Restrictions on satellite dishes remain legal. OTARD does not provide complete protection against being told you cannot have an antenna.

HoAs take many forms. Some try so hard to keep a neighborhood "uniform" so people don't have to see "ugly" out their windows that they do attempt to block dish installations and severely limit exclusive use areas. I would not willingly choose to live in such a restrictive environment but some who do choose to be there because they like some of the restrictions or at least the "clean neighborhood" that results from those restrictions. Until they find out that the restrictions affect them in some unexpected way.

#17 ONLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:32 AM

I read somewhere there was one homeowner's association that did not allow DirecTV, only Dish Network or cable.

I was wondering, is this legal? It seems very oppresive that there would be provider-specific restrictions on satellite TV service by the HOA. In our neighborhood, it seems most people use DirecTV, but I don't think there are any restrictions on a specific provider.


HOA: Housing Oppression Association

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#18 OFFLINE   Chappy316

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:25 AM

I would reference (under DIRECTV General Discussion > DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion > The Battle is on! My landlord now demands I remove my dish) if you want to read about the horrors of this topic. Sorry for no link, first post...

That thread is actually the reason I signed up for an account. (Makes getting questions answered much easier.)

Good luck!

#19 OFFLINE   Blurayfan

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:59 PM

I would reference (under DIRECTV General Discussion > DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion > The Battle is on! My landlord now demands I remove my dish) if you want to read about the horrors of this topic. Sorry for no link, first post...

That thread is actually the reason I signed up for an account. (Makes getting questions answered much easier.)

Good luck!


The Battle is on! My landlord now demands I remove my dish

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Internet: Comcast 105/20


#20 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 05:21 AM

That link contains some relevant info, but it takes place in an apartment complex, not an HOA.




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