Friday, June 22, 2018
Home and Garden

Community living: Satellite dish location limited at condo complex

No satellite dish rights outside condo

Q: I would like to install a satellite dish for TV reception in my condominium unit. There is a large vine and shrubbery that block the signal. My neighbor has a dish and I would like to place my dish near his. He rejects my request because it would be close to his dish. Do I have any rights to place the dish near the building?

A: While the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires homeowner associations (HOA) to allow dishes, it does not place the same requirement on condominiums. The condominium statutes do not allow any owner to exclusively use the common areas. For this primary reason, the Telecommunications Act cannot be applied to condominiums.

In addition, the statutes do not allow the board of directors to alter the common areas without members' approval. Allowing a dish to be placed on common property would alter the common areas. So these two restrictions would not allow any condominium owner to place a dish on common property.

If your neighbor has a dish on common area, the board must require the removal of that dish and not allow any other to be installed upon the common property. This would include the sides of the building and grounds around the unit and the roof.

The only place a dish can be installed would be within the interior of the balcony. But, this will exclude about half of the units because only half would face the satellite signal.

If board holds titles, it holds units' votes

Q: Our condominium annual meeting is scheduled next month. We have foreclosed on several units and hold title to these units. The banks are taking forever to foreclose on their mortgages. Can the board, since we hold title, vote these units?

A: The short answer is yes.

However, I would suggest that to be fair to the other members, the ballot should not be used to elect the directors. The board should count the unit for quorum but limit how they cast their votes. My feeling is that these units only involve a small percentage so even if the board votes the units, it should not affect the outcome for most elections. It could be different if you are a small association, but in an association of more than 100 units the votes would be somewhat awash.

Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115. Please include your name and city.