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2007-08-23 11:24:00

Questions and Answers About Satellite Dishes and Tenants' Rights

Do I have to allow a resident to put up a satellite dish on his balcony? It will spoil the looks of the property.

Yes, but you can prohibit any part of the satellite or installation from hanging over the edge of the balcony, and insist that no holes be drilled for its installation.

Can our condominium association refuse to let my tenant put up a satellite dish on her balcony?

No, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits condominium associations and landlords from prohibiting the installation of satellite dishes, so long as the dish is completely within the rented space and it does not structurally harm the building.

A tenant moved in and later discovered he couldn't install his satellite dish because it can't get reception on that side of the building. Now he wants to break his lease. He says I should have told him it would be a problem.

If the resident actually brought this up at the time he negotiated and executed the lease, you may have to allow him to move to another unit. Otherwise, he should have thought of this before he moved in. It may be a good idea to inform future applicants, in writing, that they need to contact their service providers for such information.

If there is any damage from the installation of a satellite dish, who is responsible for the damage, the tenant or the satellite company who did the installation?

The tenant is responsible for the installation, maintenance and removal of the dish and all damage caused thereby.

(The above discussion is general in nature and should not be construed as individualized legal advice. Readers are cautioned to seek individualized legal assistance based on a detailed analysis of their particular facts and circumstances. If you have any questions regarding the above material or any other matter involving landlord-tenant issues, you may contact the Law Offices of Kimball, Tirey and St. John, 800-338-6039.)

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