Published: Autumn 1998
NEW FCC RULES RESPECT CO-OP/CONDO
RIGHTS TO REGULATE PLACEMENT OF DEVICES
CNYC thanks Terry Lewis, Esq. for the following summary of newly released
Federal Communications Commission regulations regarding the placement
of antennas and satellite dishes. Ms. Lewis chairs the Government Relations
Committee of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC).
NAHC and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) have spearheaded a
nationwide campaign, in which CNYC has participated, aimed at persuading
the FCC to permit boards of cooperatives, condominiums and homeowners
associations to regulate the placement of these devices on their buildings.
Prior FCC directives on this issue had usurped this power of the board,
producing such great outcry that the FCC had withdrawn those regulations
and reviewed the issue.
On September 25, 1998, the FCC issued Order No. 98-214, its Order on
Reconsideration regarding the restriction and/or regulation of antenna
and satellite dish installations. This document clarifies the portion
of the prior order regarding the ability of landlords, cooperatives, condominiums
and homeowners' associations to prohibit, restrict or regulate the placement
of satellite dishes and antennae in a way that is respectful of the legal
rights of landlords, cooperatives, condominiums and homeowners' associations.
Paragraph 77 of the Order states that tenants who have no ownership interest
in a property must have the permission of the property owner if they wish
to install a ?Section 207 device ? (e.g. satellite dish or antenna) either
inside or outside their apartments. Both the initial order and this Order
on Reconsideration prescribe different treatment for the resident who
has ?a direct or indirect ownership interest? in the property. The 9/25/98
Order states that:
A condominium owner, townhome owner, owner of a manufactured home,
or cooperative unit dweller who has exclusive use of a balcony, balcony
railing, deck, patio ... has the right, subject to certain restrictions
of our Section 207 rules, to place Section 207 devices thereon.
The restrictions cooperatives and condominium associations may impose
in these areas of exclusive use can relate only to public safety and are
quite limited, But areas of exclusive use are generally limited to the
interiors of the dwelling units and the few additional areas listed above.
The Order acknowledges the right of the cooperative, condominium or homeowners
association to regulate and to absolutely prohibit the use of antennae
and satellite dishes on exterior walls, roofs and other common areas of
The FCC is expected to issue a Second Report and Order in the near future.
It will address ?the rights of a tenant viewer with respect to a property
owner who prohibits or restricts the installation, maintenance or use
of a Section 207 device. The generally shared view is that the Second
Report and Order will not attempt to interfere with the rights of property
owners (including cooperatives corporations and condominiums associations)
to control building exteriors beyond areas under the exclusive use or
control of the resident owner as discussed above.
At the suggestion of Board member Marleen Levi, CNYC has instituted
a Committee on Board Recognition, which Ms. Levi chairs. This
committee seeks out unsung heroes and heroines in CNYC member
cooperatives and condominiums, with the intention of making
their deeds known.
The Board Recognition Committee invites CNYC members to share special
stories of accomplishments and successes. Quite often, board members are
faced with issue-specific challenges, changes, obstacles, project management
- an endless array of agenda items ranging from simple to complex. The
dedication, commitment, diligence and concentrated work efforts that go
into solving these problems merit our recognition.
Perhaps your building's heroine has undertaken a difficult mortgage refinancing,
has overseen a challenging change in management, scheduled major projects,
hired a new superintendent, enhanced relationships between the board and
the building residents. Whether it involved upgrading internal procedures,
contracting for landscaping services, or resolving a crisis, the Board
Recognition Committee wants your hero's story.
CNYC invites you to share in this network exchange of information and
Board recognition. Please forward your stories to CNYC at 250 West 57th Street, NYC 10023, Attn: M. Levi. You may also fax them to (212) 580-7801
or send them by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions should include outstanding issue-specific examples of accomplishments
of individual or board-wide note, and should contain the name and phone
number of the writer and the individual(s) cited for excellence. We look
forward to telling these stories in the pages of the CNYC Newsletter.