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CAI Urges FCC to Restore Homeowner Rights on Tenant Antennas

2/26/1999  -  Alexandria, VA

The Community Associations Institute is urging the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider homeowners' rights to protect their property from damage due to tenant installation of antennas. At issue is an FCC ruling that prevents homeowners from requiring tenants to ask for permission before installing antennas covered under the Over-the-Air Reception Devices (OTARD) Rule.

"The FCC ruling effectively eviscerates homeowners' ability to prevent damage to their individually-owned property and common property," said Richard S. Ekimoto Esq., chairman of CAI's Government and Public Affairs Council and a member of the Institute's Telecommunications Advisory Group. "Leases typically include prior-approval requirements for alterations, and mounting antennas should be treated no differently. This is an especially critical issue considering the increasing number of 'accidental landlords' who lease a community association home and would face a greatly increased risk of property damage through improper antenna installation."

The FCC's Order on Reconsideration, issued Sept. 25, 1998, permitted tenants in community associations to install antennas on exclusive-use property such as balconies as long as they had the permission of the homeowner. In its Second Report and Order, issued Nov. 20, the FCC reversed its original decision, equating homeowners with commercial landlords although homeowners lack the professional and legal resources to repair damaged property and recover damages. CAI filed a Petition for Reconsideration on Dec. 18, 1998 formally requesting that the FCC restore the September provisions protecting homeowner rights.

CAI was joined by the National Association of Housing Cooperatives in filing its latest comments Feb. 15; the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, the U.S. Satellite Broadcasting Co. and Winstar Communications Inc. formally oppose CAI's request.

The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.

Phone: 703-970-9235