Apartment Dwellers / Antennas


Does anyone have any experience dealing with apartment / condo managers. Simply show them the FCC paper work and they roll over?
Good question.

Up until a year ago I lived in an apartment complex for many years and they wouldn't allow satellite dishes. Even so, two or three years ago a couple of the dishes suddenly popped up outside of some of the townhouses there so I figured it was ok and called a satellite company (can't recall which one) to hook one up. They came out and said before they could install it they needed permission from the property manager. Guess what? Permission denied.

I didn't know about the OTARD rule at the time. Maybe the satellite company didn't either or maybe they were just too lazy to fight for it. Who knows?

Funny thing is, several months before I moved out several more satellite dishes started popping up around the complex.

Edited to add that one of the satellite installers told me that Time Warner Cable was paying apartment complexes to keep the competition out. Not sure if that's a valid claim but it is what I was told.
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Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
I know the reason for the adoption of OTARD regulations was, in fact, cable companies playing these sort of games, with condos, HOAs, apartments and even local zoning boards. I don't know if they can get away with it anymore, although there may be some shady "We'll give you free cable if you..." sort of deals still going on.

My best advice is read the OTARD rules thouroughly, and also the decisions the FCC has made regarding individual cases. If you know the rules you are in a better position to negotiate with owners and HOAs. Balconies and patios are fair game, although in apartments you may have to opt for clamping rather than screwing a mount on. Sometime a mast in a bucket of cement does the trick. Having a talk with the owner may help, especially if they are into quality video, explain how the picture is better OTA and they may even have you install one for their own use. Or better yet, how about a contract for a community antenna system for the whole complex, just like they did "back in the olden days" before cable?


DTVUSA Jr. Member
I agree and have found the same cable TV deals with condo board members though many of those "free cable" agreements were for a limited time. Much of my business is dealing with condo and apartment mangement companies. They have an interest in a building antenna system verses individual antenna installations by owners and eliminating any risk of things or people falling from balconies. The trick is to find the right price point per unit for the entire building. Most buildings have some infrastucture that remains from when an antenna system was initially installed and this can often be reactivated with replacement equipment.

Many management companies would rather re-direct the TV problems to a pay television service and not assume the responsibility of managing an antenna system. Yet they also know that unless the option of access to DTV exists, residents will seek methods to install antennas - with or without approval. It becomes a matter of what is easier for the management company to manage and making the TV outlets work may be the better solution.