What it is:

In 1996 the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule (OTARD) which governs a homeowner’s right to install video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37”) in diameter, TV antennas and wireless cable antennas (protected installation). 

How it applies to Common Interest Communities: 

What can be restricted?

Installation may be restricted on common areas where the antenna user does not have an exclusive use of the area. Such common areas can include roofs or exteriors of a multiple unit building.

Common interest communities may also restrict installation if installation of the antenna intrudes on a common area such as a walkway, hallway, community garden, exterior wall, the roof, etc. Additionally, if a central antenna has already been installed, the installation of a private antenna may be restricted.

What cannot be restricted?

Common Interest Communities may not impair, restrict, or delay an owner or renter’s ability to install, maintain, or use an antenna protected by OTARD if the installation is on or in the unit, not upon or impacting common access, unless the restriction is clearly defined and intended to promote public safety. It is also unreasonable to charge a fee for such installation. 

This does not include, among other things, AM/FM radio, amateur radio, Citizens Band radio, and digital radio services signals

A review of your community’s rules and regulations for compliance with OTARD is recommended to avoid the fines and penalties under OTARD. Contact us if you have any questions or would like us to assist with your community’s OTARD review.