Fun With Satellite Dishes and Apartment Complexes

So, I got the Regional Nitpicker on the phone. Here’s the pertinent info that they’re claiming I’m in violation of:

“Satellite dishes may only be placed on a patio/balcony which is for your ‘exclusive use.’ Satellite dishes may not be installed on common walkways or public areas of the building. The satellite dish may not protrude, or extend beyond the balcony railing or patio edge.”

In no way does my dish overhang the patio. However, they are claiming that, by being a certain height, my dish “extends beyond the balcony railing” – vertically.

My interpretation of this rule is that the dish could not extend over the balcony into what’s considered “common” space, while the vertical patio space fell under the definition of “exclusive use.” I’m trying to get some clarification of this now.

You are not going to get clarification of bullshit. Bullshit is quite opaque.

Wait, what?

So let me get this straight. I could climb a ladder and stick my face into the air above your balcony, and as long as I don’t place a body part on the balcony itself, that’s all non-exclusive use property?

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Check that FCC info RickH posted on page 1 of this thread; it specifically states that as long as the height of the pole is less than 12 feet above the surrounding rooftops, and is entirely contained on your patio, vertical patio space falls within the Commission’s rulings. The rental company’s policy seems to be in violation of the FCC.

Well, that man’s personal interpretation of the law is incorrect, and you would be very happy to get a judge in court to tell him how wrong he actually is.

But you’d also be equally happy if he would just leave your satellite dish alone and compensate you for the cost of your illegally destroyed personal property.

I got a hold of the FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, and told them what my rental agency was claiming I was in violation of. When I explained that they were placing a vertical boundary at the patio railing, the woman on the other end wasn’t able to choke back a laugh. I asked if this was total BS, and she said, yeah, pretty much.

Oh, so you can get a government FCC official to testify also. Awesome.

Not only should you ask for $ for a replacement tripod/pole, but also make them send a notice to everyone in the apartment complex clarifying the satellite dish height rule.

I may have the tech support down, but it’s really time you had a general “Ask Dr. Bill” column for citizens’ more general public information needs.

God, this brings back memories. When you know the law is on your side you can have a lot of fun as a renter with the asshole landlords/property managers.

I had a hot tub I put up on the patio of an old apartment. To sum the HOA didn’t like me having my “sexy parties” on my fenced in, lockable, non-viewable patio. Had a lot of fun with that one. Win-win-win. I even got the president of the HOA’s daughter to come over and got her in the hot tub, just for spite. Muhahhahahah.

Now that I’m a homeowner, I almost miss fighting with self-important property management jerks. But not enough to ever rent again. :)

I’m not really a spiteful person. I have limited time on this planet and I’d like to enjoy it and put it to good use. To me, a win in this situation equals:

  1. Ownership acknowldges, in writing, that I was in compliance from the start, and that they have no right to have me lower my dish as long as it’s within the patio boundaries. My dish can go back to where it was with no further dispute.

  2. Ownership acknowledges, in writing, that it was a mistake to (a) take ANY action against my dish without reasonable warning, and (b) vandalize my property in the process.

  3. Ownership creates a new flyer regarding satellite dish placement, which clearly mentions the OTARD rule, and circulates it to all its residents across all its properties.

  4. In return for my being reasonable in this matter (as opposed to calling the police and suing the shit out of them), I get a few months’ free rent until my lease expires and and some painting and other touchups in my apartment that they’d probably try and stiff me for $1000 or more when I leave (which, apparently, they do to everyone when they move out).

To me, that’s a win. I don’t need to be hauling people off to jail or suing for a nine-inch piece of pipe that I don’t really need. Ackowledge the mistake in writing, promise you’ll treat your other tenants properly, throw me a bone for the trouble, and it’s all good.

I just bought a home that requires membership in a homeowner’s association.

I get to own my home but still be told what to do with it!!! Go me!

WHAT?!?! Those faggots keep the cleaning/security deposit as a rule? Okee, be sure to take a bazillion pictures of the place the day you move out and insist on having the apartment manager present as you hand her your keys inside your apartment as she signs the requisite forms/check to get you your deposit back. I will come visit you and help you move if I have to!

Yeah, the skinny on all the properties owned by this corp is that, when you move out, if the place isn’t pristine, they basically overcharge for any cleaning or painting they have to do. I bet they’d charge to fix, say, a hole in the wall from where I’d hung up a painting.

I knew this would come up eventually; I’m just thinking I can turn this fiasco into a get-out-of-jail-free card.

That’s how it works everywhere I’ve lived in western Canada. You give a security deposit when they move in, and the lease has some bullshit stuff about paying for cleaning/painting when you leave, and it almost always equals the security deposit.

It wasn’t until I moved to Ontario that that didn’t happen. On top of that, in Ontario, you don’t even need to clean the place when you move out. Tenants rights rock in Ontario.

In Texas, there’s some very specific requirements that have to be followed if a property co. wants to keep the deposit (notice within a certain time, etc). Normal wear & tear is not included in the good reasons list.

I’d bet there’s a Cal. lawyer that can point you in the right direction regarding deposit retention. Remember, ignorance of the law means you’re easy to push around.

Also, it’s a good idea to take pix/vid of the place in the condition you left it in. Tour the vacated apartment with the property manager a day before the lease runs out and make her identify any items than need to be repaired so you can do anything easy yourself. Tape that, too if she lets you.

It’s not a deposit if it’s non-refundable. If they insist it’s for paint and carpet, make them show you where it says that, and then insist they provide a bill for the new paint and carpet, and have them refund you the difference. That’s how deposits are supposed to work: if you do incur any charges against it (like at a hotel), they aren’t legally allowed keep the whole thing because you rang up something against it.

You should have called the cops if not to haul them to jail but to get proper documentation as soon as it happened. IMHO as a cop /shrug

California landowner can’t take normal wear and tear out of the security deposit.

Also if I am reading it right he has been there for 7+ years which means he should get pretty much the whole thing back.

Rav, I agree that I need some official documentation on this, and the longer my complex drags its feet, the more I think I’m going to have to go down to the police station tomorrow and file a complaint.