View Full Version : Important Question re: Our Rights

03-21-2002, 06:24 PM
Okay, I just received notice from my condo board that I would have to remove my recently installed dish. I have taken great care to ensure that the dish is not visible from the street or from any common parts of the building. However, I guess someone saw wires and the tip of it which is visible from an extreme angle and decided to rat me out.

I've been doing some research, and the FCC in the US has stated that a condominium board DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to restrict the freedom of an individual to receive TV signals in the way that they choose.

I've been looking, but I'm having trouble finding an equivalent law in Canada. Does anyone know if the CRTC has spoken out on this issue?


03-21-2002, 08:50 PM
The CRTC has nothing to do with the by-laws of a condominium corporation. I'd suggest reviewing the Condominium Act.

03-21-2002, 10:01 PM
I know that! What I'm wondering is if there are any laws that prohibit these kinds of draconian rules by condo corps. Can they actually enforce this? I know for a fact that the FCC in the US does not allow these kinds of rules, as long as the installation does not infringe on the rights of the other owners.

Seems to me that it is in the interest of Bell and Shaw to lobby for the same kind of laws in Canada.

03-21-2002, 10:41 PM
Why don`t you call BEV or *c and ask them.

03-21-2002, 11:27 PM
The CRTC may not have anything to do with it, but the Canadain Constution may. It may cost you but get your lawyer to see if there is anything in there, and if there is you simple tell your condo board if force me to take down my dish I will sue you for invasion of my constutionual rights.

03-22-2002, 12:10 AM
Condo Boards can set almost any type of rule they like. To enforce most of them though (when the "offender" refuses to comply) the Board must first take them to mediation and then if that fails arbitration or court. The Board during this process must defend the rule and its appropriateness.

In my opinion, not worth much, but, it would be hard to prove in court a dish that is completely obscured on a balcony is an eye sore or such (especially if other balconies have gas barbecues, furniture etc.). So the Board can take you to mediation and then court but they've got to explain why your dish is offensive when other such articles clutter other balconies. In my experience the Board in my building has lost twice when trying to have rules enforced through the courts.
A change in Board members occured the very next election after the second court case.

It would be an interesting issue to pursue.

03-22-2002, 12:11 AM
Or leave it up and let them sue you.

03-22-2002, 12:12 AM
I don't know what your options are regarding your Strata Council decision. Although I am quite familiar with the fact that most strata units are subject to their bylaws, just the same way that certain sub-divisions also have rules regarding roof top antennas and the types of roofing materials that are used etc, etc.

I also live in a townhouse complex, and am only allowed to have 1 mini dish, and that was only allowed after presenting a letter to the strata council for approval.

I wanted to have both Starchoice and ExpressVu since I am in the business. So I used a deep closet that was on a South facing wall (exterior is vinyl siding) I cut away some plaster board, removed a portion of one stud, and cut out a oval section of the wood particle board just a little bigger than I would need for line of site to the satellite. I mounted the dish as close as possible and then built a partition wall covering it up, which still left enough room to use the closet for shelves. I have a signal strength that is reduced by about 10% from passing through the vinyl, but my dish never gets snow or rain on it!! I am not sure if the strata council would approve, but what they don't know won't hurt them..

03-22-2002, 12:39 AM
The CRTC Call For Comments at <a target="_blank" href=http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Notices/2002/pb2002-11.htm>http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Notices/2002/pb2002-11.htm</a> may provide you with some information on the current state of affairs as far as who gets to decide which television provider condominium owners get access to. It looks like the CRTC is trying to decide if it is the Condominium Board or Strata Councils or the individual condominium occupant. This may not be completely related to installing your own dish but it does deal with allowing access to competing Broadcast Distribution Undertakings(Cable, DTH, etc.).

The CRTC is accepting public comments on this issue until April 5th, 2002.

03-22-2002, 01:05 AM
If you got a case against these condo boards even if they have these by-laws, those by-laws can be challanged under our constution and if those by-laws are demined to violate your rights those by-laws would be struck down. Its has been done before where by-laws, laws have been to be found to violate the constution.

Although I'm not a lawyer and not that familur with the constution there may be something in there that protect your rights on freedom of expression and stuff like that.

This not a slam/flame against you arthur.

PEACE UP TOM /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

03-22-2002, 02:00 AM
I agree, my point was why waste your money, leave up the dish and let them try to make you take it down.

03-22-2002, 02:08 AM
"Or leave it up and let them sue you" is not a bad tactic if the condo board is a group of archair monthly meeting managers as it will cost them time and effort.

20 years ago... I received a formal letter from my builder saying that my 10ft dish in the subdivision was against "regulations". I found out it was instigated by the cable company so I simply told them to "sue me". I never heard a word from them because it was too much of a hassle to attempt enforce and considered negative publicity for both business and could backfire on them.I suspect they also figured that with the publicity...if they lost...it could also create a precident for others to use for their defence.

If the board is "appointed"... if they loose....this would also be a political loss for their position in the neighbourhood. You need to examine the odds and psychology of the situation.

03-22-2002, 02:16 AM
First of all, it depends on where you live. In Quebec, there is a particular section of the Civil Code that deals specifically with condo law. Your mileage will vary depending on your province of residence.

When you bought your condo, you agreed to abide by the rules, exception being made for sections of the condo agreement that are superceded by your local laws, which have precedence.

If your condo rules say "no pets", how do you feel about your next door neighbour buying a pit bull? Does the administrator grant you an exception for your dish and nail the neighbour or accommodate you both? Surely, common sense should prevail.

That having been said, I have to tell you that I have seen this issue from numerous angles as a *C customer and condo administrator. Most of these no-antenna rules are designed to protect the esthetics of the building. In our case, the original rules were written when the typical dish size was measured in yards rather than inches as they are today. We are fortunate in having 2 excellent invisible sites on our roof and cables can be dropped in non-offending places. People who ask ahead of time and cooperate with our installation requirements are always given the go ahead. Then there are those who just take matters into their own hands and drop cable and expect to drill holes anywhere...

I can tell you that sugar works far better than vinegar in winning an uphill battle.

Condo associations are often in an awkward spot as well because cable companies will usually demand a monopoly on service and ownership of all the cable in the building before they will install anything.

Faced with this imperfect situation (sure, you could sue and maybe win your case after $15,000 of legal fees), I would send a POLITE letter to the administrator stating that this is 2002 and not 1922, many buildings have accepted pizza dishes if they are not esthetically offensive and ask for the opportunity to present your case at the next annual meeting.

03-22-2002, 06:52 AM
Take a close look at your By Laws and how they read. My strata's laws were vague and I was able to find a loop hole and get a dish setup on a tripod mount on my balcony. Now they have changed the bylaws to be more descriptive, but I've been grandfathered. Look for comman alternatives - ie a shared dish, dish covers, the dish "Rock" (a styrofoam rock that fits over your dish to hide it). If they cant see it, they can't tell you have one. Also get your neighbours involved, the more people on your side the better. Most strata's are concerned about size, looks, and potential damage. Try to find ways to eliminate these possibilities. Some equipment suggestions:

- Glass link - this product will pass the satellite coax signal through double pane glass without drilling holes through your building.
- Tripod Mount - On your balcony or even on the ground, these can be secured with cinder blocks to avoid having to drill into the buidling.
- If your on the ground floor, consider purchasing a styrofoam rock cover then burying your coax cable.

Hope these suggestions help, usually if you try to work with the strata you can find some comman ground.


03-22-2002, 12:07 PM
Better yet.
Sell the condo and buy a real house and put up your own dish farm in your very own back yard. Just be sure you're not in a heavily treed area.

03-22-2002, 05:58 PM
The bylaws on my place were not clear. I could have one (18"max) but not drill into the unit. In my case I walked over to a board members house and asked for permission to drill. They said they would not enforce it if I put it out back and it was not visible from the street. No problem for me since thats where it needed to go anyway.

Since yours is not visible from the street you might be fine if you just go talk to them. Some of those bylaws were written for the big dishes.

03-23-2002, 07:04 AM
There are no Law for that (Maybe EV should invent one instead of fighting a loosing battle against U.S dish so peoples like you could keep the Dish...)
but if you have a lease or some kind of rental agreement and it is stated no antenna are allowed a dish is considered as an antenna. like here it is said that no Windows-size air conditioning should be in any windows in the summer..! Yea right everybody got at least 2 or 3 are they all going to be sued! Don't remove your dish and If they go on your proprety and touch it Take pictures of it and Sue them.

Good Luck.

03-24-2002, 07:09 PM
Haha, I was thinking exactly the same thing /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

I don't get why folks are willing to pay big dollars to live in an overblown apartment where they only have the illusion of ownership, yet can't do what they want with their property.

Move! Get a real house, not only can you install your own dish but you could do such cool things as actually turn it up loud enough to hear it without granny down the hall reporting ya.

BTW, our house is actually on a strata deal as well, mostly for septic services, but we all have dishes up right on the front of the houses, plus my c-band in the front yard. There are very little rules in our setup, but we all get along great because really we don't care what the neighbour does as long as it doesn't drive the house prices down, we don't think dishes do that. Those that think they do can buy elsewhere since they're prudes we don't want living next door anyway.

03-24-2002, 09:53 PM
You know that's a good point. Condos nowadays are about the same price as houses so why waste money buying an apartment? I grew up living in apartment buildings and now finally own my first house. The freedom to do whatever you want in your own place and a yard to put up whatever you like. Garden, BUD, pool, deck, hot tub, etc. Life doesn't get better than this.

03-25-2002, 12:24 AM
Some have asked why live in a Condo. Well I know some who own one and I've asked them this same question. They told me:

1) no snow shoveling
2) no lawn cutting(for those in apt. condo's)
3) in most cases have fitness faclities on permeses ie-weight/cardio rooms,sauna,pool,Hot Tubs, game rooms.
4) Nice views of cities(if you live in apt. condo's and are on the upper floors)
5) Usally have better access to public transit.
6) Some people perffer to live in that sort of life style living.
7) Have usally a better source of security for peremises(depending on location and if its apt. or home stlye condos)

So there are some advantages of living in a condo compare to a house.Also depending if you own a Condo in the states ie-Floridia you can rent it out when not in us. They have security firms in which specialis in this and can see if your condo is not burgalised. It all depends on the type of person some perferr to live that home living while others have a "CLOSICFOBIA" and would rather live in a "home/house stlye living" each to his/her own I guess.

PEACE UP TOM /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

03-25-2002, 01:30 AM
To each his own I guess.
I like being king of my own castle though.
(when the wife lets me /forums/images/icons/wink.gif )

03-25-2002, 02:02 AM
I hear ya' I'm in the same boat!! /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif ONLY WHEN THE BOSS LADY LETS ME BE KING,EITHER THAN THAT I'M THE COURT JESTURE!!/forums/images/icons/laugh.gif/forums/images/icons/smile.gif

PEACE UP TOM /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

03-25-2002, 04:19 AM
For us it came down to rent actually costing us more than a mortgage, we got a pretty sweet deal on this house so we have a pretty low mortgage payment.

I've lived in a few apartments, hated it, they're great if you never make any noise at all, but not so good if you like listening to music and movies /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

I guess for many who choose to live in the larger centres they have little choice, but hey, that's the price you pay for living there I guess.

03-26-2002, 05:09 PM
My wife and I were looking at buying a new condo, thinking we didn't need a whole house for just the two of us, but every condo developement we visited had a no dish policy in place. Of course upon hearing that we walked out and we are now buying a house where I can put any dish anywhere I want (and play my movies LOUD).

03-26-2002, 07:50 PM
Good for you buddy. You know there are plenty of 2 bedroom houses on the market to be had cheaper than a condom err I mean condo. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

03-27-2002, 03:51 PM
Thanks for all the replies, guys... I just received notice that if I don't take the dish down they would be taking legal action against me. No chance for me to state my case, just a unilateral "take it down or you'll be hearing from our lawyer." Unreal... all of this over an 18 inch dish.

I would love to fight this, but I just don't have the resources or the time to do so just so I can save a 15 bucks a month on TV. I guess this is justice... Canadian style. What a sham.

Thanks for the support, guys. Unfortunately, you can chalk another one up for Rogers and their horrendous digital cable offering (shudder). I just checked and it's an extra SIX BUCKS a month to get the west coast channels (on top of the eleven a month to rent the digital box). Ouch.

Hope to talk to you all again soon in a few years when I move to a "real house."


03-27-2002, 04:02 PM
Tell them you look forward to your day in court.
At the very least just undo the 4 bolts that hold on the dish to the mounting arm. Leave the lnb sticking out, you will have removed the dish.

03-27-2002, 05:07 PM
I would wait until you get something from their Lawyers, then take it down. They may just be making an idle threat.

03-28-2002, 07:24 PM
Not sure on your layout but could you place it on the ground and use a fake rock cover? If you have a south facing window you could always use the satellite dish inside the condo facing out said window. You lose some signal level but it is doable.

Personally I'd be seeing them in court, if you take steps to make it almost invisible from the street, or use the fake covers to hide it then really what can they bitch about. At the very least you should be able to force them into installing MDU services from Bev and/or SC saying they are hindering your right to choose service providers by forcing Rogers on you, therefore giving Rogers a monopoly in your building for no real reason.

The aesthetics of a satellite dish is really not that bad, especially a small 18" unit, if you can prove it's not noticable from the street and common areas then a judge just might side with you, essentially to see it you'd have to be a Peeping Tom which brings into question other stuff /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

If you're drilling no holes in walls, have taken steps to ensure it's not visible to others, then I don't see the problem. Then again, if you own the damn place then they're your walls to drill in anyway.

Man, I've totally talked myself out of even looking at a condo ... maybe when I'm 90 and they have equal access to all ammenities /forums/images/icons/smile.gif