M.L. from DuPage County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Is the rooftop antenna considered a common element? When I moved here in 1989, all 5 buildings had a rooftop antenna and all units were wired to receive over the air broadcasts from those shared rooftop antennas. Over the years four of those antennas were not replaced when the time came. No one noticed because cable was popular. My damaged rooftop antenna was replaced in 2011 because a neighbor and I demanded it. Recently the antenna was removed and no one, including the property manager, seems to know anything about it. I am requesting it be replaced on the grounds that it is a common element and the association has the duty to maintain and improve the common elements. The board doesn’t want to do it.
Mister Condo replies:
M.L., I am sorry that your rooftop antenna is no longer available to you. Common element or not, if it was an association-owned asset and the Board chose to no longer maintain it, that is their right. The FCC gives you certain rights to receive over the air (OTA) signals. You can read more at https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule but I don’t think you’ll find anything that requires your association to maintain an antenna. In fact, many associations participate in bulk purchasing of common communication products like TV, Phone, and internet. In these associations, you may have little choice as it may be bundled into your common fees. That being said, you may be able to place an indoor HDTV style antenna on an interior window and pick up some local OTA signals. Good luck!