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Advice on rental lease and its section on satellite dish mounting
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Lateralus
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Jul 8, 2011, 01:13 PM
 
So, story goes like this;

I just got a job with DISH as a field service dude, and they require that all employees have DISH service. I currently don't even have television and my apartment's patio has a completely unobstructed view of the Southeast sky, so it works out well enough.

As something of a courtesy yesterday, I went to my apartment complex office just to ask about it. I already knew they were permitted since they're all over the property. What wound up happening was an argument with the complex landlord who really shouldn't be in the position; she gets confused and defensive very easily, so the conversation quickly turned into an argument.

The gist of it is that in order to mount the dish, she said I will need to pay the complex a $100 deposit in spite of the fact that I can only clamp it to the railing, and not directly affix it to anything (no drilling). And that I would have to get $50,000 worth of renter's insurance, mandatory for all tenants with a dish, in case the dish falls and hurts somebody. And rather than answer any of my questions, she simply went to print the page of my lease that pertains to the dish stuff. I took it and left.

But later I actually read the damn thing.

9. LIABILITY INSURANCE

You must take full responsibility for the satellite dish, antenna and related equipment. If the dish or antenna is mounted at a height that could result in injury to others if it becomes unattached and falls, you must provide us with evidence of liability insurance (if available) to protect us against claims of personal injury and property damage to others, related to your satellite dish, antenna and related equipment. The insurance coverage must be $50,000, which is an amount reasonably determined by us to accomplish that purpose. Factors affecting the amount of insurance include the height of installation above ground level, potential wind velocities, risk of the dish/antenna becoming unattached and falling on someone, etc.
So it's obviously not mandatory for all tenants, because it's based on the height of the dish. Which raises two questions;

1) There is no height specified whatsoever, so what's 'high enough'?
2) I'm in a second floor apartment and could mount the thing below railing height without obstructing the dish's sky view. Does that not exempt me from the height issue?

And regarding the $100 deposit;

10. SECURITY DEPOSIT

An additional security deposit of $100 will be charged. We (will consider) or (will not consider) this additional deposit a general security deposit for all purposes. The security deposit in Provision 4 of the Lease Contract (does) or (does not) include this additional deposit amount. Refund of the additional security deposit will be subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Lease Contract regardless of whether or not it is considered part of the general security deposit.
Electronically checked wording signified in bold/u above.

Regarding Provision 4, it's the one-month's-rent security deposit of $379 I paid upon move in.

I went back to the office and pointed out the wording of this and she said those wording options were selected incorrectly by them and that she'd contact their lawyers for clarification. But unless I'm somehow managing to misread this, the $100 deposit for the dish can be counted as part of the general deposit I already paid on move in?

I may swallow my pride and get the renters insurance, if only because it could be beneficial in more ways than the dish mounting.

But basically, and particularly because she gets cross really quickly in conversations generally, I would like to be able to just tell her to **** off because the wording of my lease excludes me from the shit she told me I would need to pay.

Cheers people.
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andi*pandi
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Jul 8, 2011, 01:50 PM
 
Hmm, trying to remember what we did when we rented... I think nothing. But I don't think the extra deposit is out of line. We paid an extra deposit for having a pet.

How much is renter's insurance?
     
Lateralus  (op)
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Jul 8, 2011, 02:16 PM
 
Yeah, and a pet can do damage progressively. A satellite that can only be clamped to a railing cannot. And if I'd not already paid a huge deposit to get in because I took the apartment while unemployed, I might not be fighting the deposit as hard. But regardless, the wording of the lease as far as I read it, says the $100 is counted from the deposit I paid initially.

I'll need to look up the renter's insurance though. I don't think it's super expensive and may wind up going with it anyways.
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ChrisF
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Jul 8, 2011, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
I may swallow my pride and get the renters insurance...
It's foolish to not have renter's insurance, regardless of whether you put up a satellite dish or not. It's not expensive.

I know I'd hate to have to pay to replace all my belongings if my neighbor happens to burn the place down.
     
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Jul 8, 2011, 02:50 PM
 
Its good to have general tenant insurance anyways for your own stuff. My tenant insurance is 30 a month which covers 40 000 replacement value of my own stuff and 5 million liability in case I was the cause of anything like a fire and what not. Ive seen to many times people burned out of apartments with no insurance and lost everything.
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Lateralus  (op)
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Jul 8, 2011, 03:07 PM
 
Yeah yeah, fair enough. I'll probably wind up getting it regardless since this is only a reminder after having forgotten to add it on my Progressive policy a few months ago. Though I don't like it being mandated, but that's because I'm just a stick in the mud.

I'm more just fishing for a backup opinion that I've every reason to refuse to pay any deposit more than I already have, with the lease specifically saying I don't need to.
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Montezuma58
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Jul 8, 2011, 03:29 PM
 
OTARD is your friend. If you're mounting it to the structure the building owner has a say in what you do. But if you put it on your balcony in a way that does not alter the structure or extends past your exclusive use area (ie mounted to the balcony rail but hanging out past your balcony) they can't make you pay an extra deposit or other requirements.

For example you could put a pole in a 5 gallon bucket, fill it with concrete, put a dish on it, and then put it in the middle of the balcony. They might complain and whine if you do but the law is on your side.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 8, 2011, 03:52 PM
 
You'd probably need some kind of precedent to argue any point about the height of the dish above the ground. I suspect its an argument you'd lose because there is a chance no matter how small that a dish 5 feet off the ground could fall and injure a small child, regardless of whether said child has any business being underneath the dish. Now if you could put it on a (preferably flat) roof or on the ground and run a cable you shouldn't need any liability insurance.

Does renters insurance usually include liability in the US? The only insurance I ever had was against theft and accidental damage to property.

As for the deposit, if your signed agreement has the words you specified above selected, it looks to me like you are correct and should not have to pay any extra deposit.
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reader50
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Jul 8, 2011, 05:08 PM
 
Another option. I've been told the dishes can look through window glass just fine. It might be ugly in a room, but it would be completely inside your rented space.
     
-Q-
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Jul 8, 2011, 05:20 PM
 
As for the rental agreement you signed, the wording options may have been chosen incorrectly in her mind but a contract is a contract. The one you signed is the only enforceable agreement they have and you'll have to agree to any changes they propose.
     
ghporter
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Jul 8, 2011, 07:59 PM
 
RV tripod. It sits on the balcony without being attached, and by its design cannot allow the antenna to hang out over anything. Should be fine for you and the apartment complex.

Federal regulations prohibit a landlord or homeowners association from limiting your options for receiving broadcast signals, but allow "reasonable" restrictions on structural issues, so having the thing on a tripod skirts that nicely.

Renters' insurance is a Very Good Idea. Use the same caution in buying it that ou would for homeowner's insurance.

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Teronzhul
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Jul 8, 2011, 08:30 PM
 
Here is pretty much the most epic dish owner vs landlord thread ever:
The Battle is on! My landlord now demands I remove my dish - DBSTalk.Com

Any information you could want would be covered there.

As mentioned, OTARD can help, but there are restrictions. It only covers you if you are mounting in an exclusive use area, and mounting the dish to the outside railing of your balcony doesn't count since it would require the dish hang over common areas.

Even if you have federal regulations on your side, this is an issue that often isn't worth fighting. Capitulating and getting renters insurance is cheaper than a lawyer most likely.
     
el chupacabra
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Jul 8, 2011, 10:35 PM
 
Your first mistake was going and telling the landlord you were thinking of putting up a dish. Most people just get it done and wait and see if the landlord notices. Thats What I've done my whole life... Well I learned my lesson the way you did the first time. I talked to other neighbors and they all said they never asked just put it up. They all tell you the same thing if you actually ask. If they see it and tell you to get insurance and make a deposit then that might be what you have to do. The insurance is required most the time regardless.

You can tie it on with large zip ties or put it on a stand.
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tightsocks
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Jul 9, 2011, 05:59 AM
 
I'm more interested in how the company can FORCE you to purchase their service as a condition of your job...

What if you just don't enjoy watching TV and have no use for the service??

     
Montezuma58
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Jul 9, 2011, 07:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by tightsocks View Post
I'm more interested in how the company can FORCE you to purchase their service as a condition of your job...

What if you just don't enjoy watching TV and have no use for the service??

I don't know about Dish. But DirecTV employees get free service.
     
Lateralus  (op)
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Jul 9, 2011, 12:36 PM
 
Yeah, DISH's is free is as well, but they require employees have it so that we're intimately familiar with how to operate the programming guide... and stuff, or something.

*Shrugs*

Thanks for replies guys. I'll particularly look into gettinga tripod, thanks Glenn.

I'd rather purchase something to mount the dish on than pay the complex another 'refundable' deposit because, in my experience, the word 'refundable' is used very liberally by apartment complexes; I'd rather know what its going to cost me now and spend it than hand over deposit and spend the rest of my lease having to guess at how much I'll wind up getting back.
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Waragainstsleep
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Jul 9, 2011, 01:09 PM
 
Yeah right, I had a landlady try to charge me and my housemates £800 of our deposit for trashing a carpet that was put down from off cuts they had lying about. It wasn't fitted and it wasn't new. I reckon it cost them about £50 for the time it took them to throw it down two or more years before we moved in, if that.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jul 9, 2011, 06:05 PM
 
If you have a telescope shop in your area, see if they'll sell you a used telescope tripod cheap. I've seen those used before, they can be very stable.

By mail-order, these guys might be able to help you out.

Hands On Optics :: Telescopes, Accessories, CCD and Digital Cameras

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el chupacabra
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Jul 10, 2011, 12:03 AM
 
Frys also has a lot of tripods.
     
bstone
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Jul 10, 2011, 12:20 AM
 
Renter's insurance is a good idea to have no matter what. It's super cheap and super worth it. Get the insurance. When my car was stolen last year my renter's insurance was going to cover all my stuff in the car, but then the cops found my car with everything in it.
     
   
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