What are the rules for installing a private TV antenna in a condominium?


Emma Potter

Living in a condominium involves having to manage the use of common spaces and comply with the regulations that regulate coexistence between owners. Among the most frequent issues, the one relating to the installation of a private antenna on the roof of the condominium stands out.

Since the roof is a common part of the building, the question arises whether and how it is possible to proceed with this installation without breaking the laws and condominium regulations.

What regulations are in force? What permissions are needed? And how can the needs of all condominiums be respected?

Common areas and use of condominium areas

Article no. 1117 of the civil code defines the common parts of the condominium, which include, among other things, the roof, stairs, courtyards and elevators. These areas are essential for the common use and enjoyment of individual properties.

Article no. 1117
Common parts of the building

They are the object of common property of the owners of the individual real estate units of the building, even if they have the right to periodic enjoyment and if the contrary is not indicated by the title:
1) all parts of the building necessary for common use, such as the ground on which the building stands, the foundations, the main walls, the pillars and load-bearing beams, the roofs and flat roofs, the stairs,
the entrance doors, vestibules, passageways, porticoes, courtyards and facades;
2) the areas intended for parking as well as the rooms for shared services, such as the concierge, including the concierge’s accommodation, the laundry, the drying rooms and the attics intended for the
structural and functional characteristics, for common use;
3) works, installations, artefacts of any kind intended for common use, such as lifts, wells, cisterns, water and sewage systems, centralized systems of
distribution and transmission for gas, electricity, heating and air conditioning, for radio and television reception and for access to any other type of information flow, including by satellite or cable, and related connections up to the branch point to the individually owned premises of the individual condominiums, or, in the case of unitary systems, up to the user point, except as provided by sector regulations regarding public networks.

However, the use of these common parts must respect certain rules to avoid conflicts between condominiums.

According to article 1102 of the Civil Code, every condominium owner can use the common areas provided that it does not alter its destination and does not prevent others from equally using it.

Article no. 1102
Use of the common thing

Each participant can use the common thing, as long as it does not alter its destination and does not prevent the other participants from equally using it according to their rights. To this end he can make the necessary modifications at his own expense for the best enjoyment of the thing.
The participant cannot extend his right to the common property to the detriment of the other participants, if he does not carry out suitable acts to change the title of his possession.

This means that, although it is possible to use the roof to install an antenna, this must be done without compromising the use of the roof by other condominiums and without changing its intended use.

In addition to the provisions of the Civil Code, the use of the common areas can be further regulated by condominium regulation. This regulation, which must be approved unanimously or included in the individual owners’ purchase deed, may impose specific restrictions on the use of such areas.

For example, it could establish that some common parts are intended for the exclusive use of a single condominium owner, as in the case of the flat roof granted to the owner of the top floor.

Therefore, before proceeding with the installation of a private antenna, it is essential to check the condominium regulations to ensure that you comply with any additional restrictions.

Installation of a private antenna: what does the law say?

Article 1122-bis of the Civil Code specifically regulates the installation of non-centralized systems for radio and television reception, including private antennas. This article establishes that such installations must be carried out in such a way as to cause the least possible damage to the common areas and individually owned real estate units.

Furthermore, it is essential to preserve the architectural decoration of the building.

In practice, this means that the antenna must be positioned so as not to damage or alter the common parts of the condominium and must not compromise the aesthetics of the building. Each condominium owner has the right to install a private antenna, but must do so respecting these conditions.

So to install a private antenna on the roof of the condominium, it is necessary to respect some fundamental conditions:

  • Intended use: Must not alter the intended use of the property.
  • Architectural decoration: Must preserve the architectural decorum, stability and safety of the building.
  • Minimum impact possible: The installation must have the least impact on common areas and individually owned real estate units.
  • Free use of other people’s property: It must not compromise the free use of other people’s property according to its intended use.
  • Equal use: It must not prevent other condominium owners from using the property in the same way.

These requirements ensure that the installation of the antenna does not interfere with the rights of other condominiums and maintains the integrity and aesthetics of the building.

Communication and permission from the condominium assembly

When the installation of a private antenna involves changes to the common parts of the condominium, it is necessary to inform the administrator. This step is crucial to ensure that all condominium owners are aware of the proposed changes and can express their opinion.

Once the administrator has received the communication, he can call a condominium meeting to discuss the proposal.

The assembly, with a majority of those present representing at least two thirds of the value of the building, can prescribe alternative methods of execution or impose precautions necessary to safeguard the stability, safety and architectural decorum of the building.