“I realized that I am paying for the cable TV service in my park, even though I don’t use it myself. Additionally, I was planning on installing my own satellite dish to watch TV, but a neighbor told me that I might run into some trouble with the park for that. Any advice?”
— Howard H. 56, resident, Grass Valley, CA
It depends on what is already in your rental agreement. Generally speaking, when a service is stated for in your rental agreement, or if the park issues a 60-day notice for the new service charge, then you are expected to pay for the service.
With that said, a 1997 California appellate case—Greening v. Johnson—held that cable TV is not an essential utility, and furthermore, a park cannot charge for a service not actually used by the resident.
Additionally, the Telecommunication Act of 1996 provides that neither parks nor local ordinances may prohibit the installation of a dish antenna on one’s home, as long as it is not more than 39 inches in diameter and doesn’t constitute a health or safety problem.
Parks can regulate placement or design of the antenna within reason (rules which do not affect satellite reception), but they cannot ban satellite dishes outright.
Our advice is that you reach out to park management and explain that you don’t use the Cable TV service. After that, discuss your plans for the satellite dish, and see if it meets your park’s standards.
- If stipulated in the signed lease or rental agreement, then residents must pay the fee.
- If not stated in the agreement, then the park must provide a 60-day advance notice of the rendered service and fee.
- Cable TV is not an essential utility, therefore the park cannot charge a non-user.
- Satellite dishes are permitted within reasonable park and local guidelines.