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Court rules radio lover can keep rooftop antenna

2012-08-30 15:21 Global Times     Web Editor: Zang Kejia comment

Pudong New Area People's Court ruled that a local radio enthusiast could keep the antenna he installed on the roof of his apartment building after a neighbor sued him for infringing on the rights of other property owners, the court announced Wednesday.

The court decided that Zhang was within his rights to plant the antenna on the rooftop, despite neighbor complaints, according to a news release from the court. The ruling was based on a legal interpretation by the Supreme People's Court that allows residents to use the public areas in residential buildings as they see fit, so long as the use is "reasonable."

The defendant, surnamed Zhang, hired workers in June 2011 to install the antenna, which was connected to a radio transceiver in his third floor apartment, according to the court.

Zhang is a member of the Chinese Radio Sports Association, a nongovernmental organization of radio enthusiasts that helps provide wireless communication during emergencies.

A few weeks after the antenna went up, the residential community's property manager told Zhang to dismantle it, but he refused, the court said.

A resident surnamed Ding and several other property owners had complained that the antenna infringed on their property rights because the rooftop belonged to everyone living in the building, according to the court.

In June, Ding filed a lawsuit against Zhang, demanding that he remove the antenna. During the hearing, Ding argued that the antenna, which was fixed on an iron pad and reinforced with steel wire, would attract lightning. He also pointed out that Zhang never got permission from the other property owners.

Zhang argued that the antenna did not pose any danger to other residents.

The court ruled that it was reasonable for Zhang to take up a portion of the rooftop for his personal use. It ordered Zhang to properly maintain the antenna to ensure it didn't cause any harm.

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