Should I allow my tenant to have satellite TV?

Question

My prospective tenant wants to have satellite TV installed but I’m worried it will cause damage. What should I do?

Answer

It’s great that your tenant has asked you before moving in. Some tenants don’t even ask and lie to the installation companies saying that they are the homeowners.

It’s best to be clear with tenants on the outset how you feel about it, and only you can decide.

You could say no

This would be safest option if you are worried, but it could be a deal breaker with the tenant. If they still decide to move in, you are also not helping them to feel that the property is their home which may have repercussions on how long they stay.

If you decide to go down this route you have to make sure you have a well drafted tenancy agreement which will cover every element of changing a property and make it a clause that a satellite dish can't be fitted.

If the tenant breaches it then they are responsible for any damage installation might cause. The tenant could sue the installer for the compensation to you, but then they would have to explain to a court why they advised the satellite provider that they were the owner of the property.

In most cases there shouldn’t be any damage as only a small hole is needed for cabling and if there is a problem the company should rectify. For example, Sky have an Engineer Complaints Department and if a complaint is made a manager is sent out to review the situation and resolve it. It is worth noting that Sky does use third party engineers for communal set ups and work higher than first floors. It would be worth giving Sky a call on 0800 1512747 to find out more details as an outline of how rectification/compensation works, isn't clear from the website.

Consider giving permission

Even if there is no potential problem with the installation you have to be sure a satellite dish is allowed.

You will need to:
  • check whether your property needs planning permission or listed building consent.
  • find out details: check your deeds and planning as there are all kinds of planning stipulations depending on the type of property. For example blocks of flats often have a maximum number of antennas that are allowed, and some leaseholds don’t allow dishes. Even if a dish is allowed there are requirements about the size, height and position.

It would be advisable to check out the Householders Guide to Antennas and the government’s planning portal.

Give permission

You may just be happy to give permission, but if you still feel uneasy then add some reasonable restrictions. You could:
  • include any planning or lease stipulations you have researched
  • ask to be present at the installation so you have the final say on where the cable goes

Make sure these restrictions are outlined in writing within the contract or as an addendum to the contract and make sure that both you and the tenant/s sign it.


*This article is not financial or legal advice and is not intended to be relied on as such. You should always seek professional advice.

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