Satellite TV, Internet, and Radio Blog

Quite a while ago the FCC put an end to landlords stopping tenants from receiving satellite TV services and it seems like the general perception is that they still aren’t allowed (which is simply not true).  The landlord can restrict the installation and build some rules around satellite service but they cannot deny the service to their tenants.  With that said here are the 10 Most Common Reasons that Landlords Don’t Want Satellite Tv.

  1. Potential damage to the building – If the installation company isn’t careful and sometimes even if they are they can cause incidental damages to the roof and/or other areas of the property.  In most cases the landlord is responsible for those charges and understandably would like to avoid them.
  2. Potential insurance risk with workers – Just like any other property owner accidents that happen on their property expose landlords to a liability.  Some landlords pass this on to the tenants requiring them to sign a waiver and/or provide insurance to cover the satellite installers.  In some cases they will just charge the tenant an additional roof access fee or some other charge to help spread some of the risk out.
  3. Potential insurance risk with the public – In addition to the workers, it’s also possible that a satellite can fall off or be blown off of the building causing property damage and or physical damage.  Like in the case of the installers, somehow the landlord has to offset these risks.
  4. Aesthetics or curb appeal – Lots of landlords just don’t like their roof lines cluttered with unattractive (in their opinion) satellite dishes.  While this is a really weak argument and one they wouldn’t win it is commonly mentioned as one of the biggest issues that landlords have with satellite dishes.
  5. Exclusive cable tv deals – Honestly, this was the reason in the past that most landlords didn’t allow satellite dishes.  They had cut deals with cable companies to be the sole provider of services to their complex or property.  By granting this exclusive they had to find a way to stop tenants from trying to get other services (this eventually led to the FCC having to step in and stop this practice).
  6. Placement of the satellites – In some cases people will hand satellites off of their balconies or directly mount them on the roof of the apartment complex or rental unit.  If the placement is inconsistent from renter to renter then it can get really sloppy over time.
  7. Perceived risk of the charges for satellite abuse on their property – As noted on our blog there is always the risk that one of the tenants will exploit the security of the satellite and/or in general violate the terms of use of the satellite company and landslords generally aren’t interested in that battle.
  8. Complaints from other tenants – They may get other tenants that complain that they want satellite too or that the satellite is somehow interfering with their view or encroaching on their space.
  9. Line of site, lack of Southern exposure – It’s also possible that the complex and/or rental is just not positioned well to be able to pickup a good satellite signal.  In this case them refusing to allow roof access or other related access makes a lot of sense.  For instance, there could be a larger building to the South that is blocking the view of the Southern hemisphere.
  10. The interior isn’t wired to carry the signal – It’s also very possible that the landlord just hasn’t wired the house for any cable TV or satellite TV.  In this case, they may prefer to have their own contractors involved in cutting the necessary holes and selecting the wall plate covers to be used in the apartment.

Again, the FCC has rendered many excuses for not allowing tenants to use satellite dishes completely null and void.  In general, in most places in the U.S. you can get satellite TV, satellite Internet, and other related services.  You just need to know who to call to help you get the job done.  In general your local contractor is the best start (or even asking your neighbors).

You can read up on the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act here

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3 Responses to Top 10 Reasons Landlords Don't Want Satellite Dishes

  1. MikeS says:

    I own & live in an old 4 unit building in Maine & we allow pets, sat TV, & have spacious units with all utilities paid at below market rent. We also have a long waiting list. I feel the tenants should be allowed the same as I allow myself, and we have pets & DTV. As long as the folks are responsible we get on great. Oh, we also DON’T allow government housing assistance as we did when we started 17 yrs ago, we find that once the gov’t becomes the responsible party, the tenants tend to treat the units badly. The place is rural & over 100 yrs old and won’t take much abuse.

  2. [...] Owen presents Top 10 Reasons Landlords Don?t Want Satellite Dishes posted at Satellite [...]

  3. Mik- says:

    I have dealt with rentals in the past, and what a total pain. I remember a mom and her kids moving out, the perfectly good clothes that they let behind was a crime, another case of government wasted tax dollars…