Some rental properties have digital television and some don’t. It’s important to understand who owns the facilities, and who’s responsible for maintenance and repair.

It is also important to know who is responsible for providing access to the internet.

Landlords are responsible for digital television facilities if they install them

If a landlord has installed the equipment to receive digital television, the landlord is required to repair and maintain that equipment.

If a property is not equipped to receive digital television, the landlord is not obliged to install or upgrade the equipment to receive it.

If a landlord agrees or wants to install the equipment during a tenancy, they’ll need the tenant’s permission before entering the house to complete the work. This includes if they want someone to do the work for them. When carrying out the work, they need to respect the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

Utilities and other payments has more information about owner consent, responsibility for installation and associated costs.

Tenants may be able to install digital television equipment themselves

If a house does not have the equipment to receive digital television, a tenant may wish to have it installed themselves. However, as the equipment might be seen to be a fixture (something that’s fixed to the property), the tenant must first ask the landlord if it’s okay to install it. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold permission.

Agree who owns the equipment before installation

Before granting permission to install the equipment, it would be wise for the landlord and tenant to agree who owns the equipment, and who’ll be responsible for repair and maintenance. Record any agreement in writing.

Remember that in a lot of cases satellite dishes are the property of the company that provides the service (eg Sky).

Tenants may remove any of their own fixtures at the end of a tenancy, provided it won’t cause irreparable damage to the property. For this reason, a landlord may decide they’d prefer to install the equipment themselves. If the equipment is removed by the tenant at the end of the tenancy they must ensure any damage (such as mounting holes or cabling holes) is repaired properly.

Landlords must agree before tenants add any fixtures has more on what is and isn’t a fixture

Telephone services

When you look at a property and want a landline connected, make sure there are enough telephone jacks and that you have checked with the landlord that they work. You should also check with your preferred provider that they provide the services you want.

Internet access

Before the tenancy agreement is signed, a tenant should check with the landlord (or a service provider) to find out which internet services are available at the address.