Can a lanlord make you provide high speed internet?

8 Replies

Hi, recently we changed our wifi password for security. And our landlord came to request the new password. When we questioned him on why would we give it to him, he mentioned it's in our lease agreement that we have to. After reviewing the lease it does state that "the Tennant must provide Landlord with high speed internet" which has been signed and initialed by us. 

So I guess I'm just wondering is this a legal request the landlord can make ?

Side note: if we refuse to provide a new password what could the reprecutions be? 

Another thing I'll mention is the landlord as broken his own lease multiple times by entering our house without permission while nobody was present and often walks in unannounced.

Appreciate any thoughts

1. You should read your lease more carefully before signing it.

2. Yes, he can charge it because you agreed to it.

3. What can he do if you don't provide the password? Not much but that's no the point. You agreed to it so the right thing to do is provide him with the password. On that note, if you have a good router you can set up personal access and then a separate guest access so that he can't get into your system.

4. Entering without permission is a whole different story. Set up a camera, catch him in the act, and press charges. He won't do it again.

I can't imagine why your landlord would want or need your password, unless he is often close enough to utilize it.  Since you agreed to give it to him, I would, but when the lease expires, I would ask him to remove that clause or at least have a discussion about why he wants it, if you elect to stay there.

I would place in writing the violations on his side, that you know he violated your privacy and is breaking the law to not provide you adequate notice, and that you will take him to court if he does it again. Figure out what you want - would you like to be released from the lease and move to a place with a knowledgeable and ethical landlord, or do you want to stay there and be firm with enforcing tenant-landlord law with him? And figure out how far you are willing to go to enforce your rights if the initial written notice doesn't stop the issue.  This is your home, you are paying for exclusive use, he needs to respect your privacy.

Thanks for the reply Nathan appreciate the feedback.

Definitely agree I should have been more careful while reading the lease!

We have since provided the new password, something we were worried about is the Landlord sharing the password with other Tennants in the house. We have noticed a considerable drop in streaming quality which could be the reason.

The weird thing is that electricity and gas are included in our monthly rent, so I don't really understand why he would ask us to provide the internet, he could have done so himself and increased the rent to reflect that?

Can't you put him on a guest network? I have one router like that. While it is legal because you agreed I wouldnt like it. And does it say you have to provide internet or the password? Why does he need access anyway ?

Maybe he has a video/security system for the building that feeds to him via wifi and without your password he can't operate his cameras.... Just an idea.

He could also need access to your wifi for smart home features like keypad door locks, thermostats, lighting, etc.  

I would talk with a lawyer. If you can’t afford one look into legal aid, there’s almost always someone there you can talk to.

Just because you agree to someone doesn’t make it legal. That’s why any standard lease agreement has a severability clause. So if a part of the lease is unenforceable the rest still is. What he’s probably doing is allowing other tenants to use your internet which is essentially stealing. You can also prove he’s doing it by looking up what IP addresses have been using your WiFi.

Entering the home without notice when it’s not an emergency is also illegal.

I would seriously consult a lawyer. He can’t do the things he’s doing.

I’d imagine there’s a WiFi camera outside or something. Hopefully it’s something innocuous like that - it’s sort of silly for him to pay for a dedicated internet connection or cell connection just for a camera or thermostat.

BUT - I would log into the router and check the connections. Most of the time you can figure out each one - knowing you have phones, printers, etc. if there’s anything odd connected, you can bump it off or I’m most cases disable a specific MAC address (hardware address) from connecting.

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