Allow tenant to install DISH?

21 Replies

One of my tenants has asked if she can have a satellite dish installed by the cable company and needs a note from me granting permission before she can do it. Do you folks allow dishes on your properties? This is the first time I’ve ever had a tenant ask...I don’t have a problem with it but am wondering if there are potential downsides like damage to the roof?

If they install on your roof, are they going to guarantee there will be no leaks? If they drill into your brick are they going to guarantee no water seepage in winter, causing the water to expand and push brick away from the building? If they install on your porch, are they going to guarantee that the holes drilled in the wood/steel won't jeopardize the integrity of the structure?

I would say NO, unless they install the dish on a rod in the yard, and no drilling into your building.

Unless you don't have a clear line of sight, most dishes can be installed on a post in the yard.  Just make sure you don't allow them to drill through the roof. 

The pole (rod) in the yard is the way to go, however, you must still be sure to address how they get the service into the building.  We usually require our handyman to be present to ensure this is done appropriately otherwise the installer  will just drill a hole wherever is easiest for them to do their work and get to the next install.  They dont care about your building or property.  Also make it the tenants responsibility to remove or pay for removal when they vacate.

Its the lowest-paid contractor drilling holes in your roof or siding.  I would say absolutely not, for attaching to the building.  If you have a yard, you can have them dig a little post-hole and put down a post, and attach the dish to the post. When they leave you can yank the post back out, or leave it for the next tenant.  Just be aware they need to put the post kind of close to the house, and it needs unobstructed visibility to the southern sky

Satellite companies don’t come take them down when service is discontinued either, and require a new dish with new service for new accounts. It’s why there are duplexes everywhere with six or seven dishes on them. Looks awful!

Thanks for the advice all. I will encourage her to get traditional cable instead or they can place the DISH in the yard...don’t really like the idea of it in the yard either, though

@Ericka Grant The advice here is well intentioned but misguided.  Per FCC regulations you can’t deny tenants satelitte service.  Its a matter of landlords not interfering with free and fair competition between cable and satellite.  Plenty of articles about it you google “landlord satellite FCC” or something to that effect.

If the house is already wired for cable tv, I would have no problem with it if they mount the dish to a pole in the yard. They can just tap into the cable feed and don't have to drill holes in the building. If it's not wired for cable, I would be sure that someone with experience with catv is there to monitor the wiring.
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I just had a tenant who had installed a dish without my permission. Probably signed that form. I only noticed once I evicted her for non-payment and now I still have that stupid dish, which has water leaking onto my porch. I had installed a new roof 3 months before she moved in. 

Raised hell with company and they just hung up on me. They don't care about any damage that was done. 

You cant deny the tenant the ability to have satellite service but you can have in your lease that they are not allowed to attach anything to the building without your written authorization....so they can have the dish in the yard, but not attached to the building

I've seen too much damage caused by dishes and don't allow them on the building.  However, I will allow them on the deck or on a post.  The companies never retrieve them when the tenants leave and they rely on caulking (if they seal at all) and don't flash around the base.  

Of course, the cable companies aren't much better.  I've had them run a cable up the MIDDLE of the building and through a hole that you can see daylight through.  If you allow cable, find out where they will run the lines first.

We only allow a DISH if it can be installed in the ground, nothing is to be mounted on the building.

Often the Asian population seeks Dish because they have been historically the cheapest and best at providing the content IMO. However, recently Dish has overtook Sling TV to provide such content streamed for much cheaper. If it’s a tech savvy tenant at all try to just tell them about it and then maybe you won’t have to deal with neither a cable nor satellite company!

Yes, as long as they are not putting screws/nails in roof

Someone else already mentioned it but you can't legally stop them from getting satellite service. You can dictate certain conditions, however - that they use existing access holes, not drill new holes in floors, attach to the building, that they remove it when done, etc. We let them put it on a pole in the yard or nothing at all, and utilize existing wiring. Virtually all tenants just get cable because they want internet too. Under no circumstances let them mount to the roof - they drill straight through the shingles and (if you're lucky) put a dab of silicone caulk on there to try to stop the water intrusion. I had one house, when I bought it, had 4 different dishes attached to it - 3 on the fascia boards and one straight through the shingles. 

My understanding of the regulation is that you can't restrict tenants from having satellite dishes completely. That would be restraint of competition among the cable/satellite providers. But you can restrict placement of dishes.

Tenants are allowed to install dishes in privately rented space for their own use. In an apartment building, that would include a balcony, deck, patio, or terrace. But the roof and the exterior of the building are common areas and not for the exclusive use of the tenant.

You can also insist that the dish be installed by a professional installer. Unlike cable, there are a lot of fly-by-night vendors that sell satellite service. If they screw up the installation, Direct TV and/or Dish Network will not stand behind it. If you call with a problem, they'll say, "Oh you didn't purchase it from us, you purchased it from blah blah blah, so you'll have to get them to resolve your problem."

@Michael P. , Exactly... So many landlords get all defensive, "Oh hell no!" not realizing that they cannot forbid them anyway... Just come up with a good alternative, like others have mentioned (Post in yard).

@Ericka Grant - in NYC a pole in the yard won't work. We had our gc put a 4x4 pole up on the roof for the dishes to be hung. It's just a 2 family, so both can use it without issue. Access to the roof has to be coordinated with PM. Carol

I recommend have a rep present at install. ... I have a 1” hole in beautiful 50 year old hardwood from a lazy installer running a line to the basement... try decorating that.

You can't forbid them from having DISH (it's an FCC violation).  HOWEVER, you can dictate HOW they install it.

If possible, requiring a tripod installation that would sit in the yard and point out over the fence is the best way to do this as it doesn't require any drilling or alterations of any kind.

And BTW, DISH doesn't have to go on the roof, so there is no fear of the risk of leaks.  IF installed on the house itself, it is often drilled to the eaves or trim around the house using a J mount.

Only allow in yard on pole AND only allow the through window flat coax cables. These are flat connectors (not round) that you life the window and set it down on so no holes are drilled in the walls. All cabling is ran outside and not through house.

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