It is that age old argument, satellite versus cable. Not as old as Coke versus Pepsi or McDonald’s versus Burger King, but it does come up. As a landlord, your goal is to protect your asset; your Investment Property. While cable can add unsightly black cables running up the outside walls of your property, it is generally benign. Satellite dishes, conversely typically need to be (or want to be) mounted higher up on the wall or roof for best reception. This is where you as the investment property owner need to take control and set a policy. Installed incorrectly, they can lead to water penetration and damage by penetrating the weather-proofing of the building on the walls or roof.
Here are some recommendations about how to handle the inevitable requests (in order of most control to least control):
- Just say no. Absolutely no satellite dishes on my building or property.
- Install a 6×6 post in the ground at least 5 feet away from your building in the correct location where a satellite dish would need to be mounted. Then require that all dish installs be to that post. This keeps the dish (and the installer) from damaging your building or compromising the integrity of the weather-proofing of the building.
- Meet each installer at the building and instruct them where to install the dish and then inspect their work when completed.
- Allow the dishes to be mounted only on the wood trim of the walls of the building, never on the roof.
- Have a roofing company install one dish base per apartment in the building on the roof and require the installer to use that base.
- Lastly, let them do whatever they want and take your chances.
Whichever path you chose above, I would also have a logical plan for how the cabling connects the dish to the TV. Over the years, the cable installers have made a couple of my investment properties look like it had vines growing on it because of the amount of cable wires going every which way. Take control and set a path up front to enter the building and units.
Allowing the tenants to have satellite is not a requirement; it is a luxury. It is should always require your permission and be done to your specification. Thinking through this process now will help you protect your asset; your investment property.