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Is it the tenant’s responsibility to instal a TV aerial?

tv-aerialsHere is a question to the blog clinic from Karen (not her real name) who is a tenant

I have been searching the Internet for help with a big problem my family and I have been having with our landlord (it may seem trivial to some people but it has caused us a huge headache).

We moved into a house about a month ago and feel very lucky to have found because it is perfect, except for one thing, there is no TV aerial.

We called our landlady who told us that this is the tenant’s responsibility and as such she is unwilling to pay anything towards it.

I may be a bit naive but when I viewed the property, I wasn’t looking for a TV aerial as I thought this is would be standard. (It was conveniently not mentioned when we did the viewing).

Is there anything we can do or do we have to bite the bullet and do this ourselves? If we put an aerial up, the surely the landlord will benefit as it will there for use by future tenants.

I could not find anything on the Internet about this, which surprises me as I would have thought this is quite a common problem.

This is not something covered by any of the legislation, so that means it is something for the landlord and the tenant to sort out for themselves.

I don’t think actually it is a huge problem (although no doubt people will correct me if I am wrong) as most properties have TV aerials installed.

It is unfortunate that you did  not spot this and ask them about it before you signed, but they may just have said then that you have to arrange for the TV reception yourself.  Would you have taken the property anyway?

I think probably the best thing is just to bite on the bullet and get it done.  Or maybe if there is broadband, you could watch telly via the Internet?

Incidentally, if you pay for the aerial it will technically be yours so you will be entitled to take it with you when you go – if you are able to get it down from the roof!

Note that whatever solution you come to, you will need a TV license.

TV aerials picture from Oatsy40

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5 Responses to Is it the tenant’s responsibility to instal a TV aerial?

  1. We kind of have the same problem. Our landlords thoughtfully installed Sky, the full Monty but we dont have Sky so the aerial plugs dont go into the back of our TV. We got an indoor arial with a booster but the picture always goes wonky at a crucial bit of the film when the neighbours go to the toilet

  2. As a landlord I think the landlord should pay for the TV aerial as it’s a benefit for the property. But saying that a lot of tenants now don’t use standard TV aerials and prefer cable, Sky or the internet so the TV aerial becomes redundant.

  3. Tessa, I can not quote legislation, but I am sure that in commercial leases, if something is affixed to the property (like a grille or canopy) it becomes the landlords property.

    a) is that right?
    b) would it apply to the aerial on a residential property?

  4. Ben,
    This might be out of date advice but can’t you just buy a used skybox* and a lead for your TV?

    Costs about 20 quid from the heart foundation shop or a tenner from your local druggie (make sure you get the remote).

    Crystal clear freeview channels plus lovely digital radio- enhanced with an old amp and battered speakers.

    *note skybox not freeviewbox.

    To get back on topic, IMO the landlord has no obligation to provide an aerial unless stated. Although the reasonable thing to do would be to go halves.

  5. I would say property is taken as seen and if a tv aerial was so important you should have asked before agreeing a contract. Suggest you offer to split the cost with landlord and enjoy your tv and leave the aerial for the landlord when you leave OR fit an aerial at your cost and remove it when you leave making sure you make good any damage e.g holes in wall



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.

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