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The Dish on Satellite Dishes: Who is Responsible for Removal?

**This article was originally written on November 28, 2016, but was updated on December 18, 2020.

Satellite Dish on RoofHave you ever seen a property with two or three old satellite dishes on the roof? Most likely, the reason for such an ugly sight was that neither the landlord nor the tenant knew whose responsibility it was to remove. If you’re an investment property owner in Reno or Sparks, you might be asking yourself the same thing. Who is responsible for removing a satellite dish once a tenant moves out? The answer might surprise you.

A Tenant’s Responsibility

Once a tenant becomes a satellite company customer, the dish or antenna becomes their property. Because of such a rule, it is also their responsibility to remove it upon move out and fix any damage caused by the installation. Because it is not widely known, this detail is often left out of tenant lease agreements, in which case the responsibility of removal and repair falls to the property owner.

How A Property Manager Can Help

By setting strict guidelines about installing and removing satellite dishes and reviewing these guidelines during the lease signing, the tenant becomes responsible for removing equipment and repairing any damaged areas afterward. Establishing these standards in writing keeps your property from having old dishes installed indefinitely.

Property management companies are well-versed in satellite system installation and removal issues.  They can help you ensure that the tenant’s responsibility is clearly spelled out in the lease. Holding the tenant responsible in your lease agreement can save you the hassle of having to remove the dish yourself, at your cost.

Know The Laws Beforehand

According to the Federal Communications Commission, landlords are prohibited from restricting a tenant from getting a satellite dish if it meets the criteria set forth by the commission. When installed by a professional and smaller than 40 inches in diameter, the dish must be allowed on the property. The landlord can be present during installation and place reasonable restrictions on how and where it is installed. Reasonable restrictions can include not allowing the dish to be hung in common areas of an apartment complex, requiring that the tenant carry renters insurance to cover any damage caused by the satellite dish, and having the final say in placement and the process installation.

In a nutshell, the removal of a satellite dish is your tenants’ responsibility. However, you need to establish that in the lease agreement. A property manager like Real Property Management Corazon is well-versed in the laws surrounding this issue and can help you write your lease agreement to include these responsibilities. Contact us today for help managing your Reno or Sparks rental.

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