Rights of Tenants: Cable TV, Dishes and Antennas
If I live in an apartment building, can my landlord stop me from getting cable TV, a satellite dish or an antenna?
Generally, no. Your landlord can refuse to allow these installations only if he has "good cause" to deny that particular company. "Good cause" could be:
- if that company has broken agreements with the landlord before
- if that company has damaged the building before and has not fixed it
- some similar valid complaint against that company
The Federal Communication Commission also has rules allowing tenants to have small dishes (one meter or less in diameter) and certain types of "customer-end" antennas. But you must have "exclusive use" of the area where you install the dish or antenna, such as a balcony (not common areas, such as the roof of an apartment building, unless your landlord allows it).
Revised August 2010