The TV Answer Man!
Shop Amazon




TV Answer Man

Can I Install a Dish at My Rental Property?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I just rented a house and I was wondering if I could install a satellite dish in my backyard. What's the rules on this? I sure would like to have DIRECTV or Dish. -- Tom, Selma, Alabama.

Tom, as a frequent renter in my younger days (and a satellite dish owner), I am very familiar with
your dilemma. But the rule of thumb is to always get permission -- and written permission -- from your landlord before installing a dish on a rental property.

It's just being smart, Tom. Your landlord owns the house. If you install a dish, it could adversely affect his property so it's important that he's okay with it before you proceed.

And to reiterate, it's also important to get that okay in writing because your lease may have a clause that prohibits the installation of a dish. If you install the dish without your owner's permission, it could be a violation of your lease, which could lead to your eviction and possible financial penalties.

Now that I've offered the cautions, I would remiss if I did not offer a real world example.

WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. just aired a story about a Falls Church, Virginia home owner whose tenant installed two DIRECTV dishes without his permission. The home owner complained to DIRECTV after the tenant left, but the satcaster told the TV station that it accepts verbal permission from the tenant that the dish installation has been approved by the owner.

Needless to say, this did not sit well with the Virginia home owner who demanded that DIRECTV remove the dishes, which the owner felt had caused some damage to his roof. After some back-and-forth, DIRECTV agreed to take the dishes down.

DIRECTV said it prefers written permission from the owner before installing those dishes and something tells me that they will likely require that more often in the future. And if you're a renter, you would be wise to get that written permission, too.

Note: If you rent an apartment, federal law protects your right to install a dish on a balcony, let's say. But just in case, check with your building's manager for possible lease regulations.

See More Answers From the TV Answer Man!

Also See: Top 100 Blu-Ray Players

Today's 10 Best-Selling Blu-ray Titles

Join the discussion! Comment below and/or share this story on Twitter!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

Click to read more news and features on TV technology.



Daily E-Mail Newsletter!

Sign Up for Swanni Sez!
Delivered to your e-mail box.

*Email Address:   

Swanni Sez has 10,000+ subscribers!
Search TV Predictions

Hundreds of articles on HDTV!

Note to readers: receives a small percentage of sales of Amazon products. If you plan to buy anything from Amazon, please click the link below.
Thanks! - Swanni
Amazon link for