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Cutting the Cord: Should You Keep Your Filer Rental Property’s Cable TV?

Filer Tenant Relaxing at Home Watching Cable TVSome property owners adopted popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to find qualified tenants and improve profits. And in the past, tenants have happily accepted the extra cost. However, as public demand for cable TV decreases, some Filer property managers are starting to question if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s evaluate some pros and cons of keeping or ending your rental property’s cable TV service.

Cable on the Way Out?

According to a 2021 survey, 56% of Americans say they watch cable or satellite TV. Compare that to 76% who said the same thing in 2015. Paid TV is projected to have lost 5.1 million customers in 2020 alone while streaming services have continued to grow. Streaming services like Netflix (75 million subscribers), Amazon Prime (50 million subscribers), and Disney+ (45 million subscribers) have emerged as the key alternatives to cable for numerous consumers.

At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, indicating that while streaming services are widely popular, many still prefer cable services. Because of that, before you decide to cut your rental property’s cable TV, it is vital to talk to your tenants about their wants and needs.

Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?

Including cable TV in your rental rate makes sense for many locations and demographics. For illustration, if your target renters include avid sports fans, they are more likely to need live television services and would frequently gladly pay a bit more rent to have it included.

Since they are not sure how long they will inhabit the home, numerous tenants avoid signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts. They may also not like the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to offer cable TV provides a significant incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.

However, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data support this claim. To be specific, 81% of Americans age 65 and older say they still have cable service, while only 34% of American age 18 to 29 do.  Streaming services are becoming the go-to choice for those who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services include fees, several young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services offer these consumers the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel if they want.

Property owners usually have compelling reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. As an example, internet providers will often bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for specific localities and demographics may grant property owners a competitive edge. The best method to determine if offering cable TV is right for your case is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may feel about including “free” cable TV.

If your tenants have informed you that they don’t want cable TV, you might be able to discontinue your cable service temporarily while leaving the cables intact. Depending on the service provider, you may be able to suspend or even cancel service straightforwardly, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a relatively lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.

Determining whether to retain cable TV service at your Filer rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you were assigned Real Property Management Magic Valley to manage your portfolio and make those tough decisions for you, all while you enjoy passive income! Contact us online to learn more.


Originally published on Nov 1, 2019

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