To acquire quality tenants and improve productivity, some property owners implement popular strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable. And in the past, tenants have happily covered the extra cost. But as public demand for cable TV drops, some North Ogden property managers are starting to ask if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s explore some pros and cons of keeping or terminating 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 lost about 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 turned out to be the main alternatives to cable for several users.
Despite this, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, proving that while streaming services are extensively popular, numerous still prefer cable services. As a result, before you choose to discontinue your rental property’s cable TV, you must first consult with your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate makes sense for numerous locations and demographics. Let’s say if your target renters include huge sports fans, they are more expected to want live television services and are often willing to pay a little more rent to have it included.
Since they are unsure how long they will dwell in the home, several tenants dislike signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts. They may also not want the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home eager to lend cable TV offers a strong 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 this is corroborated by recent survey data. For example, 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 many who find cable TV lacking viewing options. While there are expenses associated with streaming services, many young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services give consumers the freedom to pick when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners often have valid reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will frequently bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for key locations and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The best approach to know if offering cable TV is helpful for you is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may respond to including “free” cable TV.
If you have talked to your tenants and they don’t like cable TV, you will likely 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 right away, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a little lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.
Determining whether to retain cable TV service at your North Ogden rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you choose Real Property Management Northern Utah to manage your portfolio and make those critical choices for you, all while you enjoy passive income! Contact us online to learn more.
Originally published on Nov 1, 2019
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