Some property owners employ well-liked strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to attract ideal tenants and improve profits. And in the past, tenants have opted to pay the extra cost. However, public demand for cable TV is decreasing, causing some Chubbuck property managers to ponder if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s discuss 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 close to 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 become the key alternatives to cable for various individuals.
At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, showcasing that while streaming services are generally popular, several individuals still prefer cable services. Due to this, before you attempt to remove your rental property’s cable TV, it is recommended to talk to your tenants about their wants and needs.
Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?
Including cable TV in your rental rate seems beneficial for numerous locations and demographics. For example, if your target renters include avid sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and will often gladly spend a little more rent to have it included.
Various tenants oppose signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts because they are not sure how long they will inhabit the home. They may also hate the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to provide cable TV gives a great incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.
On the flip side, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data supports this. 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 numerous who consider cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services are not free, numerous young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services provide these users the freedom to opt for when to sign up or cancel if they want.
Property owners frequently have a valid reason to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will commonly bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for particular communities and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The quickest way to determine if offering cable TV is suitable for your case is to ask your tenants. They know better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may adapt to including “free” cable TV.
If you’ve chatted with your tenants and found that they dislike cable TV, it may be possible 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 immediately, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then offer a somewhat lower rent or, if you choose, pocket the savings.
Determining whether to keep cable TV service at your Chubbuck rentals is a tough call. Envision life if you recruited Real Property Management Pocatello to manage your portfolio and make those difficult 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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