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

North Hollywood Tenant Relaxing at Home Watching Cable TVA few property owners use common strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to get the attention of quality tenants and improve profitability. And in the past, tenants have gladly paid the extra cost. Yet, as public demand for cable TV reduces, some North Hollywood property managers are curious to know if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s talk about some pros and cons of retaining or disconnecting 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 predicted to lose 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 main alternatives to cable for many users.

At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, showing that while streaming services are extremely popular, several still prefer cable services. So, before you decide to remove your rental property’s cable TV, it is advisable to speak to your tenants about their wants and needs.

Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?

Including cable TV in your rental rate seems plausible for many locations and demographics. For example, if your target renters include big sports fans, they are more likely to want live television services and will often prefer to pay a bit more rent to have it included.

Numerous tenants avoid signing up for cable services that will lock them into long-term contracts, given that they are not sure how long they will dwell in the home. They may also prevent the hassle of contacting customer service every time something goes wrong. For these tenants, a rental home willing to provide cable TV offers a strong incentive to pay a little extra to avoid any inconvenience.

On the other hand, younger tenants may or may not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data backs this up. For illustration, 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 streaming services are not free of charge, many young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services allow these individuals to choose when to sign up or cancel if they want.

Property owners frequently have solid reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For example, internet providers will commonly bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for key sites and demographics may grant property owners a competitive edge. The easiest method of determining if offering cable TV fits your situation is to ask your tenants. They can explain better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants may respond to including “free” cable TV.

If you’ve interacted with your tenants and they don’t need 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 fairly easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. You could then propose a little lower rent or, if you prefer, pocket the savings.

Determining whether to keep cable TV service at your North Hollywood rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you selected Real Property Management Vision to manage your portfolio and make those complicated judgments for you, all while you enjoy passive income! Contact us online to learn more.


Originally published on Nov 1, 2019

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