Switching to digital television is a tenant’s responsibility, according to the Department of Building and Housing.
Analogue television will no longer be available anywhere in the country by the end of next year. Hawkes Bay, the first region to switch to digital, turned off its analogue transmission at the end of September.
People who do not have Sky TV or Freeview will need to buy a set-top box, UHF aerial or satellite dish in order to watch Freeview. Almost all modern TVs are sold with a digital tuner built in.
The department says if a property is not equipped to receive digital television, and a tenant knew that at the start of the tenancy, it is unlikely to be the landlord’s responsibility to install the equipment required.
But if the landlord has installed it, they are responsible for maintaining it.
If a tenant wants to install digital TV, the department says they should check with the landlord first
“As the equipment might be seen to be a fixture, the tenant must first seek permission from the landlord to install that equipment themselves. The landlord would not be able to unreasonably withhold that permission.”
It recommends working out who owns the equipment and who will be responsible for its repair and maintenance.
“It is also important to note a tenant may remove any of their own fixtures at the end of a tenancy provided it will not cause irreparable damage to the property. For this reason a landlord may decide that they would prefer to install the required equipment themselves.”