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

Fort Worth Tenant Relaxing at Home Watching Cable TVSome property owners apply well-liked strategies like offering incentives such as “free” cable to acquire quality tenants and improve revenue. And in the past, tenants have gladly paid for the extra cost. However, as public demand for cable TV reduces, some Fort Worth property managers are considering if it might be time to cut the cord on their rental home’s cable TV. Let’s go over some pros and cons of sustaining or removing 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 expected 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 primary alternatives to cable for numerous subscribers.

At the same time, however, more than half of Americans still watch or pay for cable, revealing that while streaming services are widely popular, many still prefer cable services. For that reason, before you decide to terminate your rental property’s cable TV, it is imperative to communicate with your tenants about their wants and needs.

Time to Cut the Cord – or Not?

Including cable TV in your rental rate appears acceptable for numerous locations and demographics. As an illustration, if your target renters include die-hard sports fans, they are more likely to seek live television services and are willing to pay a bit more rent to have it included.

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

However, younger tenants might or might not consider an offer of “free” cable worth a higher rent. And recent survey data validates 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 many who find cable TV lacking viewing options. Even though streaming services incorporate fees, various young people will share a subscription or sign up selectively to save money. Streaming services provide these customers the freedom to decide when to sign up or cancel if they want.

Property owners usually have solid reasons to include cable TV as part of the rent. For instance, internet providers will typically bundle internet service and cable TV, lowering the cost of both. Providing internet service and cable TV for certain locations and demographics may give property owners a competitive edge. The simplest way to know if offering cable TV is advantageous for your circumstance is to ask your tenants. They can tell you better than anyone what the expectations are and how tenants could react to including “free” cable TV.

If you’ve spoken with your tenants and they indicate 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 pretty easily, saving you the expense of paying for it each month. After that, you might choose to pocket the savings or propose a little lower rent.

Deciding whether to retain cable TV service at your Fort Worth rentals is a tough call. Imagine life if you trusted Real Property Management Meridian to manage your portfolio and make the challenging 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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