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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Real Estate and Landlording => Topic started by: Guizmo on October 27, 2015, 03:06:15 PM

Title: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: Guizmo on October 27, 2015, 03:06:15 PM
Hi folks,

My condo had a landline connection at some point and it must have been cut or damaged somehow. Recently my tenant was going to have the internet hooked up but she said that the company believed that the connection was damaged or cut and that they could fix it at a cost. Would it be my responsibility to pay for the cost to fix it? Am I legally responsible to make sure she has that connection?
Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: beltim on October 27, 2015, 03:17:43 PM
Looks like it depends on the state.  In California you do:
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtml
Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: sokoloff on October 27, 2015, 07:43:38 PM
In most areas, the telco is responsible for the wiring up to a certain point (typically just inside or just outside where it enters the building) and the building owner is responsible after that. That point of demarcation of responsibility is called the, wait for it, demarc.

They often have a protected telephone plug that you can unplug and plug a phone into to test. If that passes, the telco is off the hook (pun was accidental, really). if that fails, it's the telco's problem.

Here's a decent writeup that a quick googling turned up: http://www.wiertel.com/resrep.html
Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: Kwill on October 27, 2015, 09:05:58 PM
Even if it's not a legal requirement, I think it's an ethical responsibility to provide at least proper wiring for a phone in a rental apartment. Plus you'd have to get the phone line fixed if you ever wanted to sell the place.

Is there only one phone jack in the apartment? My last apartment had 2 or 3, but only one worked. One would be enough.
Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: adamcollin on October 28, 2015, 03:02:00 AM
I agree with Kwill. Providing extra services/facilities to tenants is always a wise choice. It gives you an edge over others in the real estate market.

Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: LiveLean on October 28, 2015, 03:14:30 PM
We have a second home/rental that's mostly a weekly beach rental from June-September. We provide phone/cable/Internet because it's required and only have the landline because it's part of the bundle.

I know for certain the landline is never used since there's a loud humming sound on the line. The only reason I know is that my dad stays in the house when it's empty and still prefers to use his calling card to call me from my house rather than use his prepaid cell phone.

So even though I had 15-16 weekly tenants in the house this year who call the management agency for any little issue (can't find the fly swatter, etc.), I know nobody used the landline.
Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: MayDay on October 29, 2015, 11:46:30 AM
We just moved into a rental house with a non-functional phone line.  We have a home phone and use phone-based internet, so we needed it fixed. 

In our case, our phone company offers a monthly service subscription for ~15$/month that you can cancel at any time.  When I called to ask about the phone not working, the rep signed me up for it, and told me to just cancel it next month. 

We informed our landlord, and he said he could probably fix it himself for the cost of a part but that we could just take the 15$ fee off the rent so no one had to fuss with it.  Even if he hadn't, we didn't mind paying 15$.  But if it had been more, we would have pushed him harder to take care of it- I expect a rental to have electric and phone service, period.  No idea if state law supports me on that, but I imagine most tenants expect it. 

Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: needmyfi on October 30, 2015, 08:03:55 PM
I doubt it would be expensive at any rate.  15 sounds cheap, kudos, sure wouldn't,t pay more.
Title: Re: Do landlords have to provide landlines to tenants?
Post by: cchrissyy on October 30, 2015, 09:41:19 PM
I recently moved in to a place that had no live phone line, which prevented the internet company from being able to activate service.   They sent a tech over, who called in another tech, and it took a long while (mostly inside the house) and they fixed it, no charge.  Never involved the landlord.