When you live in a place for long enough, you’re eventually going to run into problems – things that need replacing, upgrading, or repairing- and that includes antenna repairs. But what happens when you’re renting an apartment and you must answer to a corporate body, a landlord, or both?
Apartment buildings often have shared antenna systems or master antenna TV systems (MATV) which means that booking an antenna repair or upgrade won’t just affect you. It could affect your neighbours or your whole apartment block. A relatively simple job can get a whole lot more complex.
Although your apartment building, corporate, or landlord may pay for some repairs in your apartment (burnt out lights, etc.) some repairs are on you to handle. So, who pays for what? We’ll get to that (very important) question shortly, but first, let’s talk a bit more about antenna repairs.
When You Might Need an Antenna Repair
While most digital antennas are designed to last a very long time, and many go incident-free for a good decade (or more), eventually, you’ll need to upgrade or book an antenna repair. Here’s why you might need your TV antenna repaired:
It’s old and worn out
It has broken elements
The cables are worn out
Changes to your surrounding environment
Changes to reception and broadcasting
Damage from birds, weather, and/or human interference
You’ll know you need to book a professional to assess the situation if you can’t get your usual channels and reception. They’ll be able to let you know if you need an antenna repair, cable repair, antenna upgrade, or something else. But if you’re renting an apartment, don’t be too quick to call a repair person – first you’ll need to check whether it’s your responsibility to book and pay for the repair or not.
Are You Entitled to a Working Antenna?
If your antenna was working when you first moved in, and/or you were led to believe this feature was included (for example, you could see there was a TV wall point), your landlord is required to provide a working antenna and TV connection. After all, it’s part of what you’re paying for in your rent each week.
In that case, your landlord or rental manager is generally required to organise your antenna repair and pay for any part of the job that’s not covered by body corporate (for example, your TV wall point or internal wall cabling). This rule applies to all rentals, not just people living in apartments.
In-Unit Repairs Versus Common Area Repairs
When you live in apartments, units, townhouses, or any kind of living arrangement that involves common areas, you’ll likely have a body corporate. If your antenna repairs affect more than just you (like the common areas or other residents), you’ll need to first chat to body corporate and get their approval before you book a technician. Body corporate may even have a budget to pay for repairs to your antenna if it’s in a common area.
Since common areas are available to more than one person, an antenna repair that’s up on the roof or affects the reception for others in your building falls under this. But if in doubt, contact body corporate first so you know where the boundaries lie.
Laws for Body Corporates and Landlords – Antenna Repair In Australia
We’ve listed the relevant laws from each state and territory’s body corporate act that cover who’s responsible for maintenance and repairs (including antenna repair). While each state has separate laws, they’re all pretty similar. If it’s in a common area, body corporate is responsible for maintenance and repair. If it’s within the boundaries of your apartment, you or your landlord are responsible for arranging any repairs needed.
Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
It’s the responsibility of the owners corporate to replace or repair fixtures in the common areas. This includes antennas and antenna connections that affect more than one occupant.
Owners Corporations Act 2006
“An owners corporation must repair and maintain--
(a) the common property; and
(b) the chattels, fixtures, fittings and services related to the common property or its
Body Corporate Maintenance for utility infrastructure
Body corporate is responsible for maintaining and repairing antenna equipment that’s part of the common area and services more than one lot. The homeowner (or your landlord) is responsible for repairing antenna equipment that’s exclusively for their use, including cables that go directly to the property (and not your neighbours).
Strata Titles Act 1988
Again, this act states that the strata corporation is responsible for maintaining any common property to an acceptable standard.
Strata Titles Act 1985
“A strata company shall --
(a) enforce the by-laws; and
(b) control and manage the common property for the benefit of all the proprietors; and
(c) keep in good and serviceable repair, properly maintain and, where necessary, renew and replace --
(i) the common property, including the fittings, fixtures and lifts used in connection with the common property; and
(ii) any personal property vested in the strata company, and to do so whether damage or deterioration arises from fair wear and tear, inherent defect or any other cause…”
Strata Titles Act 1998
This act states that the body corporate is established to enforce any by-laws, “control, manage and improve the common property”, and “maintain the common property in good condition and keep it in good and serviceable repair”.
Unit Title Schemes Act
“The body corporate has the following functions:
(a) managing the common property and body corporate assets for the unit owners and unit occupiers…”
Unit titles management in the ACT: What you need to know
”The owners corporation manages the common property on behalf of all unit owners and is responsible for the control, maintenance, management and administration of the common property.”
What’s the Best Process for Tenants to Book an Antenna Repair Tech?
If antenna repair is likely to be covered by your landlord or body corporate, it’s a good idea to let your property manager handle the process. Many property managers and body corporates have their own approved list of contractors and may already have a preferred antenna repair technician.
(By the way, if you’re a property manager and are looking to add more reliable contractors to your list, let’s chat).
If you suspect an antenna repair is needed, here’s what you might do:
Step 1: Research local antenna repair technicians to find a suitable option (we cover most of Australia’s capital cities)
Step 2: Contact your property manager or landlord to let them know there’s an issue
Step 3: Your property manager will raise the issue with the property owner and body corporate
Step 4: They’ll organise the antenna repair (once it’s gone through their usual approval process)
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do if you’re the tenant, other than notify the right people about any issues. But it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can help with the booking process yourself – they may appreciate your efforts, and you’ll have more control over who you book with and when they come to your home (plus it may speed the process up).
Find Your Trusted Local Antenna Repair Technician
Looking for an antenna repair technician in your local area who is experienced with complex repairs and installs for apartments and shared complexes? We can help. Call 0438 170 720 for a free quote or to book David to come and get your antenna working again.