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Who’s responsible for getting a phone line installed?

row of old handsets on white background

Under the Act, lessors are not obliged to provide a telephone connection in a rental property, but when a rental premises includes a phone line, the lessor must ensure it is in good repair.

At the beginning of a tenancy, it’s a good idea for a lessor and tenant to discuss whether or not a phone connection is included in the tenancy agreement.

Case study

A tenant wanted a phone line in his new rental home, so before his tenancy began he asked the lessor if the property already had a phone connection.

The lessor said there was no phone line, and after some negotiation they agreed to share the cost of getting a line installed.

Details of their arrangement were included as a special condition in the tenancy agreement.

The tenant then registered the phone number is his own name, and arranged for the bills to be sent directly to him.

Had the tenant and lessor not made these arrangements before the start of the tenancy, it would have been up to the tenant to follow the process for adding an inclusion to a rental property.

He would have to get the lessor’s permission in writing to have a phone line installed.

They would have discussed who would pay for the line’s installation. Once they reached an agreement they would have to set out in writing the details of any change to the premises.

Article Credit – RTA Open House Newsletter Feb/Mar2013

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