A couple of weeks ago my tenant asked if he could get a BT fibre line installed in the flat. There is already a fully operational BT line for phone and broadband that he is using. He and his girlfriend are working from home so I understood why he wanted this. My response was that I would consider it if the cable can be fully run inside the walls/ceiling like the existing cable. No drilling or chasing out channels in the walls (the tenancy agreement is very clear on this point). The new terminal to be adjacent to the existing one and the existing line to be kept live. He understood and agreed that he would inform me when an engineer visits to see if this was going to be possible. Two days ago, I got a phone call telling me that the (Openreach?) engineer had been and installed the line and not how I had specified. The tenant told me that he had been at his offices and that his girlfriend had let the engineer in. A hole had been drilled through my wall and the cable run along the door frame and skirting and two new boxes fixed to a wall in the entrance hallway – not next to the existing box in the living room. I am not pleased.
I have agreed to let the tenant keep the new line as he needs better bandwidth. However, I have informed him that he will have to indemnify me against the removal/repositioning of the cable at the end of his tenancy to which he has agreed to verbally. I will document the issue and agreement in an email.
- Can BT/Openreach install equipment in a property without the owner’s permission? Having checked with BT, they do not ask for ownership details when taking orders for new lines.
Can I insist that BT remove the cable and make good the holes in my wall?
- Can I take a monetary sum from the tenant now (separate to and not from the deposit which is with DPS) against the cost of the cable removal/rerouting and redecoation work? I don’t want the situation that the tenancy ends, the tenant moves out and then I have to deal with it and make a claim against the deposit which will delay its return if no other issues.
- What would be a reasonable amount to take? £250? Obviously, I would return any excess once work is complete or make a claim against the deposit for any shortfall.
- What else should I take into consideration?