Don't Neglect Maintaining Master Antenna Services
If your building has a master antenna, you should make sure it works even if few tenants use the master antenna to receive television broadcasting and even if it was never a registered required service for your building.
A master antenna system receives TV signals through an antenna on the roof or in a central location, and provides the signals through wiring in the building that connects to the TV set in individual apartments. Generally, for a master system, it's not a simple matter of wiring directly attached to the antenna. The signals are first processed and then delivered to the individual apartments.
In a recent DHCR decision, a tenant complained of a reduction in services due to poor or no television reception. The tenant claimed that the owner failed to maintain the master TV antenna for the building. The district rent administrator ruled for the tenant and reduced his rent. The owner appealed, claiming that a master TV antenna was never a registered required service for the building. The owner said that the building had been wired for cable TV service since the early 1990s and no one else had ever complained.
The DHCR ruled against the owner. A master TV antenna was supplied when the tenant moved into the apartment in 1987, and according to the tenant, the wire connection for it was built into the apartment wall before cable TV existed. The DHCR inspection verified this. Even if the building was rewired for cable, the owner must still provide the master antenna since the tenant chose not to subscribe to cable TV service. The fact that the owner never registered the service with the DHCR didn't bar its responsibility for maintaining the service [Harton Associates, February 2010].