Digital Switchover

As most people will know the UK is in the throes of switching from analogue to digital telelvision signals. For many people this will simply involve a change in equipment, such as a new television set. However, some areas will require that a new aerial is fitted to the property to allow reception of the new signal.

For private landlords there will of course be the question of whether there is an obligation to upgrade the installations in their properties. In the case of O’Connor v Old Etonians Housing Association the Court of Appeal considered whether a landlord was required to upgrade a water installation to deal with a drop in supply pressure. It commented that while it would be unreasonable to expect a landlord to provide an installation which coped with any possible change in supply of services there would be times where a technical advance, which was well flagged in advance, would require a change in installations. In these cases the Court felt that it would be reasonable forr a landlord to be expected to upgrade installations to cope with the change. On this basis one would be forced to the conclusion that landlords will be expected to meet the cost of altering installations to make them compatible with the digital signal.

There are a number of sources of further information on the digital switchover although the majority are targetted at block landlords. There is a Chartered institiute of housing good practice guide as well as a range of resources for property managers.

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