How do I deal with a sky-high demand?

Our lawyer Katharine Marshall explains the extent of a landlord’s responsibility to replace a broken Sky system that is not included in the lease
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© Merrily Harpur (
Question: I provide Sky television to the residents of my buy-to-let property on an informal basis (it was installed as an incentive to get them to move in but doesn't appear as an obligation in leases).

The equipment has now broken and cannot be repaired so none of them is receiving the service. They have requested that I get it replaced, but I have looked at the costs and I feel it is too expensive. Am I obliged to undertake the replacement because they have all been using this service up to now?

Answer: Legally you are not obliged to replace the Sky system as the lease does not require you to provide it in the first place. Therefore, if the residents want the system replaced then they will have to pay for it.

However, to keep your relationship with the residents amicable you may wish to speak to them and arrange to pay at least a proportion of the cost of getting the work done.

What's your problem?

If you have a question for Katharine Marshall please email, or write to: Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5EE.

We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here.

Katharine is a solicitor and director at Pitmans Solicitors (

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