Landlords provide free wifi

Landlords: Should you offer free wifi?

Everyone has internet access these days – it has become a basic utility that new tenants set up as soon as – if not before – they move in. Dependence on having internet access spans all generations. For the young professional, it’s a necessary business tool. For retirees, it’s the way to stay connected to news of the local, national and grandchildren variety.

So should you, as a landlord, offer free wifi as an incentive to sign a lease with you? It’s an option that more landlords are considering, particularly those who are moving toward an online payment setup with their tenants for collecting monthly rental payments. While it would be a pretty nice incentive that would surely make your rental property stand out from the crowd, there are a few issues to consider before making the decision.

For one thing, you could find tenants not knowing how to connect their device and calling you for help. Unwarranted phone calls at all hours of the night for assistance with a service that you are providing but not overseeing is a risky venture. There also could be issues with tenants hogging bandwidth with streaming video, Skype or other similar application. Also, despite a thorough tenant verification and tenant background check, there’s simply no way to know whether a tenant is using their internet for any kind of illegal purposes, and that’s not something you obviously want to be attached to in any way, shape or form.

If you’re thinking about offering this highly valued service as part of your rental package, know what you’re getting into. Do your research to find out the right kind of router, equipment and service you’ll need to accommodate the number of tenants you have, or will have. And make peace with the fact that you might be the one people complain to when the internet goes down.

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