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July 17, 2024 Clouds | 90°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 22: Interference with rights of building occupants served by system; installation; consent of property owners; multiple dwelling units, manufactured housing communities

Section 22. No operator shall enter into any agreement with persons owning, leasing, controlling or managing buildings served by a CATV system, or perform any act, that would directly or indirectly diminish or interfere with existing rights of any tenant or other occupant of such a building to the use of master or individual antenna equipment.

An operator who affixes, or causes to be affixed, CATV system facilities to the dwelling of a tenant shall do so at no cost to the landlord of such dwelling, shall indemnify the landlord of such dwelling for any damage arising out of such actions, and shall not interfere with the safety, functioning, appearance or use of such dwelling.

The consent required by section thirty-five of chapter one hundred and sixty-six shall be deemed to have been granted to an operator upon his delivery to the owner or lawful agent of the owner of property upon which he proposes to affix CATV system facilities of a copy of this section and a signed statement that he agrees to be bound by the terms of this section.

An owner of property, or his lawful agent, may sue in contract to enforce the provisions of an operator's agreement under this section.

No person owning, leasing, controlling or managing a multiple dwelling unit or units or a manufactured housing community, as defined in section thirty-two F of chapter one hundred and forty served by a CATV system shall discriminate in rental or other charges between tenants or manufactured home owners or occupants who subscribe to such CATV services, and those who do not; provided, however, that the owner of such real estate may require reasonable compensation in exchange for permitting the installation of CATV system equipment within and upon such real estate, to be paid by an operator, and any such taking and compensation shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of chapter seventy-nine.

No person owning, leasing, controlling or managing a multiple dwelling unit or units, or a manufactured housing community, as defined in section thirty-two F of chapter one hundred and forty, shall prohibit or otherwise prevent an operator from entering such buildings or manufactured homes for the purpose of constructing, installing or servicing CATV system facilities if one or more tenants or occupants of a multiple dwelling unit or units, or one or more owners or occupants of a manufactured home or homes, have requested such CATV services. A cable television operator shall not make an installation in an individual dwelling unit or manufactured home unless permission has been given by the tenant occupying such unit or the owner or occupant of such manufactured home.

An owner whose property is injuriously affected or diminished in value by occupation of the ground or air or otherwise by such construction of CATV system facilities may recover damages therefor from the operator pursuant to chapter seventy-nine. The right of an operator to construct, install or repair CATV system facilities and to maintain CATV services shall not be delayed or impaired by the assertion of a specific claim, or the initiation of legal action to enforce such claim. The superior court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all actions seeking injunctive relief to permit the construction, installation or repair of CATV system facilities.

A cable television operator shall indemnify the landlord for any damage caused by the installation, operation or removal of cable television facilities. An owner of property may require that the installation of cable television facilities conform to such reasonable conditions as are necessary to protect the safety, functioning and appearance of the premises, and the convenience and well being of other tenants.