With Verizon fiber optic service not yet an economical viable choice for many, Worcester residents looking for an alternative to the city’s dominant television provider, Spectrum, are increasingly turning to satellite TV.

That is good news for satellite providers such as DirecTV, but a mounting headache for landlords, according to Matthew Pingeton, an attorney who owns several rental properties in the city.

According to Mr. Pingeton, satellite companies appear to be ignoring their legal obligation to get the permission of landlords before installing dishes on rental properties, a practice that he said could lead to damaged walls and roofs, waterproofing issues and possibly electrical and plumbing problems. And in addition to being a potential eyesore, improperly installed dishes could fall and hurt residents and visitors to the property, he said.

“As an owner who renovates and continually reinvests into the properties there is nothing more frustrating than appearing at the property and observing a freshly installed satellite dish on the side of the building, the roof, or anywhere the satellite company decides to install it,” he said.

“No notice, no authorization to install it, and no input from the owner of the property all in violation of a property owner’s right.”

He noted, for example, that agents for DirecTV installed a large dish on the front wall of a rental building he had renovated several years ago by putting in a new roof, new siding and new windows. The installation, he said, was completed with six lag bolts and holes drilled into the side of the building.

He called DirecTV on it, he said, and was referred to their legal department, from which he received no response. He subsequently submitted a $6,569 demand for relief, which included the cost of removing the dish and repairing the wall, trespassing damages and attorney fees.

Instead of addressing his demand, Mr. Pingeton said DirecTV returned unannounced to the property, removed the dish and filled in the holes left by the lag bolts with clear silicone.

The Federal Communications Commission prohibits landlords from restricting tenants’ ability to receive satellite services, and while landlords in some cases can put reasonable restrictions on the placement of satellite dishes, they cannot mandate restrictions that “impair a viewer's ability to receive covered video programming.”

Indeed, FCC Order 98-273, gives renters great flexibility in locating their satellite dishes and other such services to include “balconies, balcony railings, patios, yards, gardens or any other similar areas.”

Providers must adhere to a number of criteria, including involving the landlord in the process.

Additionally, state laws, such as those in Massachusetts, clearly dictate that any corporation or person affixing an apparatus such as a satellite dish must first obtain the consent of the property owner or his or her lawful agent.

Kate MacKinnon, director of communication in the Northeast for AT&T Global, of which DirecTV is a subsidiary, said it’s the company’s policy to seek the landlord’s permission before satellite dishes are installed.

“When a customer orders service, it’s our policy to ask if they rent or own prior to installing the service,” she said in an email.

“If a customer leases or rents, they are required to get their landlord’s permission before installation.”

She, however, did not respond to a follow-up question on whether the company requires a signed permission document from the landlord.

On Friday, Mr. Pingeton told me that subsequent to reaching out to me, he was contacted by a company overseeing local installations and was told he would be made whole. They had thought the situation had already been resolved, he said he was told.

“They say they will pay the claim and go after the installer,” he said.

“It satisfies me in this instance, but I’m still concerned about the long term. They need to change their current practice and follow the law.”

One could say that Mr. Pingeton’s success in getting reimbursed for the damages he claimed on his building has hereto placed local satellite dish installers on notice.