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#214188 1-May-2017 14:23
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I'm almost certainly over-thinking this, but nonetheless would appreciate your thoughts and experiences with renting out (or renting) a house with structured cabling. 

 

We bought the house two or so years ago, and I've retrofitted it with F-type coax and RJ45 outlets throughout the house coming to a central patch panel accompanied by the fibre ONT - pretty standard geekzone setup. We're moving out of the city, so will be property managing remotely/via family. I'm happy to support the tenants make use of the patching system by phone advise, writing a bit of a guide, and providing a bunch of short patch leads. 

 

I'm not fussed if they don't use the system, but want to avoid any cowboy cable runs (i.e. SkyTV) and it's pretty likely the tenants will have to use the system to plug in a landline phone or router. 

 

- Should I leave a bunch of RJ45-BT adapter (i.e. the ol' 'PABX master') to make it simpler for plugging in phones, rather than RJ45-RJ11?

 

- How common is it to have more than one POTS phone/device these days? I'm not sure how to provide for splitting the POTS signal as I don't have any spare patch panel ports

 

- If the tenants want to get Sky installed, how much luck will I have requiring the Sky Installer to use the existing in-wall cabling rather than an awful exterior cable run? Are Sky installers familiar with structured cabling?

 

- Is there a great guide to using a home structured cabling system that I should be aware of?

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers

 

Nick


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BTR

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  #1773526 1-May-2017 14:28
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You can make all of this much easier by informing the tenant that you have structured cabling and that depending on what services they want you can arrange some patch leads for them. Re sky if the cable you have used is Sky approved then it shouldn't be a problem however even so an installer could demand you use their cable as a way for them to make more money off Sky for the install.


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  #1773528 1-May-2017 14:32
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If it were me, I would pre-patch as much as possible. And label.

 

If you have some RJ-45-BT adaptors, plug a couple in where it is most likely they will have a phone. They will most likely have someone out to install it anyway, and *most* techs will pretty quickly work out what needs to be done.

 

Are you leaving an ethernet switch there? Pre-patch ports to that, at least one per room and label them 'Ethernet' or similar (LAN?).

 

There is every chance they'll stuff it all up anyway but if they get it going good enough for them, don't worry about it. 

 

TV - Do you have a dish installed? Is it cabled to your comms cabinet? If so, I'd just be leaving instructions that if they are getting Sky, the installer must not run any new cables from the dish, and they must use the structured cabling you already have - a Sky tech should be able to cope easily with that (and, they'll like it too, as it will be an easy install).


 
 
 
 


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  #1773533 1-May-2017 14:35
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Make it absolutely EXPLICIT in the tenancy agreement, leave a letter in the mailbox, visit and talk to them and so on - NO services to be installed new, only reuse of existing cables in situ.

 

 

 

It won't stop idiots, but you are in more of a defensive position to throw a strop if you called it out.





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  #1773536 1-May-2017 14:37
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Make it easy for them. Leave any adaptors or cables required. Make sure it's written in that no modifications, additions or cabling can be done without your written consent. Lock the cabinet, after it's cabled. Tell them you will arrange for any changes required.


mdf

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  #1773541 1-May-2017 14:45
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Advertise it for rent on Geekzone first?

 

More seriously, you could always offer to set it up for them. The sort of person that might make a mess of it is also the sort of person that won't touch it so long as it is going. Then leave a business card from a tech that you trust taped prominently on the patch panel for if things get broken.

 

You might get lucky though. My mum looks after a rental that has OTT structured cabling. The gamers that are in there now basically never want to leave.

 

For the POTS, easiest solution is a multi-handset base. If you need multiple landline handsets, I've had good luck with something like this or this as basically a multibox for phones. If you are splitting one line into multi lines, you need to make sure you get the right splitter though - some are for different purposes (I got fooled by the one that had two phones on it!).


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  #1773580 1-May-2017 15:20
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 It is an interesting scenario and one that will occur more frequently as time goes by. 

 

And what about a solar fitted house? Or one that has every thing controlled from blinds to lights to ......?

 

Strewth, it can be darned hard to work someone else's TV!

 

When something goes wrong, who ya gonna call?




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  #1773618 1-May-2017 15:40
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@mdf That 4-way splitter is perfect, I'll order one now. I'd be leaving the actual phones up to the tenants. And yes, I probably should put it on Geekzone once I confirm details (if anyone is interested in a 4bed house in Bishopdale (or just a room within) with fibre already installed and at least 2x RJ45 to every room, available mid-2017, then please send me a DM :)

 

 

 

@trig42 That's a good idea to pre-patch and label one ethernet per room and a few likely phone points (using the 4-way splitter above). I was planning on leaving my 24 port switch in-place. Currently we've only got a UHF antenna, but I've left a coil of RG6 in the roof labelled for satellite, and it runs back to the coax patch panel. I certainly hope that Sky installers are familiar with patch panels, and won't just default to running cables.

 

My folks had Chorus fibre installed last year, and despite my two page guide and labelling specific for installing fibre, I had to walk my dad through patching everything over the phone. In the end, they fed ONT voice back to the ETP, livening up the existing POTS wiring rather than simply plugging in the RJ11 cable that I had provided labelled 'phone' and plugging it into a specific port in the patch panel. So I have a rather low view of the average residential tech's structured cabling ability.

 

Fortunately this property has Enable Fibre, Chorus POTS and UHF TV already installed which should reduce the need for a tech visit. And isn't in a Vodafone cable area.

 

 

 

@timmay Unfortunately it's up the top of a hallway cupboard which is also used for storage so I can't lock it, but I hope with good preparation - both cables and clauses - should minimize fiddling. I don't think it's possible to do too much damage through fiddling- malicious intent is another story, but ultimately I'm trusting the tenants with the whole house. I also need to make it accessible for their router or for a sky installer.

 

 

 

Does anyone recommend a tech in Christchurch that does minor residential jobs and is familar with structured cabling?

 

 

 

Yes, I'll make sure it's well covered off in tenancy clauses.


 
 
 
 


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  #1773625 1-May-2017 15:48
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I wouldn't rent it out, will be a lot of hassle and prone to people mucking it up. Why not sell and buy a rental instead if you want to be a landlord? I would never rent my own house out as a rental, far too many things that could be damaged. That is why rentals are often relatively basic or standard. The risk of someone smoking P in it, or something else happening is quite high these days as well, as the society in NZ has changed a lot in recent years.


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  #1773628 1-May-2017 15:53
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Just done the same thing (well about 5 months ago now..)

 

But basically just connected Sky+UHF through to the main lounge outlet. Then patched a POTS and Ethernet connection to the same place too. Patched one POTS out to the kitchen bench too just in case. The other outlets were just patched with Ethernet to a little 8-port switch left in the cabinet.

 

DSL still wired in at panel but also left a Unifi AP (old UAP-LR) there too as its on the ceiling and simply set it up with some credentials I left the tenants.

 

Made it very clear no changes were to be made to that panel apart from plugging in your ISP supplied router in to the DSL port and switch. All very straightforward and have had no issues.




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  #1773632 1-May-2017 16:02
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@mattwnz We bought this place and have invested in it with a long term view, so it makes sense for us to rent it out. I'm comfortable with and aware of the risks involved

 

@chevrolux Great, sounds like I'll do something similar, just minus the Sky bit. A bit of me is revolted at labelling the front of these outlets (the current numbering is hidden behind the PDL600 faceplate, so easy to get to but out of plain sight) but overt labeling makes sense in this case


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  #1773633 1-May-2017 16:04
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nickb800:

 

@chevrolux Great, sounds like I'll do something similar, just minus the Sky bit. A bit of me is revolted at labelling the front of these outlets (the current numbering is hidden behind the PDL600 faceplate, so easy to get to but out of plain sight) but overt labeling makes sense in this case

 

 

I refused to label them too haha..

 

I took a photo with my phone, drew on it and then sent it through to the tenant. No ugly dam labels on my jackpoints!


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  #1773639 1-May-2017 16:10
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linw:

 

 It is an interesting scenario and one that will occur more frequently as time goes by. 

 

And what about a solar fitted house? Or one that has every thing controlled from blinds to lights to ......?

 

Strewth, it can be darned hard to work someone else's TV!

 

When something goes wrong, who ya gonna call?

 

 

 

 

Potentially a good business opportunity for someone to manage and maintain these house with this type of home automation. I would install this sort of thing in my own home, but not in a rental. Mainly because unless you are getting a premium amount for the rental, due to it having those features, there is likely to be little return on the investment. It all depends on the market it is being rented out to though. It would need to be at the top end of the market. Also it can be more prone to failure and anything that goes wrong and you can't fix quickly, the renters will want to get a discount off their rent. Potentially it could be an expensive fix if you have to get a technician out to fix for them, who I was last quoted $150 an hour plus mileage, when I inquired. Although they can often do fixes remotely these days, as long as it isn't hardware related.


mdf

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  #1773641 1-May-2017 16:11
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nickb800:

 

@mattwnz We bought this place and have invested in it with a long term view, so it makes sense for us to rent it out. I'm comfortable with and aware of the risks involved

 

@chevrolux Great, sounds like I'll do something similar, just minus the Sky bit. A bit of me is revolted at labelling the front of these outlets (the current numbering is hidden behind the PDL600 faceplate, so easy to get to but out of plain sight) but overt labeling makes sense in this case

 

 

Brother label maker labels peel off pretty easy without leaving (much) residue. But when I did my mum's house I ended up drawing a network diagram and left that with the patch panel. Basically labelled the patch panel Kitchen 1, 2, 3 (top to bottom), and Lounge North 1, 2; Lounge South 1, 2 etc. Seems to work well enough and she didn't want anything her friends might look down at, including sharpie or ugly labels...


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  #1773642 1-May-2017 16:12
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chevrolux:

 

nickb800:

 

@chevrolux Great, sounds like I'll do something similar, just minus the Sky bit. A bit of me is revolted at labelling the front of these outlets (the current numbering is hidden behind the PDL600 faceplate, so easy to get to but out of plain sight) but overt labeling makes sense in this case

 

 

I refused to label them too haha..

 

I took a photo with my phone, drew on it and then sent it through to the tenant. No ugly dam labels on my jackpoints!

 

 

 

 

All mine are labeled on the faceplate, but I use those old school dymo punch ones which are tiny and colour matched. Not so easy to buy the rolls of labels these days though.


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  #1773874 1-May-2017 21:51
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chevrolux: ... No ugly dam labels on my jackpoints! 

 

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you.

 

     

  1. You are not living in the house, so you won't see the labelling most of the time anyway
  2. Saves everybody else a lot of hassle.

     

       

    1. No tools required

       

         

      1. No opening of faceplate required and potentially losing screws, covers, labels etc.
      2. No damage / scratch marks to your walls / faceplates

       

    2. Quickest confirmation you are working with the correct jackpoint
    3. Even a non-techie can look at the number on the jackpoint and know which port to use on the patch panel

     

  3. Future techie tenants will love you for making their life easy.




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