If the tenant of another condo owner installed satellite TV and ran the cable for such through my attic, is this breaking and entering?

A tenant of another condo owner ran cable for his satellite TV through my attic into the attic of his rented unit, thereby having entered my property without permission. Should I report this to the police as breaking and entering? Also, if a criminal offense, who is liable–the tenant, the satellite technician, or both?

I realize this might be two separate issues, one civil and the other criminal. I have yet to ascertain if the tenant even asked his landlord’s permission. But it would still seem the other condo owner wouldn’t have the legal right to allow anyone to enter the attic which is part of my property, not community property.

Asked on June 28, 2016 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The technician would most likely not be liable for anything, since he is under no duty to investigate or confirm whether the tenant had permission to let him into your space--someone said he could go in, he could rely on that that if it seemed plausible (e.g. that you had given the tenant permission to do this). 
However, if the attic is just your space and not common space, then the tenant--who did know better--did trespass. You could look to press charges for trespassing against him.
You could also contact the cable company and let them know that the tenant did not have your permission to run a cable through your unit and you are not giving permission for it--i.e. they have to remove the cable.

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