The new Digital Economy Act 2017 and the resulting changes to the Electronic Communications Code enhance the rights operators already benefitted from under previous legislation.
If you have been approached about a new phone mast, you need to be aware that once on site, it is not often easy to remove a telecoms operator, so you need to carefully consider whether or not you may need the land or roof space back for your own use in the future. Legislation often allows them to remain on site, despite any contractual agreement ending and therefore it can be costly and time consuming to remove them. We would strongly advise not to let mobile phone operators on your land or property until you have sought professional advice.
One of the most significant changes made by the Digital Economy Act 2017 was to the mechanism by which payment is calculated in absence of consensual agreement by both parties. Under previous legislation, rent was determined by market value (i.e. the rent paid for similar masts in the area). Now, payment is split into two parts: Compensation and Consideration. This can either be paid as a lump sum or can be an annual payment.
Operators are calculating compensation by valuing the land or roof space, disregarding the phone mast. On an agricultural field, this can produce a very low figure and many landlords
negotiating agreements after the passing of the Digital Economy Act have been shocked by the figures proposed by the operators.
Give us a call and we can chat through their proposal, discuss the pros and cons and if you decide to allow a lease, we can ensure you secure the best contract possible through sensible negotiation. We have acted on thousands of lease renewals over the years and know exactly how to structure an agreement to ensure it protects your interests.