Derisory offers being made for new telecom mast sites

Posted by LindaStenner on April 30, 2018

Derisory offers being made for new telecom mast sites

April 30, 2018 at 4:36 PM

Land and property owners who are approached by telecoms companies with regard to new sites for masts or renegotiating terms for existing apparatus are being advised to seek professional guidance before accepting any offers.

The new Electronic Communications Code which came into force on December 28, 2017 as part of The Digital Economy Act 2017contains wide-ranging reforms in favour of operators and previous enticing rentals are being replaced in some cases by derisory offers.

“Payment for the land hosting the mast is now to be assessed on the basis of its value to the landowner, rather than the operator and some telecoms operators are now seeking to drive down previous rentals to establish some low figures which can be used as comparables for further agreement,” said land agent Eifion Bibby of Davis Meade Property Consultants.

“For example one client of mine who previously had been offered £4,650 per annum to host a telecom mast is now being offered a one-off payment of £3 for 10 years.

“In another example an operator has offered £89 to set up a 15-year agreement for a site which previously had an agreement of £6,800 a year.

“When I challenged the operator on the offer of £32 they said it was a consideration based on the fact that the landowner would not incur any costs that needed compensation,” he said.

Land agents at Davis Meade are also concerned over the agreement templates being used and say that the operators’ draft documentation should merely be taken as a starting point to discuss site-specific terms.

“It is vital for landowners to fully understand the terms and implications of the new Code and seek appropriate advice before signing any new agreements,” Eifion said.

“The government has been promoting the need for more cost effective telecom sites to boost coverage but we hope that these examples are of the extreme rather than what will become the norm,” he added.

Where voluntary agreement cannot be achieved between landowner and telecoms operator the matter can be referred to a tribunal.

For more advice contact Eifion Bibby at the Colwyn Bay office of Davis Meade Property Consultants on 01492 510360 email eifionbibby@dmpcuk.com

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