ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS CODE
The primary legislation which governs the relationship between electronic communications apparatus and land is the Communications Act 2003. The part which specifically relates to the occupation of land is known as the 'Electronic Communications Code'. The UK Government amended 'the Code' in late 2017, providing telecommunications network providers with wider statutory rights to enable them greater access to privately owned land to deploy infrastructure. This is to enable network providers to reach the Government's full fibre and 5G network roll out targets.
There are many things for land and property owners to consider in relation to the Code and Loxley Maynard provides specialist commercial advice to help you avoid the many pitfalls. Our advice can assist with redevelopment schemes, lease renewals, acquisitions, valuations, rent reviews, wayleave agreements and many more.
If you are considering redeveloping property which hosts electronic communications networks, you also need to consider the protection that apparatus may have under the Electronic Communications Code. Telecommunications network providers have statutory powers to remain in occupation beyond the contractual expiry of their lease or wayleave agreement with a property owner. This is to ensure that network coverage can be maintained whilst replacement infrastructure is built elsewhere.
Terminating 'Code agreements' can be a lengthy and complex process. Loxley Maynard can work with developers and their legal advisors to ensure that vacant possession is achieved from telecommunications network providers, avoiding delay and additional costs to the development scheme.
Site payments for Electronic Communications Code agreements are negotiated against the back drop of the Code. The Code requires the valuer to assume a 'no-network' scenario and consider the value of the non-telecom use of the land. 'Code' is a complex area of valuation and having a valuation carried out by an experienced specialist is essential to ensure the best possible outcome when negotiating against the specialist surveyors acting for the telecommunications network providers for a new lease. Loxley Maynard can provide the specialist valuation advice you need to achieve the best possible result.
LEASE/ AGREEMENT RENEWALS
Telecommunications network providers require legal agreements to occupy land. These can take the form of leases or licences. It is important that land and property owners consider the terms of these agreements carefully as they are in most cases protected by the Electronic Communications Code which gives telecommunications network providers statutory rights on your land over and above the rights within the agreement.
Loxley Maynard can assist with negotiations to ensure that the terms of the agreement provide the right balance between your own property needs and the needs of the network providers to operate their networks.
Fibre optic networks are the backbone of the modern day digital economy. Fibre networks deliver high speed broadband to nearly every business in the UK.
Fibre providers require licences called wayleave agreements to provide them with rights to install apparatus on and under property. The terms of wayleave agreements need to be considered carefully together with the route of the fibre as the Electronic Communications Code provides fibre providers with rights to have that apparatus installed almost indefinitely. This can have a massive impact if you looking to develop your property or carry out repairs.
Wayleave agreements also take time to negotiate and legally complete. Businesses often don't realise the time required and can be left without connectivity when moving to new premises if the wayleave agreement is not in place on time.
Loxley Maynard can assist with all wayleave related matters, providing commercial property owners and businesses with the best possible advice and manage the whole wayleave process for you so that it is delivered on time and business disruption is avoided.
Whilst site payments from telecommunications network providers is reliable, the income receivable annually is generally low in the UK. Land and property owners can unlock the full value of their telecoms lease via a capitalisation. This involves inviting specialist market investors to bid for the right to receive the future income receivable. The terms of any capitalisation agreement can be quite flexible with land and property owners either taking a lump sum upfront which can they can then for example, reinvest in stocks and shares, spend on their business, pay off a mortgage or accept a part capitalisation. The latter involves receiving some of the capital upfront and receiving the rest in regular intervals for a set number of years.
Loxley Maynard can help you value your lease, market it to investors, negotiate terms of the capitalisation agreement and manage the whole process for you.
Telecoms assets are upgraded regularly to meet the demands of the networks. If you have multiple telecoms assets on your property you may wish to offload the burden of collecting rent and service charges, facilitating access for contractors, reviewing design drawings and the like to a professional property management team.
Loxley Maynard can manage your telecoms real estate portfolio for you so that you can concentrate on managing your core business.
SERVICE CHARGE RECOVERY
Loxley Maynard can assist with the recovery of historic service charges from telecommunications network providers on your property such as electricity costs.
Our specialist knowledge of the market and industry allows us to accurately build a consumption profile based on the apparatus on your property so that we can accurately recover any unpaid costs from the network providers.