Telecoms Mast Tribunal Sets Precedent

Robert Jauneika

Tribunal Decision Is Good News for Existing Telecoms Mast Site Owners

Since the introduction of the new Electronic Communications Code in late 2017, Telecommunications Operators have been busy attempting to reduce rents under powers granted by the new Code. This has seen many mast site owners being offered a fraction of the rent that they were previously achieving for their sites.  However, good news is on the horizon for landowners unsure of what the future holds for them.

This is due to a decision in a recent Upper Tribunal case, CTIL v Ashloch and AP Wireless (2019), which found that the Operator, who had served a lease renewal notice to the Landowner under Paragraph 20 of the new Code, had been incorrectly using Code powers where they did not actually apply.

The mast site that was the focal point of the above Tribunal case had been let to the Operator by the Landowner prior to the introduction of the new Electronic Communications Code. This was the crucial fact in this case.

The case clarified that where the mast site was let to the Operator before the introduction of the Electronic Communications Code (in December 2017), the lease is governed under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, rather than the new Code. The notice procedure under the new Code is therefore not relevant and the legal process for tenancy renewals under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 must be followed instead. This resulted in the renewal notices served by the Operator being rendered completely invalid.

Robert Jauneika, Chartered Surveyor for H&H Land & Estates explains the impact this decision will have on the industry:

“This is good news for many mast site Landlords, as the lease renewal terms under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 (including the calculation of rental value) is more favourable to the Landlord than the valuation of the same under the new Code. Under the Landlord & Tenant Act, the rent calculation relates to the open market value of the lease, whereas the new Code states that the rent is to be based upon consideration, with Operators typically arguing that the consideration for agreements under the new Code should be based on surrounding land use value, which leads to very low rental levels, especially for those sites in agricultural surroundings. 

“If you have an existing telecoms mast site and the lease is approaching the termination date, you would be well advised to seek professional advice in relation to the negotiation of the lease renewal and to ensure that the value of your site is maximised. The decision reached by the Tribunal, in this case, has fundamentally changed the negotiating position of many Landlords and Tenants of existing mast sites.”

Robert Jauneika, Chartered Surveyor, H&H Land & Estates

Back to News

What Our Customers Say

  • We found Andrew and Kathy to be extremely professional. They guided us through the whole process seamlessly. Cannot recommend H&H highly enough. Thank you.

    Rhona King

    28th February 2019

  • Friendly and professional service at all times. Great service. Tracey is fabulous.

    Saiorse Cosgrove

    10th September 2019

  • Excellent service from valuation through to completion. Very friendly staff and extremely professional. Thank you very much Andrew and Kathy in the Penrith office for your help. Can’t praise them enough.

    J Carver

    13th September 2019

  • Personal, professional and friendly, the team at H&H in Penrith truly give you five star treatment. They help you through all the issues which always arise when buying a property and give you peace of mind that everything is being dealt with. We would definitely recommend this great team and would use again in the future.

    Carol Edmondson

    15th September 2019

  • Thomas, Shirley & Alan, we would like to show you our appreciation for everything you did in the preparation and sale of the (now successful) sale of the farm. Thank you.

    The Hill Family

    1st November 2019

  • From my first dealings with the valuer who came out to look at my property and telephone dealings with the staff in the office, I have had nothing but excellent service and I would like to thank them all for that. My biggest thanks must go to Gillian, who has helped me all the way from start to finish, she has gone beyond my expectations and helped me in every way possible, her enthusiasm and humour along with her professional service has made my experience of selling my property a very pleasant experience and for that I am very grateful.

    J Hill

    21st August 2019

  • Nothing but praise for the service offered by Andrew and Kathy at H&H King, Penrith. They really put themselves out, not only to ensure that we sold our house but also to find us a house that suited our requirements in the right area. We have no doubts that they are worthy of a 5* rating. N&T

    Neil McGeown

    1st October 2019

  • Thank you so much [Mike] for all your help with the Mid-Tier Application. I couldn't have possibly done it myself and it was such a relief to be able to hand it over to you.

    Louise McArthur

    22nd August 2018

  • We are very pleased with the way you dealt with the Scroggs Wood programme. There seemed to be a number of difficulties, but you overcame all these problems and got the timber extracted in good time, and sold it well - we were delighted with the cheques we received. So we wish to thank you warmly for all your efforts, your expertise and your thoroughly professional approach.

    H. Summerson

    31st January 2020