Important updates for landowners
400,000 extra phone masts needed to bring 5G network to rural Britain!
It is not usual for rents on anything to go down, sometimes they may stay static for a while, but the exception has been within the telecoms industry and in particular phone masts.
Many farmers have a mast on their farm, and they have been a welcome source of income over recent years. Rents typically range from £3,500 for a single monopole up to £12,000 for a large lattice tower with multiple users and often rising annually with the RPI index.
However, the new Electronic Communications Code 2017 has changed the landscape and tilted the balance of power back into the hands of the phone operators. The phone operators say that the new rules mean that rents must be based much more around existing use value plus an amount for disturbance rather than just an open market negotiation. They are saying that rents should only be a few hundred pounds a year.
After several years of stand-off, since the introduction of the new Code, deals are finally beginning to be agreed. Several important test cases, including the all-important Dale Park case, have been decided through the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
A base of around £750 has been set, but with individual circumstances to be weighed leading to higher figures and on many occasions, with additional payment of costs and settlement “inducements”.
The importance of getting informed and knowledgeable advice is paramount as this has become a very specialised area.
There are still good deals to be done for landowners especially if there are multiple site sharers and we have also negotiated freehold sales of masts or long leases at preferential rates.
Barbers Rural is here to assist in providing that expert advice. Contact Mike Taylor on 01630 692 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.