CODE POWERS ADVICE
The UK government amended the Electronic Communications Code as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017. The ‘new Code’ is found in Schedule 3A of the Communications Act 2003 and is the principle legislation that governs the relationship between electronic communications apparatus and land.
The Electronic Communications Code is to be considered when a fixed line or mobile electronic communications operator wants to install apparatus on land, which may take the form of a rooftop or ground based radio base station for example, and also when that apparatus is to be removed.
Under the amended Code, operators have wider rights which allow them to impose themselves on privately owned land much easier than was possible under the old legislation. Land and building owners that may wish to develop their property in the future need to carefully consider any approach from an operator as once an agreement is in place, whether one imposed by the courts or one reached consensually following successful negotiations, it is difficult to regain vacant possession of that property once an operator exercises its Code rights over it. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 plays a much more limited role in electronic communications leases and does not apply to new agreements under the electronic communications code with the electronic communications code now being the principle legislation. The notice period required to be given under the electronic communications code to obtain vacant possession are considerably longer than those that would have been served under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
Cell:cm can advise land and building owners on all aspects of the Electronic Communications Code including (but not limited to) the following:
- New lettings
- Lease renewals
- Temporary agreements
- Explorative surveys
- Data Centre lease renewals
- Valuation of consideration and compensation under the Code
- Termination of a code agreement
- Seeking vacant possession of land that is occupied by a Code Operator
- Wayleave applications