New Telecoms Code

A new Code is now in force

The new Telecoms Code, which is part of the Digital Economy Act 2017 that came into effect on 28 December 2017, has some unwelcome features for Landlords that we strongly recommend you take advice on.

In the new legislation Code Operators are afforded more favourable statutory rights. Arc Partners are being informed by clients that they are receiving ‘Requests to enter negotiations for a new Code Agreement’ right now.

Doing nothing will not mean this goes away. Are you prepared? How are you going to respond?

Who are the Code operators?

In the UK there are over 127 registered Code Operators, including all the main Mobile, Broadband, Fixed Line, and any telecoms service provider providing a public benefit.

What is changing with the Telecoms Code?

1. New Telecoms Code agreements can be imposed (without consent) > burdening Landlords with occupational responsibility.
2. The Valuation basis is moving from Market Value  (‘willing parties’) to something akin to Compulsory Purchase > diminishing asset value.
3. The termination period for all agreements is being extended to a minimum 18 months > potentially delaying costly redevelopment programmes.
4. ‘Contracting Out’ > there are no contracting out provisions for Code agreements whatsoever.
5.  Broader Equipment Alteration Rights > increasing the likelihood of dispute between the parties.
6. Open Alienation Rights > creating uncertainty as to whom Landlords are dealing with?
7. Statutory Access Obligations > drawing on Landlords’ time and resources.

The team are Arc Partners has been addressing these issues for over two years as this article in the Estates Gazette shows. The article in Property Week explains the problems and picks up on our concern for landlords.

We have also provided this guidance note.

If you receive any communications from Operators, what should you do?

Please contact the experts at Arc Partners. We can assist. Make contact now