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What does The New Electronics Communications Code mean for landowners?  


After receiving the Royal Assent in April 2017, The New Electronics Communication Code has now come into force, as of 28 December 2018. Rhian Hawkins from Harrison Drury solicitors explores the new code further.

The code has been reformed under the Digital Economy Act 2017 to reflect the ever-growing demand for what may now be considered as essential electronic communication services.

Following the changes, it is now easier for telecoms operators to access land to upgrade and share their services by making it more straightforward for them to gain access to locations they need to improve their capability and coverage.

Although some of the code will remain the same, like the inability to opt out and the code rights being predominantly conferred in a written agreement, there will be a number of unwelcome changes. This includes the right to assign agreements without the landowner’s consent and the changes to how land will be valued, which is likely to decrease rental income for landowners.

However, many landowners will welcome the news that agreements entered into after the new code came into force will no longer be afforded the dual protection of both the code and the security of tenure provisions under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Only the code will apply now.

The rights that come with the new code are not retrospective therefore will not apply to agreements entered into before the 28 December 2017.

As always, it is essential that landowners seek specialist advice. Harrison Drury has a team offering advice on a full range of legal issues relating landowners. For more information please contact Rhian Hawkins on 01772 258 321.

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