Landowners warned to check mobile mast contracts

Farmers and landowners with telecoms masts on their property have been warned to check the terms of their lease before new legislation which could spell a dramatic reduction in rental income comes into effect.

Telecoms operators may seek to thrash out new terms with landowners. Picture: Kimberley Powell
Telecoms operators may seek to thrash out new terms with landowners. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Lynn Dandie of chartered surveyors Davidson & Robertson said that the UK government’s Electronic Communications Code is set to receive Royal Assent – and could give telecoms firms more power to build masts on private land, rights to upgrade equipment without landlord consent, and dramatically reduce the rental income.

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Landowners told to get mobile mast deals organised

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“Telecoms operators may seek to end existing leases and re-negotiate new terms using their Code powers if the lease has an unconditional rolling break clause,” said Dandie.

“Telecoms operators stand to gain greater access rights for maintaining and upgrading equipment, as well as the power to share their mast with other providers without the need to notify the landowner or pay more.”

• Meanwhile, NFU Scotland reminded the agricultural community to be aware of the new higher penalties for using mobile phones while driving.

Linlithgow farmer Jamie Smart, of the union’s agricultural vehicles helpline, said: “There are significant safety benefits in any farmer and their staff keeping their mobile phones with them at all times, but when travelling, I urge you to keep them out of reach or run the risk of a heavy fine and six penalty points.”