«Latest  ‹Forward   News item: 7036  Back›  Oldest» 

Pressure on phone mast rents
Scotland Created: 21 Jan 2016
BT'S TAKEOVER of mobile giant EE in a £12½ billion deal given final clearance by regulators last week could be bad news for farmers letting land for mobile phone masts.

According to rural property specialists Savills, the recent history of the telecoms market suggests that the takeover is likely to lead to increased pressure on farmers from telecoms agents striving to drive down rents for mobile phone sites.

As well as the takeover of EE - itself formed from a merger of Orange with T-Mobile - rival firm O2 is in the process of acquiring the 3 network, further complicating an industry landscape that features joint infrastructure ventures by O2 and Vodafone, and by 3 and EE, in the names of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) and Mobile Broadband Network (MBNL) respectively.

Savills warned that all this change within the sector had lead to confusion, with misleading information in the public domain about what is a fair rent for a mast site, and bewildered farmers receiving numerous letters from agents, often located outwith Scotland, threatening to make sites redundant if new terms, at greatly reduced rents, are not accepted.

Savills Rural director Kenneth Munn said: "Most of these letters have been veiled threats and we have been able to protect farmers' interests. However we know there are instances where farmers have given in to the pressure and accepted new leases on considerably poorer terms and much lower rents. This has taken place when there is no evidence of market rents falling.

"In the vast majority of cases, there should be financial incentive for the landlord to agree to an effective assignment to a new company, especially where this is to be a network sharer such as CTIL or MBNL," advised Mr Munn. "Needless to say the rent increases, and or lease premiums payable, will vary from site to site.

"It is imperative that landlords do not sign any letters, however innocuous they may appear, without having first spoken to their agent or solicitor."

Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Scottish Farmer, 21 Jan 2016

«Latest  ‹Forward   News item: 7036  Back›  Oldest»