Telecoms masts are a now an established sight in the UK. In 2009 there were over 50,000 recorded masts in the UK, surprising when only 20 years ago they were almost unknown. The rush to build an ever increasing network is virtually at an end. With markets saturated, mobile phone companies are focusing more on cost control and efficiency.
Over recent years the largest network operators have merged to form only a handful of key players in the industry. These mergers have provided access to more masts and widened network coverage. A side effect of this has seen companies operating several mobile masts with the same coverage. Unsurprisingly they are keen to remove the least efficient masts
Typical leases last for a 15 – 20 year term. When these expire, operators often ‘hold over’ on the same terms as the expired lease and as long as rents continue to roll in, there can be no reason for landowners to suspect anything has changed. This offers an ideal opportunity for landowners to renew the leases on modern market terms and often, secure a rent review in the process.
Most leases will provide for rent reviews in one way or another but if the landowner has not demanded the rents be reviewed, these opportunities to increase the rent can be missed. In addition, some leases allow for additional payments if more than one mobile operator has an antenna on the mast. If the landowner fails to check these on a regular basis they could miss out on worthwhile revenues.
It is all too easy to ignore a mast that has sat quietly for a decade or more without realising its potential value. At GSC Grays we will gladly take the time to review mast agreements and advise on any opportunities to enhance their potential.
GSC Grays actively manage telecoms sites for numerous landowners and have experience in developing new masts, renewing expired leases, rent reviews, site sharing agreements, recovery of arrears, lease assignment and selling leasehold interests.