The Digital Economy Act 2017 & the Electronic Communications Code

The Electronic Communications Code is a technical piece of legislation that property owners should consider in any dealing with electronic communications network operators if they are to preserve the integrity and value of their property assets.

An article by Michael Watson detailing what surveyors and other professionals need to know about changes to the law on telecommunications equipment was recently featured in the Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal and Valuation and can be downloaded here.

The Code grants telecommunication network operators the right to take property owners to Court if they refuse to permit the installation of telecommunications apparatus such as mobile phone masts on their property.

The Code also imposes restrictions on the ability of property owners to secure the removal of telecommunications apparatus from their property.

Anyone involved with property and telecommunications apparatus should be properly advised in relation to the possible effects of this legislation and in particular, the impact it may have on the value of their property assets. For example, anyone purchasing a site as a potential development site should ensure that proper due diligence is undertaken.  Surveyors and other property professionals providing advice to clients should ensure that the presence of electronic communications apparatus is identified in surveys and reported to their clients.  Valuers should factor the presence of electronic communications apparatus into their reporting on value. 

Property owners should ensure that whoever undertakes acquisition surveys for them is instructed to report on the presence of any electronic communications equipment.  The ability to remove equipment and the time that it will take do so may be determinative factors in formulating any development appraisal.

Further information about our services can be found in our Telecommunications Services for Property Owners brochure.  Advice for property owners and their advisers can be found in our document of 20 questions relating to the Code.  These may be downloaded and circulated to colleagues or clients.