The 2017 Electronic Communications Code ('the Code') came into force on 28 December 2017 giving operators of telecommunications masts much greater powers under the leases granted to them. Such Code rights seem to have resulted in the balance of power resting significantly with the Code operator, which is having the effect of, amongst other factors, driving down the rental value of such leases. Code operators are therefore extremely keen for their leases to operate under the new Code ('a Code Agreement').

However, for the landowner, all is not lost should you have granted a lease to an operator before the Code came into force.  A recent - albeit legally technical - case has determined that a Code Agreement cannot be forced upon a landowner where the operator is in occupation of the land under a subsisting agreement, nor, under certain circumstances, to obtain a new tenancy where a lease has been continued beyond its original term. 

The takeaway from this case is that, if you are approached by your tenant operator to enter into a new lease (read: Code Agreement) for the existing apparatus on your land, ensure you take professional advice before proceeding. If you don't, you may find that you end up in a weaker tenancy position, and quite likely less in your pocket.