A Castle Douglas law firm is urging landowners not to give in to pressure from telecom companies seeking to reduce the rental on mast sites.

The advice is given in the wake of a recent joint venture between telecommunications giants Vodafone and O2 called “Cornerstone” which seeks to rationalise existing telecoms equipment in order to reduce network costs.

David Hall, of Hall Baird Solicitors based in the Old Exchange outside Castle Douglas, just off the A75, says the venture could lead to pressure on farmers to break their lease and accept less rent for the mast, or face losing out to competitors.

David said: “For a number of years the suggestion that joint ventures could lead to telecom mast sites being rendered surplus to requirements has resulted in many farmers and landowners under-valuing their asset.

“This train of thought has led them to voluntarily agree to a rent reduction, forgo a rent review, or fail to renew leases which have reached the end of their term.

“Telecoms companies, however, are viewing these joint ventures such as Cornerstone and EE as a way of increasing their coverage, to provide 3G and 4G services to more phone and tablet customers and over larger areas.

“Maintaining this level of coverage will require more not less telecoms mast sites and the value of current sites could actually be worth more.”
 Hall Baird Solicitors, a company specialising in rural law are urging landowners to act now and seek advice before entering into new or renewing agreement with the telecom giants.

David added: “With the recent Cornerstone venture taking place, we recommend now is the time for landowners to take a professional look at their telecoms mast lease. It may be the rent they are receiving is not what the site is worth or what they are entitled to.”

Hall Baird Solicitors have particular expertise in telecoms mast negotiations, leases and rent reviews. In recent months, David has negotiated several telecoms mast reviews, all of which have resulted in increased rents.
Recent reviews have resulted in between 25 and 43 per cent increases in rental payments, with the rental increases being backdated, in one of the cases over nine years.

For further information contact Hall Baird Solicitors, The Old Exchange, Castle Douglas, 01556 502764. Visit their website at www.hallbaird.co.uk or email [email protected].

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