It's day four of our festive blog series: How will the new electronic communications code affect telecoms providers?

Telecommunications providers will often have leases of technical sites rather than owning the land used for telecoms equipment outright.

Leases of technical sites can often be quite complex. Firstly, as the site is being used for a business purpose, the lease may be governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ("LTA 1954") which gives tenants protection at the end of their lease term, and an automatic right to request a renewal of their lease.

Technical site leases may also receive protection under the current Electronic Communications Code. This gives the tenant additional rights and makes the landlord's process of seeking to remove a tenant more difficult.

The government are, however, shortly due to implement the new 2017 Electronic Communications Code which is designed to remove any tension between the Code and LTA 1954 tenancies by providing that only one regime will apply. A tenant will no longer enjoy protection under both the Code and the LTA 1954.

Whilst tenants may lose out on this double protection, commentary from experts suggest that the 2017 Electronic Communications Code is likely to result in a reduction in compensation being paid by tenants to landlords. If your landlord is trying to renew your technical site lease now, be wary. The terms being offered may be more favourable to your landlord than they would be following the implementation of the 2017 Electronic Communications Code.

See our full series of festive blogs here.