Local Government Lawyer Home Page


Sharpe Edge Webpage Banner

Welcome to Sharpe Edge, Sharpe Pritchard’s local government legal hub on Local Government Lawyer.

Sharpe Edge features news, views and analysis from our team of specialist local government lawyers working at the heart of the latest legal developments. Sharpe Edge platform is also the only place where local government lawyers can get e-access to two law books by our Head of Local Government Rob Hann: The Guide to Local Authority Charging and Trading Powers (‘LACAT’) and The Guide to Local Authority Companies and Partnerships (‘LACAP’).

 

                                                                                                  

Slide background

Sparks Flying: Increasing Network Connectivity For Tenants

Icons DateLillee Reid-Hunt, James Nelson and Natasha Barlow look at the potential impact of The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act 2021 on reducing delays in the installation of telecommunications equipment to leasehold properties.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act 2021 (the Act) received royal assent on 15 March 2021. The Act amends the Electronic Communications Code 2017 (the Code) by introducing a new Part 4A into the Communications Act 2003 and seeks to alleviate the frustration of operators who cannot install telecommunication infrastructure at leasehold properties due to unresponsive landlords. The issue of fast and reliable connectivity at home has become all the more pertinent in the last year and this Act seeks to redress a key area that delays tenants’ access to better networks.

The Act targets residential properties that are under multiple occupation, primarily blocks of flats. It does not apply to commercial premises. Tenants have existing rights under the Code to request that operators provide electronic communications services to their property (in fact, it is occupiers of land only that can grant Code rights). The operator in turn must give the landlord notice seeking agreement to exercise Code rights.

The Act now requires operators to issue a further two warning notices and a final notice on the landlord at specified intervals. If the landlord repeatedly fails to respond to these notices, the operator can apply to the Upper Tribunal for an interim order (a Part 4A Order). This process could be completed in as little as six weeks, which should reduce the time and cost to operators of pursuing uncommunicative landlords. This feeds into the government’s goal of increasing the speed and range of connectivity across the country.

The court will grant a Part 4A Order if it is satisfied that the notices specified above have been issued in accordance with the Act and that the landlord has not responded to the notices. A Part 4A Order will impose an interim agreement on the parties for a maximum term of 18 months, during which it is expected that the operator and the landlord can either agree a final Code agreement or the operator will apply to the Upper Tribunal for final Code rights under the existing Code process. The provisions of any interim Code agreement ordered as part of the Part 4A Order will be specified by regulations to be issued by the Secretary of State following consultation with operators and landlords and prior to the Act coming into force.

The court also has discretion to award compensation to the landlord for any loss or damage sustained in the exercise of the Part 4A Code right. However, the Act does not re-introduce any aspect of the payments under previous legislation that allowed landowners to take a cut of the income generated by operators i.e. the ‘no-network’ valuation methodology prescribed under the Code applies to any interim agreement ordered under Part 4A.

Landlords should note that they can stop the process for a Part 4A Order by responding to any of the operator’s notices within the specified period because this precludes the operator from applying for an order. The Act emphasises the importance of landlords engaging promptly with both tenants and operators in connection with any request for electronic communications services in order to avoid a Part 4A Order being imposed on them that could potentially result in less favourable terms than could be otherwise negotiated between them.

Lillee Reid-Hunt is a Senior Associate (New Zealand Qualified), James Nelson a Solicitor and Natasha Barlow a Trainee Solicitor at Sharpe Pritchard LLP


For further insight and resources on local government legal issues from Sharpe Pritchard, please visit the SharpeEdge page by clicking on the banner below.

sharpe edge 600x100

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published. If you would like further advice and assistance in relation to any issue raised in this article, please contact us by telephone or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LACAT BookFREE download!

A Guide to Local Authority Charging and Trading Powers

Written and edited by Sharpe Pritchard’s Head of Local Government, Rob Hann,

A Guide to Local Authority Charging and Trading Powers covers:

• Updated charging powers compendium          • Commercial trading options

• Teckal ‘public to public’                                    • Localism Act

FREE DOWNLOAD

LACAT BookAvailable to buy:

A Guide to Local Authority Companies and Partnerships

An invaluable, comprehensive toolkit for lawyers, law firms and others advising
on or participating in Local Authority Companies and Partnerships”

- Local Authority Chief Executive

BUY NOW

  More Articles

Icons Court

Home is where the heart is

Bernadette Hillman and Christos Paphiti outline the new permitted development right and what it means for the property sector and planners
Icons Date

Can a worker get paid for sleeping?

Some jobs such as care workers, security guards and nightwatchmen require the individual to work night shifts where they may, with the approval of their employer, sleep during some or all of the shift, but nevertheless remain on standby during that time. The Supreme Court was asked to decide how many hours such a worker should be paid for the purpose of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) which will be raised to £8.91 from April 2021 for over 23s.
Icons Date

Can you decline to sponsor skilled workers under the new immigration rules?

Is there an obligation to consider resident workforce prior to employing migrants? Julie Bann and Aleksandra Wolek report.
Icons House

The Long Goodbye to the PFI

Rob Hann, Sharpe Pritchard’s Head of Local Government takes a look at the House of Common’s Public Account Committees’ recent report into the pending expiry of PFI contracts which contains some interesting recommendations….
Icons Court

Changes to the Electronic Communications Code

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has commenced a consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code 2017 (the “Code”). James Nelson, Lillee Reid-Hunt and Natasha Barlow report.
Icons Court

The Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill

Until last week the heat network sector in Scotland was not specifically regulated. The recent Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill seeks to rectify this by creating a regulatory framework and licencing system designed to encourage the increased use of heat networks.
Icons Date

A step in the right direction

Rob Hann and Juli Lau outline Sharpe Pritchard’s response to the Government’s Green Paper on reforming the ‘outdated’ public procurement regime.
Rob Hann

Life on the Edge!

This week sees the launch of Sharpe Edge – the home of Sharpe Pritchard on Local Government Lawyer. We have created Sharpe Edge for local authorities who are looking for ways to help their communities rebuild and regenerate following the devasting impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Icons Court

Teckal and Beyond….

In this article Rob Hann, Sharpe Pritchard’s Head of Local Government, takes a look at what isn’t covered in the recent Green Paper on Transforming the UK’s Public Procurement rules, namely the exception contained in regulation 12 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), commonly referred to as the Teckal exemption and asks whether Teckal is ‘fit for purpose’ in a post Brexit, post pandemic environment?
Icons Court

Jurisdiction Clauses & Enforcing Adjudication Decisions

The case of Motacus Constructions Ltd v Paolo Castelli Spa [2021] EWHC 356 (TCC) confirms adjudication’s status as an interim-binding measure and reinforces its importance as a dispute resolution forum in the construction industry.
Icons Date

Procurement in an Emergency – Requirements for Transparency

Public procurement has never had such a high profile as it has in recent months and most especially since the decision in Good Law Project and Others v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care ([2021] EWHC 346 (Admin)). However, in practice, has anything changed?
Icons Court

Disallowed Costs, Definitions and Default

The recent case of ABC Electrification Limited v Network Infrastructure Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 1645 saw legal practitioners jousting over the definition of a solitary word – namely, “default”. In this case regarding the scope of ‘Disallowed Costs’ in a common rail industry contract, the Court of Appeal issued a stark reminder to contractors that the meaning of individual words can be the difference between millions of pounds.
Slide background