Broadband and Wayleaves – Tips for office tenants

October 30, 2023

By Sarah Price

Reliable broadband is essential for the operation of modern businesses. Tenants moving into new premises need to check if existing cabling is sufficient, or whether new connections will need to be installed for their business. If a new connection is needed, that may need to be documented by a Wayleave Agreement.

What is a Wayleave Agreement?

A Wayleave Agreement gives an IT service provider, such as a broadband provider, the right to install their equipment through or over a third party’s property.  When a property is occupied by a tenant under a lease, the landlord will often need to be a party to the Wayleave Agreement – usually when the cables will pass over other parts of their building. The Agreement will grant the necessary rights to the service provider to install their equipment and also provide protection to the landlord e.g. that the works are carried out in compliance with any relevant statutory requirements and any damage made good.

Why is this important for a tenant?

Landlords are not obliged to enter into Wayleaves and so this will need to be specifically requested. Service providers often have a standard form of Wayleave Agreement and many office landlords would be used to seeing them (and willing to co-operate to ensure their tenants can run their businesses successfully). However, it’s vital that tenants get the process started as early as possible to avoid delays in getting any necessary cabling installed.

Costs

Landlords will usually expect any costs they incur in connection with a Wayleave Agreement to be paid – so tenants will need factor this into their budgets.

What steps should a tenant take?

We recommend that tenants entering into new leases consider their IT needs as early as possible in the transaction. Our top tips are:

  • Ensure you find out about the existing IT provision when viewing new premises.
  • Start discussions with your preferred broadband provider or IT department as soon as possible – IT departments or the provider may want to do a site visit.
  • If a Wayleave Agreement is likely to be needed, ideally this should be dealt with when negotiating heads of terms for the new lease. Otherwise, let your solicitor/ agent/ landlord know as soon as possible so negotiations can start.

Ensure the Wayleave Agreement if progressed alongside the lease negotiations so the installation can start as soon as possible when the lease is granted.

If you want any advice regarding the above, contact a member of our commercial property law team, Sarah Price via email on sprice@darwingray.com or via telephone on 029 2082 9105 for a free initial chat to see how we can help you.

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