Landlords of commercial properties, such as industrial units, offices and shops could potentially earn additional revenue by making use of their unused property space or land, by allowing an external organisation to use it.
The organisations in question are telecoms firms, which could pay a landlord around £4000 – £5000 per year, to use vacant space at a commercial property. The only thing that a landlord would have to do is to allow the firm to install a 50m sq mass at the property, over a 10 – 20 year lease.
Speaking of the scheme, Tom Evans, from Fisher German, who acts on behalf of clients looking to utilise their available space, expressed: “Telecoms masts are an excellent form of diversification. There is no capital outlay in telecoms lettings as the operator pays for the installation of the equipment and contributes towards the landlord’s associated professional and legal fees and the drafting of legal documentation.”
“It is a very efficient way to use any under-utilised areas, as only 50m² of land is required for a mast, they can be placed on small areas such as a roof top, service yard or the peripheries of a car park,” Mr Evans added.
The scheme seems simple so far, so why are more landlords not taking advantage of it? Many people worry about how the mass will look on their commercial property to customers and to the general public. However, Mr Evans thinks that there is a way around it: “Modern telecoms masts can be disguised to blend in with their surroundings. We have dealt with a number of clients who have had masts on their land disguised as trees, telegraph poles and even flag poles.”
Landlords wishing to take advantage of the scheme are advised to seek professional advice from a telecoms surveyor, as some companies may try and alter the equipment to try and reduce the rental price that they pay.
With today’s economy showing no signs of improving anytime soon, many people would have thought that landlords would have jumped at the chance to earn an extra income. Furthermore, the news that around six per cent of landlords have made financial losses, due to tenants ‘trying it on’, in the last 12 months, should be a motivator for many landlords to take up the scheme.
Speaking of the potential opportunities to landlords, Creditsafe’s Business Development Director, David Knowles, put across: “Given the length of many commercial leases it is vital that the financial health of tenants is regularly reviewed if those responsible for managing these leases are not to lose out on vital revenues.”
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