What is a Wayleave and why should I be worried?

For the majority of our clients, the level of ‘red tape’ associated with an office relocation (or even a lease renewal in some instances) can lead to excessive delays and mounting pressure to move in on time. Clients already have a significant number of hurdles to jump through when leasing a new office, but one issue that seems to be a growing problem while relocating, are wayleaves. As Tenant’s become increasingly reliant on telecommunications and data, the requirement for a wayleave is almost always there. Following various meetings with clients, it has become apparent that whilst a requirement for a wayleave has been around for a while, there is still a lack of awareness over this issue and why it is now so important to obtain one.

So what exactly is a wayleave?

A wayleave agreement allows Internet and Telecoms providers to install (as well as repair and maintain) equipment within an office building. This is a legal agreement and will need to be signed by the property owner and yourselves (the tenant) prior to any work being carried out.

Why do we need one?

Internet providers such as BT are now very stringent on a wayleave being in place prior to works starting and this is where problems can arise. For example, a company such as BT, can sometimes provide lead in times of circa 90 days to install the relevant IT equipment. Whilst this is a worst case scenario, if you did have to wait 90 days and then find out that no wayleave had been agreed but was required, then this would put you to the back of BT’s queue for them to install the relevant equipment. Clearly this would delay an office move considerably.

How do you ensure you minimise the risk of this becoming an issue?

Start the process early and ensure the wayleave document is raised with your lawyer as soon as your potential new office is placed under offer. In addition, we would strongly advise making contact with your Telecoms provider as soon as you are set on a property. They will normally survey the site and the earlier this survey happens, the more time you will have to deal with any issues, prior to the signing of the lease. We would also recommend appointing a specialist IT provider to assist with the process. They will be well versed in the necessary requirements for a wayleave. A good outfit will manage the entire process for you. We cannot stress enough the importance of this document in the modern office world. We have learnt through experience that this is normally the cause for the hold up if an office relocation is delayed. It therefore needs to be managed correctly to ensure that this does not negatively affect you.