There has been a recent spate of Land Access and Activity Notices (LAAN) being issued to owners corporations by telecommunications companies, requiring access to strata plans either to inspect the premises or to install telecommunications facilities and equipment, usually for broadband and/or optical fibre networks.

The Draconian nature of LAANs may have many owners corporations wondering what rights they have to object to the installation of equipment and facilities by telecommunications super-giants. Some rights do exist, but time is of the essence when it comes to taking action.

The Validity of the LAAN

 Certain requirements must be met by the carrier issuing the LAAN. These are set out in the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) and the Telecommunications Code of Practice 1997 (the Code). The Act requires the carrier, amongst other things, to:

  • Specify the purpose of the proposed work;
  • Provide information about compensation payable due to certain loss or damage caused in relation to the proposed work; and
  • Give at least 10 business days’ notice prior to works being conducted

Owners corporations should ensure the validity of the LAAN as soon as possible.

Objecting to the LAAN

If an owners corporation objects to the proposed work set out in the LAAN, it must give the objection to the carrier within nine business days of receipt of the LAAN. In light of the strict notice requirements for holding an executive committee meeting and the lapse of time inherent in the period from sending the objection until the carrier’s receipt of the objection, there is a very small window of opportunity for an owners corporation to lodge an objection.

Further, objections may only be made in relation to certain grounds, specified in the Code.

Assuming the LAAN is valid, if the owners corporation fails to make an objection in time, or fails to object on one of the restricted grounds allowed by the Code, the carrier is authorised to enter upon the land of the owners corporation and carry out the proposed works in accordance with the LAAN.

We strongly recommend that any owners corporation or strata manager who receives a LAAN immediately seeks legal advice to determine what action, if any, can be taken. Please contact either:

Allison Benson Angie Rennie
Legal Practitioner Director Lawyer
Ph: (02) 4032 7990 Ph: (02) 8706 7060
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