Maximize your Rooftop

Rooftop Cell Tower Lease: Here’s What You Should Know

Maximize your Rooftop

Have you been approached by one of the three big carriers with a proposal to install a cell site cell tower on your rooftop? Wondering if you should accept the offer to rent them your unused roof space?

Renting out your rooftop to a wireless carrier or cell tower company is an excellent way to generate a steady stream of income, month after month. But the problem here is – you might end up with the short end of the stick. Whether you have been contacted for a new cell site contract, or are in the process of renegotiating an existing rooftop cell site lease contract, or considering a cell tower lease buyout, make sure to read this before you proceed. 

Consider The Aesthetics of Cell Sites

This one is big. Any equipment that the carrier or cell tower company is proposing to install on your roof shouldn’t impact the overall value of your property. We recommend that antennas and other equipment be stealth or camouflaged as much as possible. Thanks to advances in stealth technology, today it’s possible to install cell sites or cell towers without being overly noticed. Now the questions is will the carrier want to pay extra for hiding the antennas? Unless it is required by the municipal wireless ordinance or zoning code, NO.

Though you’re not likely to use your roof much, ensure that any equipment that is installed doesn’t impact existing equipment like your HVAC systems, flood drains, etc., and believe us, we have seen our share of poorly designed rooftop cell sites where flood drains are blocked, and carriers “hog” the prime areas of the roof making it purposely difficult for other carriers to use the same structure. This is why, we highly recommend hiring a cell tower lease expert like Tower Genius when you have been contacted by a wireless carrier to lease you buildings rooftop for a cell site. We’ve helped hundreds of urban rooftop cell site clients negotiate the best cell site lease terms and ensure that your rights aren’t getting trampled during the cell site negotiations.

Don’t Skip The Cell Site Structural Issues

Cell towers, cell site platforms, generators and other equipment can weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds. Weight needs to be distributed. So, if not installed properly with the right supporting beams and other structures, it can lead to structural damage to your property in the future. So, ensure that you bring in an expert such as a structural engineer to weigh in on the planned installation that Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T is proposing and have your engineer provide feedback. The carriers use licensed architectural engineers in every state that they operate who will put their stamp of approval on every set of drawings filed with the city. Their license is on the line, yet it still doesn’t mean that they placement of the equipment is in your best interest.

Reconsider 24/7 Maintenance and Cell Site Access

Cell carriers will demand that you grant them 24/7 access to their equipment. 24/7 access to their equipment means 24/7 access to your property as well. This can be a huge inconvenience for you down the line. So, when negotiating the cell site contract, stress the clause that access should be limited only to normal business hours, with additional access only for emergencies. This is a must, especially if the cell tower is located on the roof of a residential or commercial property with multiple occupants.

Finally, Don’t Undervalue Your Cell Site Property’s Worth

Okay, remember that just because a property down the road signed the contract for a lower cell site rental fee you too should follow suit. Carriers use this negotiating strategy all the time. “Hey we have a cell tower on the other side of town paying $1,500 less per month…” Oh well, not my problem they didn’t know how to negotiate. 🙂 Even properties that are located next to each other have measurably different values when it comes to cellular rental income. You can’t use an online cell tower lease calculator to understand the value of your rooftop site, you need to talk to Tower Genius. Lease calculators are meaningless in cell site negotiations.

Urban Rooftop Cell Site Rents Will Be Impacted By 2030

With 5G cell site densification, huge changes are coming up down the pike for URBAN ROOFTOP CELL SITES and Landlords in the big cities. The industry is expected to go through a massive disruption in the next five to ten years, specifically by 2030 due to the rapid implementation of 5G networks across the country and this will impact the big city landlords. Get in touch with Tower Genius, the best cell tower lease consultants to help you get the maximum out of your rooftop cell tower lease. Call 888-313-9750.


Carriers & Tower Companies Have Their Hired Guns. Shouldn't You?

Negotiating a cell tower lease, trying to figure out what the correct cell tower rent value for your property needs to be, or evaluating the broad range of proposals and offers received by most cell site landlords in 2022 can be very confusing. Connect with Tower Genius or submit your info below, and we'll evaluate your situation, answer your questions and even make a few recommendations you may benefit from.

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