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CELL TOWER LEASE 101
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’VE RECEIVED A PROPOSAL
A cell tower lease agreement or cell tower option lease agreement or a variant such as a rooftop cell site lease or telecommunication ground lease or land lease agreement is an agreement that a wireless carrier or cell tower development company will need to have signed between a land owner and the wireless tenant planning to develop a cell site at a specific location. After a telecommunications lease is full executed (signed by both parties) a signed Memorandum of Agreement will also get recorded in your county. The Memorandum will not contain your financial information, only the name of the entities who have signed the contract, the property location, the length or term of the agreement, and if the tenant has a Right of First Refusal.
Property owners will generally be contact by mail, courier, telephone or in person by a real estate site acquisition consultant representing a cellular carrier like US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, DISH Wireless, or by site acquisition project managers representing region cell tower developers or larger cell tower management companies. The cell tower companies will generally be building out cell sites and those towers will usually end up being assigned or sold to the major tower management firms such as American Tower Corporation, Crown Castle International, SBA Communications, Vertical Bridge or second tier tower companies like Phoenix Tower International.
A cell tower lease or option lease has many components and the leasing representatives typically will talk to a handful of land owners in a given search ring that they have been assigned to identify candidate properties.
A Telecommunications Lease or Rooftop Lease that does not contain an “option period” will typically commence soon after construction begins on a property, which can often take at least 1 to 2 years depending on zoning and budgets.
An Option Lease will usually contain an option period consisting of 1 year that can be extended for a second year where the carrier or tower developer has time to get their approvals and complete their due diligence. After the lease option is signed by both parties the Lessee or Tenant (Carrier or Cell Tower Company) will send a writing commencement letter that initiates the start of rent payments to the Lessor or Landlord (Property Owner).
Get the cell tower lease information and assistance you need in one place.
- New rooftop DISH Wireless site lease rent valuation and review
- New DISH Wireless land lease review and consultation at existing cell tower or transmission tower where additional land is needed
- Verizon Wireless rooftop cell site lease review, consultation and cell tower lease valuation assistance for new cell sites and existing cell sites.
- Verizon Wireless cell tower ground lease assistance.
- AT&T cell tower lease, ground lease and rooftop lease consultation, review and valuation for new and existing towers.
- T-Mobile cell tower lease, land lease, rooftop lease consultations, reviews and valuations for new and existing cell sites.
- Crown Castle cell tower lease renewal consultations and buyout advisory
- American Tower lease renewals, valuations, buyouts and assistance
- SBA Communications cell tower lease extensions and easement sale consultations
Here are some of the common cell tower lease provisions that you will see in a typical communication site lease or telecommunication option lease agreement:
- Option Period
- Rent and Rental Escalations
- Government Approvals
- Assignment and Subleasing
- Hazardous Waste / Environmental
- Rights Upon Sale
- Applicable Laws
- Right of First Refusal
- Subordination and Non-Disturbance
- Removal and Restoration
- Waiver of Jury Trial
WE OFFER CELL TOWER LEASE EXPERT ASSISTANCE TO PROPERTY OWNERS WHO NEED HELP.
Cell tower lease agreements are complex documents written by attorneys who have their client’s best interest in mind, not yours. If you are contacted by a cell tower real estate site acquisition consultant with an offer to lease space on your land or rooftop for a new cell site, they know that you probably have zero industry knowledge and they will want to engage you in a negotiation.
Here are some useful tips of what to do and what not to do if you have received a cell tower lease proposal:
- If you are interest in their offer, tell them, but don’t start to negotiate anything. Just answer with a simple, “sounds interesting… let me think about it.”
- DO NOT sign anything. Do not sign a term sheet even if they tell you it is not legally binding.
- See if they can provide you with a lease.
- Find out when they can visit your property and put some stakes in the ground and show you where they want to place the cell tower.
- Find out who they are building it for or why they are building it.
- Ask they why they like your property?
- Ask them when they plan on building the cell tower?
- Ask them what the duration of the lease agreement will be.
- DO NOT start asking them if you can get paid on additional tenants. 9That comes later in the negotiation.)
Our cell tower lease consulting and transactional coaching firm helps property owners, building owners, attorneys, municipalities and utility companies complete these transactions fairly and quickly with the landlord’s best interests in mind. We have been assisting clients with these proposals since 2008, and have helped over 2,000 clients. The two partners of Tower Genius, Kevin Donohue and Steve Kazella have over 50 years of combined cell tower network development, site acquisition, zoning, construction project management and lease consulting experience within the wireless industry. We have zero conflicts of interest. If you need help with a cell tower lease agreement please contact us at 1-888-313-9750.