Currently, cell tower companies and wireless carriers are approaching churches with lease agreements for the installation of new cell sites. Many churches are located in residential areas; and therefore, cell tower companies and wireless companies have fewer zoning hurdles to overcome, AND plenty of opportunities for increased profits.
Don’t Sign Anything! Do not simply accept the first offer received. Representatives from cell tower companies and wireless carriers are incentivized to put undue pressure on property owners, encouraging them into signing undervalued, “non-negotiable” cell site lease agreements. These well-trained professionals utilize fear tactics, leading property owners to believe that if a decision isn’t made quickly, they will move on to the next church for a new cell site.
Who? What? How? Churches must take the necessary steps to protect their rights for any decisions made in the future, including consent required for all matters regarding the property such as the addition or removal of tenants, subtenant rents, and equipment. Signatures from church officials must be required if or when changes or modifications are made to the cell site, co-locating tenants, and/or sublease rents. By requiring signatures, churches will protect their property and also ensure opportunities for maximum rent in the future.
Keep Your Options Open: Although a cell site lease typically lasts 25 or more years, it is important to remember that a lot can change over that period of time. For example, a church may need additional property for expansion or perhaps a 3rd party makes an offer to develop the property in the future. Therefore, if a cell tower or wireless tenant must be relocated, either temporarily or permanently, churches must take measures to ensure a successful relocation. Without provisions to relocate the cell site, churches can limit opportunities for future growth. Signing a cell site lease agreement is a contract that affects not only the short-term, but also for the life of the lease.
If your church has been contacted about a new cell site lease, call us today! Our team will review your lease and tower site to ascertain your options as well as determine how to optimize your lease.