When you are approached about a new cell tower lease, it can be overwhelming. There is a lot to consider in a cell tower lease agreement and it’s easy to find yourself in an unsatisfactory situation. Here are 5 things to avoid when approached about a new cell tower lease.
Being rushed and bullied
The representative who contacts you may try to rush you into an agreement. This agent is usually paid by milestones, so the sooner you sign an agreement, the sooner their payday arrives. When you allow them to rush you or bully you into a contract, the less favorable your terms will be. If you don’t take the time to consider every aspect of the lease and do your homework and discover what it all means, the cell tower company ends up with the advantage.
Agreeing to a price early on
As we’ve cautioned you before, there is no “market rent” that you can refer to. If a tower company representative presents you with the “going rate,” keep in mind the source. If you rely on the leasing company for a valuation, they will lowball the numbers. When you agree to a price early on in the negotiations, you give up a lot of your leverage and won’t get the terms you deserve.
Signing without seeing a site plan
You should see a proposed site plan, created by a surveyor or an architect, before you agree to anything. Property owners should know where and how things like access roads and utilities will be placed. If you sign an agreement without seeing the plan, you will be subject to whatever “convenient” method of accessing the site and running utilities they have in mind. The time to set those kinds of limits is before you sign.
Giving away too much land
Many agents will ask for lease areas that are 100’ x 100’ – 10,000 square feet – when they need only a small fraction of that space to build their tower. The hopeful tenants try to secure such a large piece of property with the intent to sub-lease in the future. They will decide who else uses that property – another carrier or perhaps a radio station – and they will collect the revenue from the new tenant with no plan to share the rent.
Assuming all leases are the same
When a cell carrier or tower company approaches you to put a tower on your property, it might be tempting to believe that all leases are pretty standard and that the company is offering you a contract that is like all the others out there. That is far from true. The variables that go into determining the value of your property, the length of a contract, modification allowances, and so on are unique to each property. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to cell tower leases. From the size of the lease area to the rental fee, each property should be negotiated on its actual value.
Cell tower companies and wireless carriers have teams of experts and a lot of contracts behind them. Shouldn’t you have someone on your side whose expertise and experience matches theirs?
Vertical Consultants works on its client’s behalf to get a “Smart Cell Tower Lease”, advocating for you so that your lease is structured for the long term to maximize its value and minimize any negative impact on your property. Contact us for a free, confidential review of your lease offer. If we can help, we will tell you exactly how.