Existing cell towers can be a treasure trove of opportunity for landowners, providing significant passive income and an incredibly powerful asset. However, the key is understanding the full value of your cell tower site.
As the nation’s leading cell tower consulting firm, we’ve seen too many leases that benefit the telecommunication company disproportionately when the landowner accepts unfavorable terms. In these cases, property owners are giving away money.
4 Don’t Of Cell Tower Leases
Here are 4 simple suggestions of how to avoid leaving money on the table with existing cell tower leases.
- Don’t accept a lease extension until you have re-evaluated your value and terms. It costs a cell tower company A LOT of money to move or replace a tower, approximately $250,000 in fact. That means cell tower companies are willing to pay to stay put and will offer landowners large amounts of money to keep towers and antennas where they are currently located. Extending the lease prior to renewal removes this potential opportunity for the property owner.
- Don’t agree immediately to amendments. Telecommunication companies often ask property owners to amend leases to allow upgrades, modifications or expansion to the cell tower. This has been happening frequently because of the 5G network rollout. Property owners are able to get rent increases by negotiating each amendment rather than signing a general amendment. Additionally, amendments could include fine print that limits or endangers a property owner’s rights during any future sale of the land. Because this language is often buried in the fine print of a lease amendment offer, property owners may miss it until it’s too late. That’s why we offer a free cell tower lease evaluation to clients to ensure nothing is signed until we’ve verified you are getting the best terms and rent possible.
- Don’t allow the cell tower company to sublease the tower to other providers without including additional rent to you as the property owner. In some cases, subleases lead to doubling or even tripling rent. Often, there is a provision in your lease that accounts for subleasing, which is why it is so critical to speak to an expert before you sign anything.
- Don’t believe you must receive a reduced rate. Cell tower companies may attempt to persuade you to accept a reduced rate by claiming that they have too many towers and therefore if you don’t accept a lower rent, your entire lease will be canceled. In our experience, this is rarely the case. With the push for 5G, providers need more towers than ever. As mentioned previously, the cost to remove or replace them is much too high to be a serious consideration.
What To Do?
Finally, there is one simple Do when it comes to existing cell tower leases: do remember your land is uniquely valuable to the tower company. We’ve worked with clients throughout the US and Canada to fight for more money and the best possible terms on their leases.
If you’d like to see how we can help you avoid making a mistake and missing out on the rent you deserve, contact us today!