Message from Kevin F. Donohue, Managing Partner at Tower Genius.
By Steve Kazella, Partner at Tower Genius. Congratulations. You've just found the best cell tower lease consultants on the planet. We're not kidding. We want to talk to you to save you from the other guys pretending to be cell tower experts. Funny, we've noticed that a handful of so-called cell phone tower lease experts have popped up with websites that sound a lot like ours. Heck, we've even been flattered by some of them copying our website content word for word, and even using a derivative of our name and trademarking it. Then there are some cell tower lease consultants who think you must be as dumb as a box of rocks when they talk to you, and there are some who think the attractive brunette in their videos or paid press releases will impress you. Remember, many of the cell tower consultants claiming to be lease experts are mainly interested in purchasing your lease, nothing else.
When negotiating a cell tower lease agreement, regardless of who the carrier or tower management company is, there are several items that you MUST pay very close attention to. You can be 100% certain that the carrier or tower company representative is not going to offer you any assistance or steer you in the right direction. Although they may be very polite and friendly, and they may even return your call all the time, they don't work for you and they are definitely not on your side. So, what details do you need to pay close attention to in your cellular antenna lease? Please keep reading and we will give you a taste of the few items you need to pay attention to.
When a cell tower landlord hires Tower Genius as their cell tower lease consultants, we typically suggest anywhere from one to two dozen changes to your telecommunications lease, depending on how bad it is. These lease contracts are grossly one-sided and not in your favor but in the Lessee's or Tenant's favor. This is done because they are going to place a million-dollar installation on your property and want to protect their interests.
Tower Genius, that's who.
For reference purposes only we've linked to one of the few available sites where you can view an actual online PDF cell tower lease example. (Please note that this is not a lease that our cell tower lease consultants negotiated or are associated with. It is merely a useful reference tool for individuals seeking to see what cell tower lease agreements look like.)
At Tower Genius our cell tower lease consultants always guide you regarding the type of language that you need to have in your cell tower leases to protect regarding ground space subletting rights, and to maximize your revenue. Even small oversights in subletting language can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a cell tower.
Subletting or sub leasing language is going to be different if you have a rooftop cellular antenna installation or if you have a tower being built on raw land. There needs to be language that pertains to subletting pole or tower space and language that pertains to the ground.
We typically recommend making a dozen to two dozen changes on any given lease or lease amendment with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, SBA Communications, Crown Castle or American Tower simply because the leases are so one-sided in their favor.
Here's another important thing to look for. Owners need to watch the tax language closely. How can you make sure that the tax language within the cell tower lease isn't going to cause the tax collector to give you an ulcer? How can you make sure that carriers pick up the tab for increases in taxes due to the telecommunications improvements? We could write a list of a dozen items that even top-notch real estate attorneys overlook on a regular basis on cellular phone tower lease agreements, but we don’t want to do their jobs for them.
Remember, wireless carriers will only select your site if it’s feasible for development from a number of perspectives, including zoning, line of site and visual impact. Often, the site leasing consultant will try to play hardball with the owner when negotiating a cell tower lease and essentially give them a “take it or leave it” offer. Frequently they will play one site off of another, essentially telling you that “Bob” down the street has a site just as good, and that if you don’t accept his offer for $1,200 per month he will simply sign a lease with the other owner. If you need a real “pit bull” on your side, not just some attorney who will bill you by the hour to review your cell tower lease agreement, we can intervene on your behalf to maximize your revenue and make sure you keep the deal.
Just a suggestion of course... We at Tower Genius are NOT cell tower attorneys. However, we are cell tower lease consultants who can review and help negotiate your wireless leases. We deal with carrier attorneys and client attorneys on a daily basis and have been involved with thousands of cell site negotiations throughout our careers. One thing we can attest to. Just because somebody has a law degree, it doesn't mean they know the first thing about wireless lease agreements. Do you want to hire somebody who has seen less than a handful of these deals in their lifetime? Wouldn't you want a consultant that is a cell tower lease expert who has seen thousands of them? Look.... If you need legal advice, this is not the place to get it. We’re just shedding some light on how you need to be street-smart when it comes to dealing with telecom leases ☺. If you have a toothache, would you go to an eye doctor? Why should a cell tower lease be any different?
There are usually more than a dozen significant changes that need to made on the average cell site lease we touch. We can level the playing field between you and the carriers when negotiating your cell site lease agreement and maximize your revenue from the carriers. Ask us a question on our cell tower blog down below. Or please contact one of our cell tower lease consultants for assistance.
Do you have a question about a cell tower or cell site lease? We know that thousands of you visit this site every week seeking information. Fire away!
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