Cell Tower Lease Agreements

Cell Tower Lease Agreement

If you’ve been approached by a wireless carrier, or site acquisition agent, about a cell tower lease agreement, and you need help.  These agreements can be confusing to an average person.  Make sure you have all the help you need, and obtain the support from a professional tower lease consultant at CellWaves.  Having a CellWaves consultant negotiate for you can make a difference in your outcome.

What is so unusual about a cell phone tower lease agreement?  They are different from your standard commercial or residential lease agreement.  If your contacted about a cell phone tower lease agreement, the best choice you can make is to call CellWaves to protect your interests.

In cell tower lease negotiations, the party with access to the most comprehensive data almost always has the advantage. In most cases, this is the tower company or wireless carrier who initiates the lease. They know whether there are other properties nearby that will work for their purposes. They know what average lease rates are for specific markets. And they know what landowners will typically accept and what they won’t. The carrier or tower company will often play one landowner against the other in order to negotiate the cheapest lease. In some cases, they will even pretend to be negotiating with another landowner when in fact they are only negotiating with you.

How much land should you give?

We know how much land it takes to build a cell tower.  More in some, less in others.  But you should know how much land is required from the cell phone companies and provide enough for them to build their sites, but not more.  Land is a valuable asset that you want to limit in providing in your cell tower lease.  This is where your CellWaves consultant can protect your rights and ensure that the cell phone tower companies don’t overstep their boundaries.

Excessive Duration of the Cell Tower Lease Agreement

Also be careful about the duration of the cell tower lease agreement.  It may sound like a good thing to have a thirty year promise of rent, but it’s not likely to work that way.  Most all cell tower lease agreements include an early termination clause, which can be exercised by the wireless carrier or tower company.  But the landlord is stuck in the contract for the upcoming thirty years, while the wireless carriers or tower companies have the option of quitting at any time, with minimal notice.  Only in rare instances would you provide extended duration on the lease.

Right of First Refusal Clause

A big issue that comes up often in tower lease agreements is the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) clause.  Over the past thirty years, wireless carriers have come up with some sneaky and clever ways to leverage their size and bargaining positions over unsuspecting landlords.  This is one of those clauses they sneak in to severely limit a landowner’s property rights.  Landlords who accept this term won’t feel the effect of the clause until an event happens to their property.  Then, nearly every landlord regrets that they allowed it into their cell tower lease agreement.  With our expertise and decades of experience in the wireless industry, we will drive a hard bargain that gives you the highest rental dollars one can negotiate for a cell tower lease.  This is where our decades of experience is unmatched in the industry.  Hire our decades of experience by hiring Cellwaves.

Utiilize our Knowledge

Sharing our industry knowledge and experience in negotiating many similar agreements directly with the carriers is what we do for our clients. Our staff has negotiated many new cell site leases with the largest telecommunications companies such as Sprint Nextel, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cingular, Clearwire and Metro PCS.  We understand what issues are of concern to the carriers and where they are likely to exhibit flexibility.


Termination can arise for many landlords who have cell tower lease agreements.  Generally, the wireless carriers and tower companies have given themselves a way out of the lease.  Many things could occur to make termination an alternative, but it frequently happens due to a merger or acquisition.  There may be the possibility of negotiating for a reasonable termination fee, if this were to occur.  It could also be beneficial to negotiate for a longer notice.

You don’t want to navigate this agreement alone.  The wireless carriers and the tower companies have their own team of experts.  You can have your own team by employing a representative of CellWaves.  CellWaves possess  knowledge that will prove invaluable during your cell tower lease negotiation process.

Carrier’s Access To The Property

A carrier will frequently request 24/7 access to the property that houses the cell tower, whether there is an emergency or not.  With negotiations, you might be able to shorten this to business hours only, except with an emergency.  It’s going to depend on how valuable your property is to the wireless carrier or tower company, as to whether they’ll even budge on this issue.  Having a CellWaves consultant can increase your chances of a favorable term.

When You Already Have A Lease Agreement

Even if you’ve already signed a lease agreement, it’s not completely hopeless for changing the terms.  CellWaves helps our clients make changes all the time, including for increased financial gain.  However, carriers won’t hand out more money or rights without receiving something in return.  This is where CellWaves’ expertise and experience will be of tremendous benefit to landlords in getting the desired results.  The greatest opportunity to correct the past decades of negotiations mistakes is when the existing lease is coming up for renewal.  If your lease was signed some 20 years ago, and the carriers (tower companies) are looking for lease renewals, then this is likely your last chance in the your lifetime to correct that mistake and set everything correct with CellWaves’ help.

Common Negotiations Pitfalls

We know leases and negotiate them well on our client’s behalf.  Put your trust in CellWaves.

Lease Modification and Consent Requests

While many cell tower lease agreements make allowance for general maintenance, the wireless carriers may be seeking to make modifications that the lease never allowed for.  Many modifications would require both parties to agree to an amendment of the current lease agreement, depending on the wording when it was originally written.

A main reason why a modification is requested has to do with data traffic.  There is an ever increasing need for more capability in this area.

It’s not uncommon for a landlord to receive contact from a wireless carrier or tower company representative, downplaying the significance of the modifications being suggested.  Even if they suggest an amendment to your lease, you should still exercise caution.  Hire us for our experience.

Issues to Watch For Regarding Changes to A Site

If an agent of the wireless carrier approaches you about “routine” changes to a tower, don’t assume that you have no input about the issue.  Cell tower lease agreements should spell out specific information about modifications, including what changes are allowable.  Your CellWaves consultant offers availability to review any proposed changes, so your interests are protected.  Some key questions should be addressed regarding any modification to current cell tower equipment.

Carriers Have Professionals

When signing an agreement that will impact your real estate for decades,  it is best you get expert assistance. You will greatly benefit from our valuable insight as well as our recommendations along the way.  Having a wireless carrier approach you to construct a cell tower or cell site on your property can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s important to review each step of the process thoroughly. Trust but verify.  The carrier has hired professionals who have negotiated hundreds if not thousands of wireless leases before. Property owners are at a serious disadvantage trying to handle negotiations on their own.

Know Your Limits

cellwaves cell towersWhile commercial people know real estate, we know towers.  If real estate lawyers and experienced commercial property owners are frequently unable to negotiate the best terms for themselves, what is the probability that you will be successful in getting the maximum wireless value out of your property?

In so many areas of life, you consult an expert.  If it’s physical health, you would speak to a doctor.  If it’s concerning the law, you would consult with an attorney.  We don’t keep you in the dark regarding your cell tower lease agreement.  We highly value communication with our clients.  We simply want to offer up our expertise, experience, and industry-specific knowledge to help you through this process.  We’re passionate about achieving good outcomes for our clients.

Benefits of Site and Lease Audits

Most wireless leases are in compliance with the cell tower lease agreement at the start, but over the years, they fall out of compliance. This is to the detriment of property owners.  If you want your cell tower lease audited for possible increase in rent negotiations, we welcome reviewing your lease for free.  There is no risk.  No charge.  We will look for opportunities to  find violations in the leases that can result in additional money to you.  Contact us today.

CellWaves’ Experience

Cellwaves Lease ProcessWe always start by investigating, discovering, and documenting breaches.  We explain to our clients precisely the issue, the timeline, what we believe the breach is, and what we think the monetary value is to our clients as a result of these breaches. We are often directed to their legal staff whose first response is to always deny our claims on various legal grounds.  We happily work with their legal counsel to demonstrate why it is in the carrier’s’ best interest to resolve these matters fairly with our clients.

It is not uncommon for us to recover tens of thousands of dollars per lease from wireless carriers for rooftop breaches, which range in depth, breadth, duration, valuation, and complexity, but our commitment to resolve these breaches remains the same.  We level the playing field by bringing our industry insider expertise and experience to represent our wireless property owner landlords.

The Cell Tower Lease Process

Negotiating such an important agreement.  How fast or slow we move, at CellWaves, depends on the advantage to our clients.  In some specific situations, moving at a certain speed is essential to advance our clients’ interests. Carriers, represented by contractors, will treat you as an uneducated property owner.  They will take advantage of you if you let them.  Because of our combined 75 years of experience in the wireless industry, we often are the most knowledgeable and informed people in all transactions and are usually in control of the negotiations.

While having a cell tower on your property poses many benefits, property owners should be aware of the risks associated with the equipment.  Not only that, but the wireless carrier or tower company doesn’t necessarily have your bests interests in mind.  Their goal is profit.  Their employees are often paid bonuses for getting you to agree to the most unfavorable terms.  We can’t emphasize enough that you’ll have peace of mind about your terms, your rent, and your overall experience, when you employ the team at CellWaves.  Contact us today for more information.  Who you hire matters.  Don’t get caught with disbarred AT&T attorney, or call center consultants who are not self-proclaimed experts in the field. If a consultant charges you $1000 for your lease review, you have the wrong consultant.  This is a long duration lease.  Do not try to do it cheaply because it will harm you in the future.  Hire Cellwaves consultant today.