The Need For Upgrades
The right to maintain and upgrade a carrier’s cell site is essential in the operation and growth of the carrier’s business. Accordingly, in every lease agreement, wireless carriers reserve the right to performance maintenance and upgrades to their equipment on your property. The restrictions, terms, and rights you have allocated to carriers in the lease determines what and when they can conduct work on their sites. For example:
- Can they access your sites at midnight on a Saturday to perform work?
- Can they replace the existing equipment with heavier and more power-consuming equipment on your roof?
- Can they replace 4-foot tall antennas with 8-foot tall antennas?
- Can they bring in heavy equipment or trench from the road through your property to the cell site location?
- Can they park a crane on your driveway?
All these terms, and many more, should have been defined in your lease. Normally, a lease will give the Carriers the right to perform upgrades to their equipment and the site housing their equipment, but they must present the plans to you for approval “not to be unreasonably withheld” by you the landlord. This means that if you have reasons to withhold such approval, you must say so by specifically cite why you believe the upgrade is not allowed.
Denial Of Upgrades Are Allowed But Must Be Reasonable In such moments, landlords do have a bit of an upper hand. If the upgrade requests are truly more than what you contemplated when you signed the lease, you could deny such upgrades. Of course, your denial will be faced with strong opposition by the carriers, and how successful you are depends purely on your legal interpretation of the lease, your understanding of RF and structural engineering, and various other technical fields to convince the carriers that you know what you are talking about and deserve their serious attention to your demands. If you are unsure, call us. Our years of experience in the wireless communications field and being insiders in the industry give us an advantage when dealing with these matters.
Presumption Of Denial Until Proven Otherwise. We know that many upgrade requests by wireless carriers and tower companies are legitimate and legal, and landlords do need to authorize such requests, but we have seen abuses where wireless carriers and tower companies go far beyond the original lease agreement and treated the landlord and his/her property in a grossly negligent way.
Which scenario is your situation? How do you really know? Contact us for a free consultation. If we can’t help, it will cost nothing, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your property is respected and that you are being fairly compensated for the value of your property to the cellular network.