There are more than 190,000 cell phone towers in the United States alone. These towers often sit on land that is leased by the cell tower companies. If you currently have a cell tower lease, or are considering entering into a cell tower lease, then it is vital that you understand how important the language in the lease is to you both financially and personally. You must realize that large cell phone companies have some of the best lawyers working for them, and they are sure to try to include specific language the benefits them the most.
This ultimately means that you have to be extra cautious and completely understand what is in your lease before making the deal final. Below is a look at several tips to help you negotiate the language in your cell tower lease.
One of the most important aspects of the lease is when and for how much the rent will be paid, so it is important to take a close look at this part of the lease. There should be a clause within the lease that discusses annual rate increase. The cell phone company is probably going to try to make this increase as small as possible, so you may have some room to negotiate a better deal. Even having them agree to an additional one percent increase may mean thousands of extra income for you over the course of the lease.
Details of Lease
Be sure to look over some other important details of the lease, such as the exact length of the lease, including when it begins and ends. You also want to make sure the exact location and size of the land to be leased is included in the lease as well as what type of access you have to the land. This access is very important. Do not be fooled into thinking that since you own the property, you have complete access to the land. If it is not explicitly explained in the lease, this may not be the case.
Extras in the Lease
There are also a few extra things you want to make sure are included in your lease. You want to make sure that the lease includes important information about who pays for insurance on the property, who is responsible for maintenance of the property during the lease, and who is responsible for removal of any equipment at the end of the lease. Without these things clearly spelled out in the lease, you risk making yourself liable for these extra costs. These are all expenses that should be paid for by the cell tower companies.
The language in a cell tower lease can be extremely confusing and difficult to understand. For these reason, it is crucial that you seek out advice to help you better negotiate the terms you want and need. Unfortunately, your regular attorney may not be able to help you with this, even if he/she specializes in real estate law. Instead, you need to find someone who specialized in cell tower contracts and can help you get the best terms for your leasing contract.
Finally, make sure that you read the entire contract before you make any official agreement. Be sure to ask any questions you may have or ask for clarification of any part of the lease question. This should help you negotiate terms of the lease that are in your best interest. As long as you are careful and seek out expert advice, a cell tower lease can be a very lucrative investment.
Written by Matt Jones, marketing at Wireless Capital.