Rooftop Cell Tower Leases Explained

71297204[1]A rooftop lease is often structured very similarly to a cell tower lease; however, a rooftop lease usually requires a fraction of the space, as a cell phone carrier may only need as little as 50 square feet. In addition, just like the cell tower company has the option of leasing its tower to multiple sub-tenants, you, as the building owner, also have the capability of leasing your rooftop to multiple cell phone carriers, which can ultimately produce numerous income streams.

Issues to consider when approached with a possible rooftop telecom lease:

▪          Cell phone carriers, if not checked or held accountable, will use available rooftop space in any way they see fit in order to meet their needs. Their primary motivation is to install their equipment as inexpensively as possible, which can often times mean limiting the ability of the building owner to lease to other cell phone companies.

▪          Additional issues include access and utility requirements. The typical rooftop lease requires that the cell phone carrier be allowed 24 hours/7 days a week access to such rooftop space. This does present several issues for certain building owners and, more importantly, may open a property owner up to certain liability issues that will need to be properly addressed in any proposed lease agreement.

▪          The actual attachment of telecom equipment to the roof or bulwark of the building itself can present several issues as well, including structural issues that may need to be addressed, including a careful review of your building load factors. As mentioned above, the cell phone carrier will look for the easiest and cheapest way to install the equipment. Unfortunately for you, the building owner, they are not at all concerned with the maximization of your property. You need an expert with cell tower lease transaction knowledge to assist you with maximizing the value of your rooftop lease.

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