Cell Tower Landlords- Are They Being Paid Correctly?

Property owners of all types should be aware that a cell tower lease is completely different from the commercial real estate leases they may be used to or may have previously been a party to. A cell tower landlord should never assume they are being paid correctly for the use of their land by a cell phone carrier or cell tower company. Cell tower companies and carriers have and continue to capitalize on both a property owners’ lack of familiarity with the terms of a standard cell tower lease, as well as the satisfaction of most cell tower landlords in simply receiving a monthly rent check. These circumstances are one of the many ways that cell tower companies have and continue to keep their rent payments low and sub-standard.

A cell tower landlord should always pay mind to the utilization of the cell tower site on its property. For instance, a cell tower company often uses areas outside the parameters set in a lease. This mostly happens by a cell tower company’s equipment that is not above the ground, but below. Such underground assets, like utility lines or fiber optic cabling, often are not made evident to a property owner, even if it they are on areas where consent is required by the cell tower company. Another commonly overlooked issue is the allowance of additional cell phone carriers to use the cell tower landlord’s land without the consent to do so. The obvious reason that a cell tower company does this is the avoidance of paying for such use. Often the cell tower companies will interpret the cell tower lease in a manner to allow for such use. If a property owner does not know what to look for, he/she will not understand who is using the land, nor how to get paid for such use.

Ultimately, cell tower companies get away with the above described breaches of a cell tower lease, simply because property owners do not have the time to monitor activity on their cell tower sites. Experts working for cell tower companies know exactly how far they can push these limits without a cell tower landlord realizing it. The result: cell tower landlords are not given revenue they are rightfully owed, and, as a result of such breach of the lease, the cell tower landlord is indirectly subsidizing the cell tower companies’ profit margins, which are sometimes upwards of eighty percent and greater.

Finally, immediate options to increase the value a cell tower landlord’s existing cell-tower lease exist, no matter if a property owner has one cell tower lease or dozens of leases. Cell tower landlords should realize that an increases of only a few hundred dollars a month will equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of their cell tower lease, and this in itself is one of the main reasons that cell tower companies fight so hard not to pay one penny more than they have to.

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