Roof Top Cell Tower Leases: What Issues a Landowner Should Consider

Vertical Consultants has been engaged by several building owners looking to lease space on their rooftop.  These types of lease agreements present an entirely separate and distinctive scope of issues to consider compare to a cell tower lease

A rooftop lease is often structured very similarly to a cell tower lease; however a rooftop lease usually requires only a fraction of the space as a cell phone carrier may 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 hour/7 days a week access to such rooftop space. This does present several issues for certain building owner and more importantly may open a property owner up to certain liability issue that will need to be properly address 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. This is where we come in.  

Vertical Consultants has experts on staff that can evaluate a cell phone carrier’s installation plans and can work on your behalf to make sure that any installation of rooftop telecom equipment is done in a way that will result in minimal impact to your property.

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