Rooftop Lease Agreements: Keys to Avoid Unintended Results


The increasing demand for cellular and other wireless devices has significantly increased traffic on wireless networks and thus the demand by wireless carriers for the lease of building rooftops, space on cell towers, raw land, and other space suitable for the installation and operation of antennas and related communications equipment. In some locations, the rents generated under lease and license agreements for this space can generate revenue comparable to that of leased interior office building space. Although some property owners may view the lease of their underused building, land, or similar space as “free money,” the execution of a carrier’s standard form of agreement with little or no negotiation is a risk that can lead to detrimental and unintended results for the property owner.

This article will highlight some of the key issues for building owners to address when negotiating rooftop licenses or lease agreements. As is the case with many standard form agreements,

rooftop agreements drafted by wireless carriers are often one-sided and may contain (or omit) many provisions that can pose significant risks to a building owner. A risk-adverse owner should review a proposed lease or license agreement (or draft its own) carefully to ensure that the risks associated with rooftop operations are properly allocated to the party in the best position to control the risks....

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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