Lease Extensions: Extending Existing Cell Tower Lease Agreements
The cell tower companies are actively contacting their landowners in an attempt to negotiate extensions to the existing cell site lease agreements. One might assume that these contacts are being made only for leases that are set to expire soon, but that is not the truth. Landowners with 20 years remaining on their lease agreements are being contacted. Typically the pitch from the tower company goes like this:
- Because we value our long term relationship with our landowners, we are prepared to offer you the chance to extend your lease agreement for another 50 years.
- Your lease will continue to escalate as it does in the current lease agreement.
- We will also give you a nominal payment upfront for your trouble- such as $5000.
Unsuspecting landowners are actually agreeing to these pitches because they mistakenly believe that the longer the lease, the more revenue they will get. Unfortunately, most cell tower leases have liberal termination clauses in them. So the tower company gets a long term committment from the landowner and can tie up the property for 70 plus years. What does the landowner get in return? The burden of the lease with no guarantees that the tower company will actually keep the lease going as they can terminate at virtually any time.
Furthermore, in many cases, the tower company wants to amend the current agreement. These amendments may create additional burden on the landowner's behalf- BUT AT NO ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION.
Cell Tower Attorney can assist you in reviewing the proposed amendment and counseling you on what the real impact is of signing such an amendment. We have a substantial amount of experience in drafting and reviewing these amendments. We understand the practical side of the amendment and what it means to you.
Please contact us for further details if you have been approached by a cell tower company to extend your lease agreement.