Cell phone technology is in a permanent change, often requiring cell tower companies to modify the capacity or the set-up of their existing facilities to be able to accommodate the increasing demands of the market that make them want to introduce modifications or amend your existing cell tower lease agreement.
These amendments can involve the size of the leased land, the scope of the activity carried out on the land, changes in the number of antennas installed on the premises, the size of the antennas or even the introduction of sublease clauses into the cell tower lease agreement. The request for amendments is usually communicated to the owners in the form of a letter and it is very important for landowners to understand what the tower company is requesting in order to determine the financial implications of these amendments. We would like to help you understand the request for an amendment better, so here are the changes most frequently proposed by cell companies.
Amendments Referring to Towers and Antennas
These are mainly technical modifications that imply the increasing or decreasing of the number of the antennas already installed on your land. If the modifications do not harm your property or they do not decrease the value of the land, you may consider signing the amendment, but only if your tenant gives you all the technical drawings referring to the modifications. The request for this type of amendment may allow you to increase the lease rates in proportion with the number of the new antennas to be installed.
Extending the Cell Tower Lease Term
If your cell tower lease agreement is drawing close to the end of the term, you should try to negotiate a contract renewal rather than agree to a term extension. By entering into renewal negotiations you can increase the lease rates significantly, but if you consent to a term extension, you may waive these rights.
Your Ability to Sell Your Land
Cell tower carriers often propose amendments that limit the landowner’s right to sell the property or may force the owner to reduce the price if he wants to sell the land.
Sometimes, cell tower companies propose the reduction of the rent stipulated in the existing cell tower lease agreement, saying that they own too many towers already and, if you don’t lower the rent, they will terminate the lease. Most cell tower companies are looking to increase the number of their towers, not to decrease it, so you should weigh your options very carefully if you get a letter like this.
Another type of amendment frequently requested by cell tower companies refers to allowing the tenant to upgrade, expand or modify the facility without the landowner’s further consent. Tower upgrades should equal rent increases, so you should not give up your right to higher lease rates.
As you see, cell tower leases comprise many clauses that can become subject to modifications, so, if you receive a letter requesting such modifications, it is highly recommended to contact a cell tower lease agreement specialist to get a better understanding of the implications of the request.