Lease Amendments and Modifications
A number of our clients have been receiving requests from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to install additional equipment and antennas on their property. Typically, these letters come with a request for you, the landowner or tower owner, to consent to the change and sometimes will allege that the underlying lease allows the carrier to make these changes, even without your consent.
In many cases, we believe that these are at best half-truths. While in many cases, the tower lease or rooftop lease does allow for the replacement of existing antennas, it may not always allow for additional antennas. Carriers take very optimistic interpretations of what they are allowed to do under the lease agreement. Perhaps they expect that you, the landowner, won't be sophisticated enough to understand the changes because they use technical jargon like "TMA" or "LTE" or "RRU" or "diplexer" or send complicated spec sheets for the new antennas that only Radio Frequency engineers can understand.
If you receive a letter to make a modification or add equipment to your tower or rooftop, you should evaluate the request carefully. Ask for construction drawings and specifications for the proposed equipment. Ask the carrier to show you exactly where in the tower leasing agreement it allows for additional changes without your consent. If they persist in requesting your consent, it's a good sign they need it. In some cases, that consent can be conditioned on additional rent payments.
The important thing is to fully understand what your lease agreement does and does not allow. Unfortunately, many leases were not written well originally and the language may be purposely vague.
If you need additional help interpreting your lease or you believe the carrier already installed additional equipment without your consent, please contact our related law firm, Cell Tower Attorney.
If you believe that you have the right to additional compensation and want advice on how much the changes are worth, contact us. We can review your existing drawings and lease agreement and determine if you are entitled to additional compensation.