Differences Between Cell Tower and Rooftop Leasing
As a building owner, you may be attracted to the idea of leasing space on your rooftop, but it's important to remember that these types of cell site agreements present an entirely separate and unique set of issues to consider. Top among these are the structural and access considerations.
Rooftop leasing is often similar to cell tower leasing, however there is usually much less space for the transmission equipment. Furthermore, while wireless carriers or third party cell tower companies often own the tower, rooftop owners can lease space to multiple carriers and receive multiple income streams.
Left to their own devices, carriers will utilize the leased space in whatever fashion they determine best meets their needs, sometimes eliminating the opportunity for you, the building owner, to lease to other carriers. While rarely done intentionally, installing equipment as inexpensively as possible is a standard cost cutting measure.
Another issue inherent in rooftop leasing is the physical attachment to the roof or parapet of the building. Once again, the carrier will look for the easiest and least expensive way to install the equipment. Sometimes, this installation may void your roofing warranty; other times, it may cause leaking. Forcing a carrier to repair this kind of damage can be quite difficult, since the carrier may claim the roof was installed improperly when the building was originally constructed or renovated.
Be advised, there are many alternatives to installing the coaxial cable and antennas on the rooftop. Steel in the Air will assist you in exploring these options and determine which is the best and safest for you. We will bring all the practical experience we've gained from helping over 2,000 landowners and rooftop owners to help us evaluate your situation.
Other issues you need to be concerned with include access and noise. Rooftop leasing usually requires that the carrier be allowed 24/7 access -- although this is negotiable. Tenants in a residential building or condominium may not appreciate having a cell site technician coming through the building at all hours. Building owners may request the rooftop lease language contain certain limitations on the type of access so tenants are minimally impacted.
While rooftop cell site lease negotiations are similar to those for tower leases, there are often other buildings the carrier could use and may be considering. That's why it's important that you, as the building owner, understand the competitive advantage or disadvantage you have in the negotiations.
Just as with cell tower sites, two rooftop properties located less than a half-mile apart can still have vastly different monetary values to a single carrier. Similarly, the same rooftop can have totally different values to several different carriers.
Understandably, most landowners start negotiations with the amount they are currently receiving from the existing leases on their buildings. That assumes that you or the previous owner negotiated good agreements. In our experience, that assumption is a dangerous one and more often than not, leaves a substantial amount of money on the table. Let our seasoned experts assess how your lease compares to other leases in the area based on our cell site lease rent database.
Steel in the Air has assisted numerous building owners over the years by properly preparing them to successfully negotiate the slippery slop of rooftop leasing and advising them on all pertinent installation issues.
If you are in a current rooftop leasing arrangement and want to know for sure whether you are receiving the rate you should, visit our rooftop cell site audit services page. Then contact us or call us at 1-877-428-6937 to help you get the most out of your rooftop leasing negotiations.
Please note: We are not able to market your rooftop cell site to any carriers.