At Steel in the Air, we receive some rather common inquiries that we find ourselves giving answers to on a regular basis. Here are some of the frequently asked questions.
I have received a request from my wireless tenant to provide consent for "modifications" to my cell site. Do I have to consent?
This answer is not a simple one. It depends upon the type of consent that the wireless tenant is looking for. In some cases you are obligated to consent, in others, the wireless tenant is simply trying to get something that they aren't entitled to under your lease. To make matters worse, in some cases, the wireless carrier is asking for a blanket consent. For instance, T-Mobile has been sending request to landowners to consent to modifications to their cell site. They don't always explain what the modifications are nor do they offer any compensation or justification for that consent. They don't indicate where in the lease agreement you have with them that you are obligated to consent- they just ask for your consent hoping that unsophisticated landowners will give it. If you receive a request for consent that doesn't include construction drawings showing what they want to do - ask for them. Ask the carrier to show you specifically where in YOUR lease that it says you are required to give consent. If you need help reviewing your lease agreement and determining what rights and obligations you have to provide consent, please see Cell Tower Attorney's page on cell tower lease modifications. If you know that you are obligated to provide consent and need help ascertaining the value of the modifications to the carrier and how much rent you should request, please contact Steel in the Air.
The tower company has come to me requesting my consent to subleasing. Do I have to provide it and if so, can I ask for compensation?
In many leases, the tower owner is required to get your consent to add other carriers on the tower. However, just because they have to ask your consent, doesn't mean that you are entitled to compensation to give it. It depends upon the language of your lease agreement.
- If your lease states that they need your consent, "such consent to be given at your sole discretion", then in most cases, this means that you can ask for compensation.
- If your lease states that they need your consent, but that "such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, delayed, or conditioned", the answer varies by the location of the tower. Some states have interpreted this language to mean that you cannot ask for compensation for your consent. In other states, it means that you just can't unreasonably ask for compensation.
- If your lease states that they can sublease upon providing notice, this typically means that you cannot withhold your consent. They only have to notify you.
If you have questions about what your legal rights are, please visit Sublease Consent Requests. If you know that you have the right to withhold consent to sublease and want guidance on how much you should ask for to provide consent, please contact Steel in the Air.
Can you help me get a cell tower on my property?
Unfortunately, no. We get inquiries all the time asking for help leasing property or rooftops as a cell site. It's just something we have chosen not to do. The chance of success is slim for most properties as it is, but we would be misrepresenting our abilities if we suggested to you that we could find tenants. For more information about how you can increase your chances of soliciting wireless tenants and how to tell if your property has any merit to wireless companies, please visit our webpage on Towers on Your Property.
I have been approached to sell the remainder of my cell tower lease or cell site lease,
Should I consider a lease buyout?
This is not a question that can be answered generically. Every scenario is different. The decision to sell rests on the answers to a number of follow up questions:
- Is there additional income that you might be passing up as a result of selling the cell site lease or cell tower lease?
- What is the expected longevity of the cell site lease or cell tower lease?
- Is the offer that they have forwarded you the best one they can provide?
- Are there better offers that might be found elsewhere?
- Why are they buying my lease?
- What is the impact of selling the lease?
If you can't answer these questions, then contact us because we can answer them. We have helped many landowners who have been approached to sell their cell tower lease or cell site lease and helped them understand the technical and business reasons to sell and not to sell. We won't tell you what you should do as that decision is best left to you and your financial advisor or accountant. But we can provide you with the information needed for you to make a sound decision. Please contact us.
Do you work with or for the wireless carriers?
Steel in the Air is completely independant of the wireless carriers such as Cingular, Nextel, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, TMobile. Prior to starting this company, the founders of Steel in the Air did provide services to wireless carriers. It was this work that provided us a good amount of our knowlege that allows us to help you. Since starting Steel in the Air in January 2004, we have not accepted any revenue from any wireless carrier. This allows us to remain unbiased.
Can you give me a phone number to call the wireless carriers?
Unfortunately, we cannot. This industry is a highly localized business and there are no national numbers for the site development groups at the carriers. You would need to call their local offices to market your property for a tower. Candidly, they don't make this easy to do. Some of the carriers and tower companies will let you submit your location to their databases. TMobile for one has an online form and Crown Castle allows you to call into a phone number to submit your site.
Cingular has approached me to renegotiate my AT&T or Cingular cell tower lease- can you help?
Absolutely. We have helped around 80 clients with this exact issue- counseling them as to how best to respond to these attempts to "negotiate". We have a webpage devoted to this subject- please see Cingular and AT&T Wireless Cell Tower Lease Negotiations
Sprint has approached me to renegotiate my Sprint or Nextel cell tower lease or cell site- can you help?
Absolutely. We have helped around 80 clients with this exact issue- counseling them as to how best to respond to these attempts to "negotiate". We have a webpage devoted to this subject- please see Sprint and Nextel Wireless Cell Tower Lease Negotiations
I have an existing lease that I believe is too low, can you help?
The answer lies within the lease itself. More often than not, you have agreed to a long term lease. The only opportunity to renegotiate existing leases comes if the carrier has breached the lease or the lease is set to expire or you can choose not to renew. Look at your lease- consult with your attorney and if you can renegotiate- contact us. For more details, please see our webpage on the subject.
A land agent for the utility told me I had to sign the easement document or they would turn my electricity off. What should I do?
Try and get the agent to say that in front of you and another person or put it in writing. Explain to the agent that should his company turn off your electricity when the bill is paid is actionable and that you will contact an attorney immediately. Ask the agent who his boss is and give that person a call or better yet call the president of the company and explain the conversation to him/her. If the situation/negotiation has gotten to the point that they are saying they are going to turn off your electricity because you have not granted them an easement, contact an attorney immediately.
- If you have other questions that have not been answered here, please feel free to contact us.