Disputes are unfortunately common in long-term wireless leases. These disputes often are clerical errors and issues neither party anticipated in the cell tower lease.
Typically the collection of monthly or annual rents is a simple process between the landlord and carrier. However, it is often that landlords stop receiving rent from their lease for a variety of reasons. Bringing in attorneys as representatives to settle disputes in Wireless Lease matters can significantly add unnecessary costs and delays in obtaining a mutual settlement.
Wireless Equity Group can assist in handling simple disputes between property owners and carriers by assisting the property owner with representation for the collection of late or unpaid rent, Lease Negotiations, and other related management issues.
New Owner Disputes
If you just purchased or inherited a property with a cell tower antenna, you may be wondering how to get the antenna off OR asking why you’re not receiving rent. This is often for 2 reasons:
A prior owner sold or retained the lease/easement.
At some point, a prior property owner may have already sold the lease or easement to a tower company. They may have also excluded the antenna lease from a prior sale by creating a master lease or retaining the easement rights. If your title report doesn’t show the recording of an easement and memorandum of lease/easement, you may be entitled to rent for the lease. We can assist in obtaining a copy of the legal documents, including the lease agreements, to determine what rights were retained and if any future rights may be reverted to the property owner.
A change of ownership request was not filed.
It could be that no information was provided to the carrier on where to re-direct lease payments. The funds could be still going to the prior owner or funds could stop being made until new information is provided. Carriers don’t proactively reach out for ownership changes and often just stop making payments in these situations since it’s the responsibility of the landlord to provide notice.
Lease Rent Reduction Disputes
You may have received rent reduction notices from companies hired by Wireless Carriers, like Md7 (Verizon) and Blackdot (T-Mobile and AT&T). They are hired to call property owners and re-negotiate lower rents for the carriers to remain on these properties. Wireless Equity Group can assist with rent reduction negotiation to retain or improve your current lease terms.
In some cases, if you do have excessively high rents, it does make sense for carriers to move to another property if their rent is not reduced. However, in many cases, we find that the rent is actually not high enough. The only way to find where your lease stands is to determine how essential to the wireless carriers by identifying the cell traffic requirement of the area, capacity of the current location, availability of surrounding cell sites, zoning code, and replacement cost. We can analyze your current location and assist with a fair and mutually beneficial long-term agreement.
End of Lease Terms
If your lease agreement is coming to an end, the carrier will likely contact you in advance to re-negotiate a rent at similar or lower terms. However, they often add additional restrictive language in their new leases. Don’t accept a new lease or amendment to your lease until it is reviewed by a consultant who’s on your side!
If a lease is not negotiated, you may be in hold-over and the carrier or tower company may stop paying rent. This is a common problem because your lease has not been re-activated in their system with new terms OR you’ve gone to a revenue share that they’d prefer not to pay but instead negotiate a lower rent.
Our Lease ended with an American Tower and the contract went to a revenue share plan. American Tower tried to negotiate rent at $4,500/m for another 25 year term or a buyout at $1m. After hiring Wireless Equity Group, they went through 3 months of negotiation which landed us a revenue share of over $9,000/month! We then sold the lease through Wireless Equity for over $2.2m!
Early Lease Termination and Decommissioning
Almost all wireless leases have early termination clauses (“escape clause”) that allow the tenant to cancel their leases with a 30-90 day notice. If you’ve received notice that your cell tower lease is going to be terminated early and the tower will be decommissioned, we can assist in making sure you’re provided with fair and accurate compensation.
Equipment Alteration or Redevelopment
When a carrier upgrades their equipment, they may be required to pay additional rent depending on their current lease terms. We can review your lease and site plan to determine if additional compensation should be due. Alternatively, a Property Owner may want to improve or redevelop the property. We can ensure expectations and terms are met to provide a mutually beneficial outcome.
If you have a dispute with a carrier or tower company and are not sure how to resolve it, call our team for a free consultation. We will inform you of our strategy, timeline, and a fee that is fair to all parties. We guarantee results or no fee will ever be charged.