Want to Sell Your Cell Site Lease? Read the Fine Print!

electwarnWant to Sell your Cell Site Lease?

Our law firm helps landlords monetize (read: sell) their cell tower or cell site lease.  It’s a very specialized area of land-use and technology law. There are times such deals make sense, and many more times when they don’t, but you should discuss your situation with a competent lawyer, AND a competent tax CPA.

Many Pitfalls When You Sell your Cell Site Lease!

There are many pitfalls in the standard boilerplate agreements provided by the big guys who buy-out leases.  One of my favorite pitfalls is language in the agreement that says that upon termination of the buyout, the landlord has to accept as-is whatever agreements the buy-out firm put in place before the expiration of their contract or easement.  Here’s the stinker:  Let’s say you sell your cell tower lease for 30 years.  During that time the original lease you sold expires, and the buy out enters into a new agreement for 100 years, taking a single payment of, say $1,000,000.  In 30 years, you get the lease rights back, but find yourself with a cell site on your property for 70 years with NO INCOME and other bad terms.  Yes, this really can happen to you if you’re not careful.

The (Two) Cell Site Lease Sale Documents Count

It’s common for a cell site lease sale to involve two documents: The contract selling the cell site lease to the buy-out firm, and an easement that allows them to enter into new agreements when your current lease expires.  There are pitfalls in each, so if you’re not going to have a competent attorney help you, be very careful to think about how you might be stung by some of the more obscure terms in the agreements.  Here’s a tip:  The more words in a fully-justified paragraph, the more likely bad things are contained therein.  It’s a old lawyer’s gambit.  Presume that people won’t/can’t read and understand densely worded and long paragraphs.  Stick the bad (for the seller) stuff in the middle of those paragraphs.

Don’t get bit.  Need some help?  Give me a call at Telecom Law Firm on 310-405-7333.


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