Potential Pitfalls of Cellular Antenna Site Contracts

If you own a large swath of land, you may have been approached by a cellular phone provider about the prospect of leasing part of your land for an antenna site. At first glance, this may seem like an exciting offer – and you wouldn’t be the first landowner to be delighted at the prospect of making some cash in exchange for renting out a corner of your property.


An increasing number of landowners across the nation have received unexpected offers to lease their land to cell phone service providers. In many cases, the sought-after tower site is an undeveloped piece of land. What’s not to love about an offer like that?


Although these offers can certainly be profitable, they can also pose several potential problems for landowners. Before signing any kind of agreement with a telecommunications company, seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney familiar with these types of contracts. Here are just a few issues to watch out for:

Third Party Contracts

Early on, it’s vitally important to make sure you know who all the parties are and which party is actually the tenant. Frequently, telecommunications companies sublease usage to third party companies, which can complicate lease agreements with landowners. In the event of a dispute, it’s important for the property owner to know which party is the actual tenant. It’s also critical for property owners to negotiate a share of sublease rents if the telecommunications company will be subletting to several third party carriers.


In most cases, telecommunications companies demand long terms on cell antenna site contracts. Installing the antennas and the lines that go with them is a costly undertaking. To make the project worthwhile, the company wants to know it will be allowed to occupy the land for a relatively long time. It’s common for these types of lease agreements to span at least five years with the option to renew several decades into the future. Landowners must be aware of these provisions and have an idea of how they can affect development plans.


In many cases, landowners are unfamiliar with these kinds of contracts, which makes them vulnerable during the negotiation process. Telecommunications companies know this, and it’s not unheard of for them to offer rent far below the going rate. In most situations, proposed cell tower sites have significant value to the company – otherwise, they would not seek to place a tower there. Property owners need the guidance and knowledge of an experienced real estate lawyer to avoid losing out on a fair price for their land.

California Eviction and Real Estate Law

Attorney Kirkman J. Hoffman has more than 20 years’ experience representing commercial and residential landlords, owners, and property managers in Silicon Valley and the surrounding regions. Contact the team at Hoffman Law Group today at (408) 241-9620 to discuss your real estate or eviction matter.


This website has been prepared by Hoffman Law Group, APC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.