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What Are Rooftop Cell Site Leases?

Rooftop cell site leases have become a highly sought-after commodity, both by property owners and cellular providers alike. Why? Because rooftops, by their very nature, make for an ideal location for cellular tower and microcell installations.

Rooftops are typically free from interference, and without walls or other structures getting in the way, the wireless signals that they deliver tend to allow our latest smart devices to operate faster and more reliably since there’s a far smaller risk of signal deterioration.

In the past, if a cellular provider needed to expand the coverage of their network, they would simply construct a new cellular tower, but due to the crowded nature of our congested urban and even suburban areas, constructing a new cellular tower that requires at least 300 square feet of unoccupied land is no longer the easiest solution.

Why Are Providers Turning to Rooftop Leases?

Why Are Providers Turning to Rooftop Cell Site Leases?

On a rooftop cell sites, wireless providers can deploy small cells, microcells and other distributed antenna systems that help expand their coverage without breaking the bank, and at a much faster pace. Rooftop systems are quickly becoming the preferred avenue for cellular expansion since they allow for a quicker build, a higher profit margin and the ability to deploy better targeted cellular coverage within a specific, limited geographic area.

This is especially the case in populated urban areas, and most especially in Smart City development initiatives (like the one in Kansas City). These new smart cities have created a serious problem for Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and the other cell providers, because smart cities depend on vast amounts of stable bandwidth in order to support the many thousands of interconnected systems that make the smart city, “smart”. After all, without a reliable, high-speed data connection, smart city systems will be unable to provide the essential function they were designed to provide.

The need for network expansion has forced cellular providers to strike rooftop cell site lease deals with both cities and private property owners in order to acquire the rights to these valuable locations. And in some cases, these rooftop lease agreements can provide property owners as much as $4000 in additional revenue per month for the placement of a single antenna! Adding additional antennas to the rooftop cell site only increases the value of the lease, making qualifying rooftop sites a great source of potential income for property owners.

Acquiring a rooftop cell site lease may sound enticing, but it’s certainly not an easy endeavor or something that should be taken lightly. There are real issues that property owners need to be aware of before pursuing such a lease, which is why Landmark Dividend recommends consulting with us as soon as you’ve been contacted by a cellular provider. We have a great deal of experience structuring these agreements and we can help ensure that you’re paid as much as possible for your location.

Requirements For A Rooftop Lease

In order for a rooftop to qualify for the placement of small cell and microcell technologies, there are a variety of physical requirements that the location needs to meet.

Some basics include that the area must be approximately 1,200 – 2,000 square feet, and that the height of the rooftop itself be in the range of 35 – 75 feet, or 3 – 7 stories.

It is also greatly beneficial if the rooftop is flat and free of any debris or obstructions, and that it features a clear line of sight to the surrounding areas. This element is important to the cellular providers since buildings that are flat with plenty of available space will make the placement and installation of rooftop cellular devices easier and less expensive.

Drawbacks To Rooftop Cell Site Leases

Once the lease is agreed upon, the cellular provider will seek the easiest, quickest, and most cost-effective method of installation in order to get their rooftop cell tower onto your property. The faster the cellular providers can their get equipment up and running, the faster they can reap the benefits of their investment. However, you should also keep in mind that this eagerness to get the cell site up and running can cause serious problems if they rush the construction process and damage your property.

Why Are Providers Turning to Rooftop Cell Site Leases?For rooftops that don’t have an elevator shaft or some other “high” point on the roof such as a rooftop tower, the cellular provider will have to install a base or an equipment shed for their microcells. This installation requires that the cellular provider drill into the roof itself, and without following proper procedures, this installation process can become very problematic.

The cellular provider will not only need to puncture holes into the roof of the building, but the installation of the necessary cables and wires could require that the cellular provider drills into internal structures like stairwells. This entire process can void certain roofing warranties and even damage the structural integrity of the building if the installation is not performed correctly, so you’ll want to make absolutely certain that they are following best practices when deploying their equipment to your property.

There is also an issue of access when it comes to rooftop leases. Even though the property owner still owns the building, the cellular carrier will often require the lease agreement to include 24/7 access to the rooftop and other areas of the building where cellular installations were made. This access serves the purpose of allowing the cellular provider to perform equipment checks, repairs, and upgrades.

As such, property owners offering rooftop cell site leases may have to live with the employees of the cellular provider coming in and out of their building, often without notice, and at all hours of the day. This dynamic can prove to be exhausting and extremely inconvenient for property owners who do not have the staff or the availability to provide this sort of access to the technicians.

Negotiating The Lease

Fortunately, all of the above-mentioned issues can be negotiated during the creation of the rooftop lease agreement, and Landmark Dividend has extensive experience in helping property owners get maximum value out of their leases. It really is crucial that property owners seek counsel from an industry professional for advice and guidance during this process in order to facilitate the lease negotiations, otherwise they do risk leaving a great deal of money on the negotiating table.

The cellular providers have negotiated thousands of these sorts of agreements, and as such, will ultimately have the upper hand against property owners who are only just discovering the potential of their rooftops. Having an industry professional on your side can help even the playing field and ensure that the cellular providers are playing by the rules. Keeping the cellular providers honest will help deter them from using any of their tricks and money saving tactics, keeping your property, and yourself, out of harm’s way.

How Landmark Dividend Can Help

When a rooftop cell site lease agreement goes well, property owners can enjoy the benefits of the extra income worry free. But even after a lease agreement has been signed, property owners who want to turn future income into immediate funds can convert the monthly payments from the cellular providers into a lump sum payment from a company like Landmark Dividend.

If you have an existing rooftop cell site lease that you’d like to sell, please contact us today for additional details. Our previous clients have used the payments received from selling their rooftop leases to do things like pay off outstanding debt, start a new business, or even purchase additional property at another location that’s ideal for developing additional leases.

Selling your rooftop lease means you will no longer be responsible for the terms of the lease, and that you will no longer have to engage in any sort of rooftop management of the lease either. If Landmark Dividend were to purchase the lease, we would become responsible for dealing with the cellular carriers, freeing up your time to focus on other revenue-generating endeavors.

In addition, if we do purchase your lease, then end up acquiring additional antennas on the rooftop (a likely outcome, since we deal with the cellular providers at thousands of locations across the country), we do offer a form of profit sharing so that you’ll receive more income for your asset. We provide a one-time, peace of mind cash bonus for each additional antenna installed on the property.

Contact Us Today!

Landmark Dividend has the industry experience to help you get the most out of your rooftop cell site lease. If you are currently looking to sell your rooftop lease, or if you’re just looking for a free lease evaluation, don’t hesitate to call us today at 1-800-843-2024, or email us at info@landmarkdividend.com.