Crown Castle’s Newest Lease Extension Ploy

Crown Castle has been sending letters to landowners suggesting that their failure to extend the ground lease might have serious consequences. Here is why we believe this is not true.

Crown Castle has been contacting landowners saying that Crown has been informed that their site is “one among several in your geographic area that has been chosen to be looked at more closely by the carriers on the tower to determine long term viability of the site”.   “Those sites with less than 20 years remaining on the ground lease have become the focus of the carrier’s concerns”.  Crown further goes on to state that “Meetings to determine if your site meets optimal operational requirements has been scheduled for the week of November 7-11th, 2011” and that they need your lease extension before then.

To be blunt, I hate this type of misdirectional pitch.   They use wiggle words like “concern” and “look at closely” which actually say nothing.   Nonetheless, the reader is left with the implication that the carriers on the tower may terminate their leases with Crown if they don’t get a long term extension.   This is almost always untrue.  Crown has also put a deadline in for action- because without which most landowners would (wisely) ignore this pathetic plea.

So here is what we know from first hand experience.   The carriers regularly upgrade their equipment on our client’s towers and rooftops without any regard for the length of time remaining on the lease provided there are more than 5 years left.  Even then, we have had the carriers upgrade the site while we were in negotiations for a lease that would expire in a year.

The carriers won’t terminate their leases with Crown because there are less than 20 years remaining on the your lease.  Crown won’t terminate its lease with you because you won’t extend.  (except in very rare cases)   If Crown hasn’t made you an offer that puts you in a better position financially going forward, DON’T EXTEND YOUR LEASE.   If they have made you an offer that gives you more rent or better terms, please contact us to help you evaluate their offer.  Please see our Crown Castle Lease Extension page for more information on how we evaluate Crown Castle lease extension offers.

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