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When to Hire a Cell Tower Attorney

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Navigating the complexities of cell tower leases can be challenging. While regular attorneys can handle many legal matters, there are specific instances where a specialized cell tower attorney’s expertise is invaluable. Here’s a guide to help you determine when you need a specialized cell tower attorney and when a regular attorney will suffice. 

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    When You Need a Cell Tower Attorney

    Negotiating Lease Terms

    • Complex Lease Agreements: Cell tower leases often include technical terms and industry-specific clauses that require specialized knowledge.
    • Maximizing Lease Value: An experienced cell tower attorney can help ensure that your lease includes favorable language that will help you both now and in the future with getting the most financially out of your lease.

    Resolving Disputes

    • Lease Violations: If there’s a disagreement regarding lease terms or alleged violations, a cell tower attorney can provide expert advice and representation. Some typical disputes we run across:
      • Damage to the property.  This can be a leaking rooftop or a damaged road from heavy equipment used to install the tower.
      • Revenue share issues. In some cases, tower companies refuse to honor clauses in their leases that mandate sharing of documents.
    • Termination and Renewal Issues: These attorneys are well-versed in handling lease termination, renewal negotiations, and any disputes that arise during these processes.

    Lease Buyouts

    • A lease buyout is a long-term purchase of your lease. The default purchase agreements are complicated and tricky. We strongly recommend engaging a specialized attorney to assist you with a lease buyout.

    Regulatory Compliance

    • Zoning and Land Use: Cell tower attorneys understand local, state, and federal regulations, ensuring your lease complies with all zoning and land use laws.
    • FCC Regulations: They can help navigate Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, which are critical in the telecommunications industry.

    When a Regular Attorney Will Suffice

    Basic Legal Advice

    • General Contract Review: For straightforward lease agreements, a regular attorney can review the contract to ensure it meets standard legal requirements.
    • Simple Leases: In some cases, your property is just like every other property in the area. The company that wants to lease your property is unlikely to agree to many redlines to the lease agreement, so you probably don’t want to overthink it.
    • Initial Consultations: If you’re considering leasing your property but are not yet at the negotiation stage, a regular attorney can provide preliminary advice.

    Routine Legal Matters

    • Property Ownership Issues: Regular attorneys can address general property ownership and land use issues that do not specifically pertain to cell tower leases.
    • Standard Contractual Issues: For typical contractual disputes and legal advice, a regular attorney’s services are usually sufficient. For example, most attorneys can help you collect past due rent or help evict a tenant who hasn’t renewed their lease.

    How Steel in the Air Helps

    We Work with Your Attorney: If you don’t engage a specialized cell tower attorney, we can work with your local attorneyWe can answer their questions and point out changes that should be made to your lease agreement or buyout purchase agreement. While the President of Steel in the Air is an attorney, Steel in the Air does not offer legal services.

    We Can Advise Whether You Need a Specialized Attorney: Even though we don’t provide legal guidance, we can review your situation and help you understand the pros and cons of retaining a specialized cell tower attorney. We can also provide a referral to a cell tower attorney we trust- but you still may need a local attorney if he isn’t licensed in your state.

    We Review Your Situation to Determine How Much Room You Have to Negotiate.  Retaining a specialized cell tower attorney is more expensive than working with your local attorney in most situations. When we do our analysis of your lease proposal or buyout proposal, we figure out how much room you have in negotiations. If the tenant isn’t likely to accept many changes, using a specialized attorney may be overkill. 

    Conclusion

    Understanding when to seek the services of a cell tower attorney versus a regular attorney can save you time, money, and legal headaches. While regular attorneys are well-equipped to handle many legal matters, the specialized knowledge of a cell tower attorney is crucial for complex lease negotiations, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance.

    If you have any questions about your lease or situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  The initial discussion is confidential and free. 

    We will let you know if you need a cell tower attorney and, in some cases, can provide a referral for you.

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