What You Should Know About T-Mobile Cell Site Leases

There are three main reasons that property owners and local governments engage us regarding T-Mobile Cell Tower Leases:

1. New T-Mobile Cell Tower Lease Proposals

If you have been contacted by a T-Mobile representative (aka, site acquisition agent) regarding the construction of a cell tower on your property or a cell site on your building or tower, you likely don’t know where to start.  That’s where we can help.  We can:

  • Provide information regarding the real-world effects of entering into a Landlord/ Tenant lease with T-Mobile;
  • Review your location for its uniqueness to T-Mobile;
  • Determine appropriate rent, escalation, and lease duration terms; and
  • Provide tips on favorably negotiating the terms of the proposed Lease Agreement prior to signing.

2. T-Mobile Cell Site Lease Modification Requests

If you are already party to a T-Mobile wireless lease, you have likely received multiple “consent requests” from T-Mobile asking to make “minor” improvements to their equipment.  These are known as “equipment modifications“.  In some cases, they may be seeking additional ground space for a generator.  T-Mobile is actively deploying 600Mhz (low band frequency that travels farther) to their existing sites which often involves new equipment.   T-Mobile’s agents suggest in the consent request and verbally that the changes are within the lease area and they imply that you are obligated to agree to the changes.  In many cases, the lease does not allow them to make the changes and you are entitled to ask for more rent for your approval.  We advise anyone receiving such a request to first ask for construction drawings showing the changes.  From there, here is how we can help.

  • Review the proposed drawings and advise you on T-Mobile’s reasons for requesting any change;
  • Review the lease language and confirm whether T-Mobile is allowed to make changes;
  • Determine what fees (if any) should be charged to T-Mobile;
  • Assist you with the negotiation of the Lease in a way that protects and supports your interests.

3. T-Mobile/ Crown Castle Lease Extensions and Lease Buyouts

In late 2012, T-Mobile announced it would sell 7,200 towers to Crown Castle. Those landowners who own the land upon which the 7,200 towers were built have since been receiving proposals from Crown Castle (as a successor to T-Mobile) to either extend or buy their lease. (Crown Castle now has the right to waive the consent to sell provision mentioned above). If you have received a proposal to extend the term of your lease or to purchase your lease, please contact us first.

4. T-Mobile Cell Site Lease Renegotiation Requests

If you are already party to a T-Mobile wireless lease, then you likely have been contacted recently by a third party Lease Optimization company seeking to renegotiate the terms of the T-Mobile lease.  In short, these companies suggest that because of the pending T-Mobile and Sprint merger that your lease is at risk and your failure to agree to the revised terms will impact their review of the combined assets after they merge.   These agents are very aggressive- calling frequently and issuing many fake drop-dead dates.   If you have been contacted to renegotiate your lease, we can help you

  • Understand the risk of termination from the merger; 
  • Determine whether any adjustment to your lease should be made T-Mobile;
  • Evaluate the potential impact of the requested changes to your lease that they are requesting;
  • See if there is an opportunity to improve your lease.